THE BLOG

Learning to Love Yourself Through It All

07/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I was in a meeting the other day and found myself uttering the words, "You have to love yourself through it all." as a response to the question of the important take-away message to those who have gone through insufferable circumstances; those I will be speaking with as an Advocate for Children's Hospital Chadwick Trauma Center.

I realized that is exactly what I have done, but first I had to learn how to love myself at all, something that has not come easily or without purposefully taking time alone in stillness to learn to do so. Sitting with my brother last night we began to talk about our childhood and the topic of self-love. I listened to his tender way of expressing his thoughts and the anger associated with being a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence. That anger and fear kept the truth of self-love on the outside looking in, ringing that doorbell waiting for the heart to welcome it in, while self-destruction ruled for so long and at times I didn't even know it. What I thought was buried was living and breathing just underneath the surface of every decision I was making for years. When I got home last night I stood in the mirror, acknowledged every dimension of myself and life, and spoke out loud beginning with, "What and who do you see through the eyes of self-love." The experience was profound for me.

I have come to know that every time I look deeper within and am completely honest with myself it is as though I am starving negative energies; not watering or feeding that which I had allowed to run my life, make my decisions, choose past partners, and more for nearly my entire life. I discovered that for these self-defeating energies or forces, just like those that are positive and self-loving, must be fed to survive. They feed and fatten up on attention, are needy little light suckers and bloat up with power the more attention you give them.

When I began to love myself by accepting all experiences without judging myself- embracing each choice that led me to the next and to the next right up to right now- shame, guilt, anger, fear, blame-they all began to shrink. From powerful to powerless; from fat hogs at the troth to shriveling grapes on the vine.

Today, knowing and loving also the negative or dark aspects of myself that will forever remain because I am human, I choose to focus on feeding the positive energy that is within me, co-creating and attracting with God an abundant life that is built on all that has happened, discovering the gifts in that while filling the belly of self-love-giving power to that which will serve my divine purpose and the divine within.

So today, and each day ahead, give yourself permission to acknowledge all that has come before this moment, seek to accept and embrace the incredible tapestry that is you and decide that you will love yourself through it all.