Yes, I am still talking about love. This month, I am contemplating what gets in the way of us loving ourselves fully and completely. My conclusion… We have swallowed statements from outside ourselves about who we are or who we are not that keep us from connecting to our spirit. Here are a few examples.
The Self-Image Trap
My best friend in college was a dancer and singer from Denver, Colorado. She was a talented artist, powerful in every way. She had a muscular physique with big thighs, partly by genetics and partly because she loved to ski. The act of downhill skiing, sitting in a chair position on a set of skis flying down a tall slope in Colorado amplified the power of her thighs. My stepdad was a ski jumper and to this day, he has trouble finding pants with legs wide enough for his thighs. Her dance teacher and mentor told her she had to make a choice. Her body did not look like the wispy young White ballerina that is the standard image of a dancer.
She got the opposite yet similar feedback for her singing voice – “not Black enough”. She had a beautiful classically trained contralto voice, perfect pitch, and perfect ‘Broadway’ style. But from a Black girl, others wanted her to sound like a gospel singer, overlooking the value of her voice and style. She took in these views and was not able to overcome this negative feedback about her talent. She never felt good enough and ultimately stopped pursuing her love for dance, singing, and performing.
Longing for Love
I was 5 years old when my parents divorced. I desperately wanted my father’s love and thought because he left us, he didn’t love me despite being told the contrary. I developed a rebellious attitude with a righteous stubbornness that said, I don’t care what you say, I am going to do what I want. And yet, I was still affected. I remember my father making some negative statements about my wearing red lipstick as a teenager. I took in his disapproval and never wore anything red until my mother bought me a red sundress. I was scared to put it on. My father’s judgment created an unintended reinforcement of negative thoughts I had about not being loved, impacting my self-image and nagging my subconscious. I longed for acceptance, my dad’s approval, and to prove my worthiness.
Each of us can think of examples of incidents that impacted how we view ourselves that blocked our ability to love ourselves. These incidents create habits of negative self-talk or negative thought patterns that disconnect us from who we really are, undermining our ability to love ourselves without judgment – just the way we are.
Most blocks are deeply held subconscious beliefs that influence our self-image, our self-talk and what we believe is possible. It is hard to raise your vibration to a level of love, when you are paying attention to negative ‘low vibration’ thoughts. Even when I began to recite mantras for positive thinking, the positive momentum I was looking for was still missing because my self-talk was full of judgment.
I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror every morning and every evening looking at myself and saying, “I love you”, then I would cry. I cried because I didn’t love myself even though I was desperate to do so. But I didn’t give up. I journaled, counted my blessings, and went to therapy. I recited mantras twice a day starting by saying out loud, “Monika I love you”. After about a year, I stopped crying and started smiling. Then I started feeling the love versus just saying the words. This action over time, changed my vibration, my feelings about myself and transformed my life.
So, what did I learn? I learned…
- To manage my thoughts and self-talk. This is critical to stopping the negative momentum and shifting our feelings about ourselves. I reframed my self-talk and inner conversation to be more positive, less judgemental, and focused on what I genuinely wanted.
- To move away from judgment of myself and others. I started catching myself when I was judging myself or others and moving to a place of compassion and acceptance. It’s hard because so many times we bond with our friends by judging others.
- To connect to my spirit in a real and authentic way. I learned to be quiet and listen to what my spirit needed and wanted then to follow those instructions. I called this, “listen and obey” in my last book, The Technology of Doing, Creating & Being: Engineering the Transformation of Your Life Using Self-Mastery as the Spiritual Blueprint. (link: https://mkm-management-consulting.square.site/).
The work it takes to move to self-love paves the way for us to manifest other things that we want. Growth happens when you move beyond the blocks to what you have created with your thoughts. Even when what we want is simply to love ourselves. Mantras, meditation, and other grounding activities help us move towards self-acceptance and self-love by raising our vibration. When we raise our vibration enough to accept ourselves and the wants and desires of our spirits, we have the opportunity to effect inner changes. And these inner changes facilitate us moving towards self-love, inner peace and happiness.