The Happy Girl's Guide to Radical Self Love
On a day that celebrates love, gifts and intimacy... I want to open up the conversation about Radical Self Love. What is it? How do we do it? And why does it matter?
What is Radical Self Love?
We all go through life with some version of unhealthy internal dialogue. We aren’t beautiful enough, cool enough, smart enough, worthy enough. We don’t deserve to be happy, supported or adored. We will never be better no matter how hard we try, so we forfeit rather than try again. That story we tell ourselves affects EVERYTHING. It’s this love-void in our own selves that manifests in extremely toxic ways - like keeping ourselves small, seeking fulfillment outside of ourselves, and projecting our pain onto others thereby keeping them small and perpetuating the toxicity. It’s a cycle. But it’s not the end all/be all. It’s just a program. And Radical Self Love starts with changing the channel to tune into a different story. What if just the thought of yourself and your own awesomeness made you smile? What if the voice in your head was that of your best friend rather than the judgy bitch who currently holds court 24/7? That would feel really freakin’ good, wouldn’t it??
How do you do it?
There are endless ways to practice Radical Self Love. It is the consistent practice of receiving your own love and knowing that you DESERVE it. I think of it like a life long celebration of my mind+body+spirit – whether you meditate twice a day and eat only organic, or simply speak to yourself in the voice of a caring + loving friend as you go about your day. It’s a moment to moment practice. The practice also includes a building up of boundaries to negativity and ‘that which doesn’t serve you’, while also not being afraid to ask for the things you need and want. Over time you learn to release other people’s expectations of you and experience an unlearning of society’s programming. It’s a paradigm shift and a rewiring of neural pathways. And it starts with forgiving yourself.
What is it like to practice and experience Radical Self Love?
Radical Self Love is kinda like crushing on yourself real hard. Seriously though, think about when you like someone and the simple thought of them makes you smile.. and you want to buy them presents, tell them how cute their scars are, and cuddle all the time. It feels like you are coming home to yourself instead of always trying to escape. It's accepting every piece of you - your body, your heart, your soul, your scars, your pain, your joys, your needs, your light, your quirks, your sexuality, your shadows - and loving them FIERCELY. It feels like finally feeling safe, loved and fulfilled with your own love, no longer seeking for validation in things and people outside of yourself.
I encourage you to try this exercise: Think about what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of your love. If this exercise is hard, imagine your ultimate crush telling you how much they love you, but in the way you always wanted to hear it. Close your eyes. What does that shower of positivity and adoration feel like in your body? Does it feel like a heart expanding? Does your whole body feel lighter? Does it make you take a deep inhale and exhale a smile? Yesss.. there you go! Hold onto that feeling.
How does this practice change our relationships?
Before we can fully commit to loving another person/partner/friend, we have to love ourselves first or the love is imbalanced. When you love yourself completely, you show others how you deserve to be loved, and give them an example of how they should in turn love their own selves. See how this love thing can be magic? It starts with one person and becomes a movement. It inspires compassion, camaraderie, respect between people, multiplying until you’ve opened the hearts of dozens around you. We become more understanding, accepting and loving. Everyone has a shadow in the same way that everyone has their own bright light. When we learn to love and accept this about ourselves, we learn to see the same in others. And that makes for a beautiful world.
Take this mantra with you today, and repeat it until you feel it!
"I am everything I need me to be."
Happy Love Day, babes.