Browsed by
Tag: self love

Words have Meaning

Words have Meaning


Love after Love

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott


Midlife is a strange and unfamiliar territory with the tapestry of my life becoming a colorful cloth woven from unique experiences of old and of what is yet to come.  Even with the underlying sense of fatigue that accompanies a full life, I remain optimistic that patience, understanding and growth will sustain as I continue this very humbling and human journey. To this point, an area of introspection that still eludes me is complete self-acceptance. It is one thing to write, teach or talk about self love. It is still quite another  to feel what can only be called a lingering sense of unease with parts of myself that I find less desirable. With an embarrassing level of honesty, I wonder if feelings such as these will ever go away. In addition, the “love thyself” dialogue of late has me flustered. I find it exceedingly difficult to find a place of belonging in this narrative, leading to even more feelings of separateness from the group.


Words matter and in my case nothing more than the written word. The constant search for inspiration has provided some peace in this chapter of life. When I am totally spent and exhausted from constant reflection, I find refuge each and every time in the thoughts of another. Reading others words without prejudice somehow makes my confusion less so.


Love after Love by Derek Walcott is no different in this regard. His words soothe me in the most gentle of ways. “The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door….” How wonderful to greet myself with elation as I might a dear friend that has been deeply missed. In truth, I have missed the girl that was creative, gentle-hearted, sensitive, curious and thoughtful. I have missed the girl that worried less about what others thought and more about big ideas and important questions. I have missed her and have begun welcoming her back with open arms. It is in this return to wholeness that I see myself apart from others opinions and begin to open as was meant only for me.


Life is a winding road peppered with diversions and distractions. It is curious that at this juncture I am returning to a more authentic self, before the self-critique took over and silenced all the beautiful uniqueness within. These words say it all; “Give back your heart, to itself, to the stranger who has loved you, all your life, whom you ignored…” I apologize to that young girl whom I left behind in an attempt to “blend” in. That beautiful child that was filled with such a loving and creative spirit. That child that was loved but often misunderstood. I welcome that child at my door and into my home. We are one and without each other I am lost.


I am forever thankful to all the intrepid writers that have continued to write regardless of audience. It is in your words that I have rediscovered self in the most glorious of ways. Words continue to matter. Nothing speaks to a seeker more than words of self-discovery. Keep writing my beautiful ones. It is within our words that we will be set free.


Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Taken.

Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Taken.

“You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep. You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin. You deserve a lover who wants to dance with you, who goes to paradise every time he looks into your eyes and never gets tired of studying your expressions. You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall.You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”

*Frida Kahlo*


Loving self is one of the hardest things we all must learn. The internal nitpicking and focus on faults rather than strengths can become incessant. While I have worked on self-acceptance for many years, it still eludes me to some degree. I suspect I fake it better than most, putting on an air of self-confidence. The truth behind this grand deception is that I, like so many others, am still faced with many moments of defeat, self-loathing and dissatisfaction.


As a teenager,  the idea of loving self could not have been more foreign. It was ingrained in me not to think too highly of myself by embracing humility fully and completely.  If I felt my confidence rise, I worried that my ego was out of control. The only way I knew to rectify this imaginary ego feast was by putting myself down. I began to constantly think I was not as smart, beautiful or capable as I believed myself to be. Being a dancer did not do much to challenge this negative internal dialogue. Dancers thrive on self criticism. We are never good enough and perfection is something that is always an unattainable goal. What horrible voices to have on repeat in one’s head during formative years.


Shortly after discovering the concept of self-love, I began the process of unraveling years of conditioning.  I practiced self-affirmations and still do to this day. Frida Kahlo’s poem is one such affirmation speaking to what she and all women deserve in regards to love. I find these words have a specific purity thereby quieting the negative voices if only for a moment. In no other way are we more vulnerable than when loving another.  Sharing our heart completely without hiding the jagged pieces of our soul, is scary and requires some degree of self-confidence.  One needs to feel deserving of the type of love that is both healthy and good. If one does not feel deserving, it is quite possible to fall into an unhealthy relationship.  One that is dictated by faults and fears rather than loving acceptance.

Reading the following line by Kahlo settled in my bones like an old and familiar wisdom longing to be brought to light.


“You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin.”


We all deserve the intensity of this type of connection. Why settle when the possibility exists for an otherworldly love? I say, never settle into a relationship that does not honor who you authentically are: mind, body and spirit. Settling, while providing some comfort, will have long term consequences. It is never enough to be with someone that does not “see” you and value you for all that you are and all that you are not. Know your worth and be unabashedly who you are. Celebrate all of the unique and beautiful qualities that make you…you. Be open and receive, you deserve it.


Loving Self is not Selfish

Loving Self is not Selfish

rumi_universeI was taught as a young girl  not to think too highly of myself.  That sounds harsh, but coming from a hardworking family that was the way in which we functioned.  No complaining, no excessive talking about self, no ego boosting love fests and very few compliments. You can probably guess the result of this conditioning.  I am indeed a hard working adult.  Give me a job and my work ethic will not allow me to do it half way. My self worth is wrapped around my working contribution to society and I find it incredibly difficult to rest or relax without feeling guilty. I also find it excruciating to point out my strengths but have a laundry list of weakness when prompted.  This could be seen as a healthy dose of self-depreciation, but it masks a deep seeded struggle with self worth. If I cannot work hard and contribute to society, what is my value?

When the mystic’s spiritual eye is opened, his physical eye is closed; he sees nothing but God.

– Abu Sulayman Ad-Darani


Life has provided me with ample opportunities to face this shadow, working on creating a strong sense of self; irrespective of what I do for a living or how hard I work. I began with some rudimentary positive self-talk. This initial positive dialogue was infrequent at best.  I often continued to think, “If I am indeed a child of God, how could I be so insignificant?”  I soon added character statements that spoke more directly to who I am as a person.  I began to state affirmations that lifted me up rather than dragging me down. “I am a beautiful, loving and creative soul.” “I am a strong, independent women. I am an intelligent and committed employee.” “I am a loving mother. I am able to make a house into home”. “I am willing and ready to accept love.” The list continued to grow.

To my surprise, these affirmations started to permeate my psyche. I was no longer just repeating words without believing, I was assimilating each affirmation as a part of my belief system. Along with the wonderful uplift I felt during this experience, I still continued to have moments when the familiar negative conditioning crept back in.  Was I really being selfish by focusing so much of my inner dialogue on myself?  I prayed about it often and kept returning to the same place of uncertainty.

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”



It was only on my journey to mysticism that I really began to understand this pattern.  I was still that young girl in many ways and held some long seeded ideas about myself that were simply not true. They were lies that I had been telling myself created by the experiences that I had as a child. I had a choice to use those experiences in a positive way rather than a negative one.  I was indeed all of the things I stated in my affirmation and much more.  Created in the eyes of the Divine, I am perfect as I am. There will never be another “me” on this planet, and I embrace my uniqueness, missteps and celebrations with joy. I am also at an age in which I have come to a level of peace with my physical body.  As women we have so many challenges in this Photoshop society.  I had one moment when I spoke out loud, “I am done with this. My body is the temple to my soul and sacred in every way. I love it unconditionally and any one that chooses to love me will do the same!”

Standing on the bare ground… a mean egotism vanishes

I become a transparent eyeball;

I am nothing;

I see all;

the currents of the universal being circulate through me;

I am part or particle of God.



What a beautiful thing to release all of those years of conditioning and live a life of acceptance.  I love myself and I am proud to say that I do. Loving myself does not in any way make light of my spiritual journey. I would argue that one can not completely love another until they learn to love themselves.  We must be able to see ourselves in another. A union is a spiritual union of two souls and love is an essential footstone to a greater awareness of self.

So love yourself, every wrinkle, gray hair and bit of bumpiness. Love yourself for all of the stubbornness, quirky sensibilities and weirdness.  Remind yourself that you are a beautifully created miracle and are simply perfect as you are. Do not let anyone, not even yourself, tell you otherwise.