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Coming Home to Love: Self-Love



By Paula Collins


Self-love is an appreciation of one’s own value and worth, the ability to think and speak about one’s self with compassion and grace, and understanding we are worthy of compassion and grace; with no need to earn it.


But this concept can feel so uneasy or unacceptable to so many women. Why? Because the idea of self-love, putting our needs first, just feels wrong.


For many, we were conditioned to believe that everyone else’s needs and concerns come first and then if we have any time left, we get it. However, taking care of everyone else can be so overwhelming and exhausting that we have nothing left for ourselves. We tell ourselves that we will take a break tomorrow, next day, or the next week; but let’s face it, that will not happen.


So how do we change this?


If we are not willing to undo the conditioning we were raised with, that society expects of us, then nothing will change. Consequently, we repeat the same patterns over and over again. These are patterns: learned patterns.


Now that you are aware of this, you hold the power. The power to change, to undo the false beliefs and create a new future embodies and embraces self-love.


From personal experience, I understand the deprogramming that must take place so that a new mindset can begin to bloom, trauma that must be undone, the new boundaries (which can feel scary) that must be set. I understand it, because I have done the work.


For too many years I subscribed to the meaning of my life through people-pleasing, that I must sacrifice my own happiness to ensure everyone else’s, that my needs should always come last so as to not inconvenience everyone else.


I was left with feelings of neglect, regret, obligation, resentful, lonely, depressed, anxious, and deep sadness. Sure, I put on a happy face, laughed at the parties, was the perfect hostess, and a martyr.


Anyone else feeling this?


It starts with your decision that want to feel different, be different, react different, realizing that you deserve more. It starts with that small feeling you cannot quite describe, that is unfamiliar to you, but gives you pause. It is a decision to do it for you. A gift of self-discovery that says it’s “my time.”


Through the digging deep, the crying, the anger, and pain you start to discover the authentic you that has been hiding deep inside. The one that always knew you were worth more, capable of more. You just needed to uncover her. So piece by piece, layer by layer, you reacquaint with her. You embrace her, embody her, and see her value and worth. You understand you are worthy of so much: love, respect, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.


You begin to do things out of love, not obligation or guilt. You can do this now because love fills you and you give out of that overflowing with much left over for yourself.


It’s never too late!




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