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Reflections on 2023.

2023 was another potent year of diving into the shadows and burning through deeper layers of the past. 

In the process I really explored what it means to soften into loving myself, and deepened into the practice of showing up for myself with compassion and grace, even when (or especially when) it felt messy, difficult and unnatural to do so. 

Why can self love be so hard?

From the moment of birth we are taught to look outside of ourselves for love, validation and to get our needs met. We are taught that there are parts of us that are loveable and acceptable, and there are parts of us that are annoying, irritating, wrong, bad or in whatever way unacceptable to others. 

This is the inevitable process of socialisation, but it usually comes at a cost. We abandon ourselves in the process of fitting in and pleasing those around us. We want to be “good” girls and boys so we internalise the voices of authority and start to censor, judge and criticise ourselves. This internal critic can be incredibly harsh. 

Uncovering the ways in which we abandon ourselves takes deep inner work, and a willingness to look directly at the parts of yourself that you find shameful, wrong, embarrassing or unworthy.

Self love requires letting go of judgement of these parts of yourself.

Self love requires exploring and embracing the unique being you are, and the unique journey your life has taken. 

Self love requires accepting who you are, even when it doesn’t fit in to what society tells you is the “ideal”. 

Self love is a radical act that frees you from needing external circumstances to be a particular way, because you know you’ll be alright whatever happens. You’ve got your own back. There is incredible power, safety and security in having this kind of internal strength and support.

Self love is a practice. It’s not something you accomplish and then it’s done. Self love is ultimately the way in which you relate to yourself. And what could be more important than the relationship you have with yourself? It is literally the foundation of every other relationship you have and infuses everything you do in this world. Self love might sound cringy to some, but it is the ultimate gift. 💫

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