In my time as a spiritual healer I have found that the root reason behind many of the ailments that are presented to me comes down to a lack of self-love. We live in a society where truly loving oneself is seen as being negative. We are taught that self-worth is obtained from how many friends we have on Facebook, from what type of car we drive and which type of phone we use.
Women are made to feel that they need to be overly feminine, to look perfect at all times. Men are taught that they cannot express emotion, that they need to be strong in all that they do and can never show weakness. These social preconceptions are causing humanity as a species to detach ourselves from our true identities and find balance and love within.
Nearly three years ago now I had a decision to make. I had been married for nearly thirteen years, I had an eleven year old son and my daughter was only three months old. For roughly the last three years of my marriage I had been coming to the slow realisation that I wasn’t happy in my relationship, I was beginning to realise that for most of my marriage I had been the person I needed to be in order to keep the peace, to keep the relationship going, to keep things “happy”. I had buried my own wants and desires, I didn’t explore my own life path, my soul purpose because under the façade of the happy husband I knew that my path was divergent to that of my wife’s and that if I wanted to follow my own path it would mean leaving my wife and children.
Finally the decision was thrust upon me… I find that the universe likes to give you these gentle nudges from time to time. I had been at a friend from works wedding, it was a great night they had a ceilidh (Scottish dancing and folk music. For those of you who haven’t been to one you need to try it out, it’s so much fun!). I came home at about one in the morning, sober I would like to add as I like the freedom of driving, and what ensued was nothing short of an interrogation. Who did I dance with? How many times did I dance with them? What did we talk about? Show me the photos etc. I can now see that these questions stemmed from my wife’s own insecurities but at the time it just felt like an attack of distrust which wasn’t justified. I’m a Taurus so I have a lot of patience but my temper finally broke and I exclaimed “why are you interrogating me?!”.
My wife said to me “I have never doubted our relationship” and there it was. I remember it so clearly! It was as if time itself slowed to a stop. I could actually see the crossroads in front of me. Down one path I replied/lied “I have never doubted our relationship either” and my life would continue on as it had. Down the other path I responded with the truth “I have doubted our relationship”, this path led to divorce, to me living away from my children, my son having to deal with the emotional torment, my daughter not knowing me as deeply as she should but at the end of this torment I could see the path to happiness laid out.
It was touch and go, I didn’t know which path to take but out of nowhere I felt a nudge, so gentle, full of compassion and love. It was slight but just enough to move me towards the path of truth and honesty, towards the difficult path, towards the path of following my soul purpose and happiness. It was the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make in my life to date. Later as I reflected and meditated upon this moment I could see my nanny (my Grandmother) standing behind my shoulder in spirit guiding me towards the right decision. As I’m writing this I have tears in my eyes for being so loved and knowing that she is helping me even now.
So one month later I had moved out, found a flat and was exploring my new life… my new “freedom”. Even though I had taken the steps towards my new life I was still wearing the mask from my old life without even knowing it. This masked obtained its worth from the approval of others, it was a pleaser and didn’t know how to find worth within itself. You may find it strange that I refer to this part of me as an “it” but for me this makes sense as it wasn’t truly a part of me. It was created by others and I allowed them to place it upon me. It was made from expectations of who I should be, how I should behave according to my gender and my sexuality, my age… the list is endless.
I thought I was happy but I wasn’t. I felt so strongly that I would be alone forever; this didn’t particularly bother me at the time as I had just come out of a long term relationship and the last thing I could imagine was being in another relationship however as I started to look into my spirituality, to explore my energy and experiment with shamanic journeying I soon realised that what I was actually feeling was a lack of self-love.
I truly believed that I would never have another partner because I felt I wasn’t worthy of being loved. I saw myself as a monster, I was everything that my ex-wife said I was. I was cold, emotionless, a robot, a monster, a bastard by birth and a bastard by deed… how could someone ever love a creature like me?
After a couple of sexual encounters I quickly realised that sex in and of itself is empty and didn’t contain what I needed to heal, it was flat and empty, devoid of depth but I had no idea where to go or how to heal. I didn’t know how to love myself as it is something that isn’t taught, if anything being seen as “loving yourself” is seen as a negative in today’s society. To say “I love me, I love who I am” is to be met with scorn and ridicule.
I carried on in this state of stagnation feeling lost ad directionless until I started chatting with someone online with the username cookiemonsterchops. There was no photo but the name caught my attention and I felt so drawn to her energy, we started chatting and before I knew it we were dating. It’s been two years now that myself and cookie have been together and I can say without a doubt that cookie was a catalyst to my spiritual growth and discovery of my own self-love.
I had been lost and didn’t know where to turn and the universe saw my plight and provided me with help. Cookie introduced me to shamanism, to tarot cards, to reading energy. With her aid I took the first steps to exploring the wounds of my soul that prevented me from healing.
It wasn’t easy, I had successes and failures. I discovered things about myself that were hard to look at. I looked at myself in myself as I had been in my marriage. I could see that I was a people pleaser, I was meek. This was a hard thing to admit to myself, my pride, my ego was in denial… “you are not meek, you are strong, you are infallible” it would say to me but I knew these were lies I was telling myself to try and make me feel better about myself and to pass the blame onto others. I would examine each self-discovery and see the truth of who I was. I would understand why I behaved as I did, why I acted as I did and with that understanding came forgiveness. I would forgive myself as forgiveness is the doorway to self-love and I would forgive the others who I had allowed to put me in that position. I realised that I was responsible for everything that has happened within my life and that ultimately only I can make it better, only I can heal myself, others can provide help and the tools to guide me but I’m the one that needs to utilise them to their most effectiveness. Cookie provided me with the tools to find my happiness and the love I hold for myself. I love her so much and the greatest gift she has given me is the realisation that a partner, a relationship should not be your happiness. The happiness should be within yourself, the love and self-worth should already be within you, your partner should complement this and encourage growth of this love but should not be the source. The same applies for all friendships and even interactions with colleagues or strangers. Approach each interaction with love and compassion because with a strong sense of self love you never need fear being yourself as with this self-love comes a freedom from fear of judgement and the need to people please.
With each wound I healed I could feel my energy harmonise with the natural world around me, I started changing both on the inside and outside. I could feel an inner confidence that I had never felt before. My interactions with people who in the past had been antagonising became balanced and constructive as I was able to see that their own behaviour was derived from insecurities that were once similar to mine. I began to look at my future with hope and a dash of excitement, I could see that my future would revolve around my spirituality and helping others through the challenges that I faced and overcame.
With this knowledge I had the strength to leave my corporate, restrictive job within the healthcare industry and pursue my soul purpose providing spiritual and emotional healing.
Even though I have spent two years healing my insecurities and emotional wounds I still have work to do. At times that old voice will reappear and whisper insecurities into my ear but I know better now than to pay heed to it. Now I recognise the voice as something to be healed.
My journey towards infinite self-love is going to take me a lifetime… maybe even a few life times (I hope not!) but it is a journey worth taking. Now I want you to ask yourself some of the questions I asked myself:
- Do I feel worthy of love?
- Am I a good person?
- How do I obtain my feeling of self-worth?
- What masks am I wearing? (we can be wearing dozens of masks)
- Am I truly happy?
- What is lacking within myself?
- What changes do I need, if any?
Answer each one with blunt honesty as this could potentially be your first step towards filling your life with self-love and resultant self-worth.
I’ll finish with a quote from Dr Steve Maraboli:
“Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness… love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past… love yourself enough to move on!”
With love and light to you all,