Cultivate the inner strength to stay true to yourself
A product of the high achieving, you can do anything culture, educational and corporate system, I was trained to believe that if I had self esteem — self confidence, belief in myself — that I would be successful, happy and prepared to meet and thrive through any challenge that came my way.
Good intention. But not true. In fact, this sole focus on self-esteem almost cost me — and many women I know — my happiness, a true partnership, my health and living my true calling.
Self-esteem while essential is only 1/10th of the inner foundation needed to stay true to ourselves, trust ourselves, and take care ourselves, no matter what.
See what rings true about this for you…
Even if you have strong self-esteem, without strong
· self-care… you will exhaust yourself, burn yourself out and give more to others or your work and as a result diminish your power, presence and health.
· self-compassion… you’ll achieve lots but never feel like you are doing enough or well enough, you’ll focus on what you haven’t yet done vs. receiving the fruits of all your labor and love.
· self-respect… you’ll be a rock star at work and a disaster in your relationships, and instead of being a source of support, your relationships, or lack of them will drain your power and life force
· self-trust… you’ll settle and play it safe, be swayed by other people’s opinions, make self sabotaging choices, and feel disconnected from your core self because you lack a strong connection to your inner wisdom as your guidance system.
What we really need — beyond just self-esteem — is a strong foundation of self-love that also includes self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-empowerment, self pleasure as well as the four kinds of self love listed above — which together complete what I call the “10 branches of self-love.”
We need all 10 branches to be strong so that we have the strength to meet the challenges ahead, make the choices that keep us true to ourselves, including making sure we are receiving what we need.
Where is your self-love foundation weak? Where is your inner foundation strong (not as in macho or a machine, but in real, feminine, strength)?
In today’s world, we need to be strong on the INSIDE to be able to weather the intensity and chaos happening on the outside without getting swept into the swirl.
Inner strength is cultivated through practicing self-love.
The problem is that most of us don’t really know what self-love is.
Loving yourself can feel so vast, esoteric and like a good idea but maybe something we should keep under wraps.
Self-love can feel selfish and insignificant in a time when the world faces so much turmoil and uncertainty and so many serious issues are at hand.
But I would offer that self-love is one of the medicines and practices we need more than ever in times like these.
And that we need it not in the ‘love yourself’ rah-rah generic platitude kind of way… but in real, practical ways that allow us to assess where our foundation and connection to self is weak so we can shore up our strength from the inside out.
I see so many girls who have been given the self esteem message — yet they still beat themselves up for not being perfect or good enough, they still give their bodies to men in ways that make them not feel good about themselves, and they still doubt that inner wisdom voice within and make choices that limit their power, hold back their voice and sometimes even alter their lives forever.
I see so many women who are successful in their work life but feel like they aren’t living their true purpose or doing meaningful work, women who sacrifice their health over and over again to take care of their families and careers, women who are silenced, stuck and settling because inner fear instead of inner love is running their internal operating system.
Self-love isn’t something I knew I needed until I realized I didn’t even know what it is … and once I found it, I realized that part of the power we are missing as women and girls stems from not knowing how to assess, activate and practice self-love.
After 15 years of studying and experimenting with the question “How do you love yourself, really? And how do you know if are strong or weak in self love?What I learned is…
Self Love is a path, a practice and a choice.
Do I love myself is not a yes/no question.
There are real, practical and powerful ways to assess where your self-love foundation is strong and weak, and then practices and tools to put to use in your day to day life to stay strong from the inside out.
Every year we choose a “Self Love Mantra” + people take Self Love Promises to support them to stay true to themselves, trust themselves, and take care of themselves.
This year our mantra is STAY STRONG… not like a machine, martyr or macho bully, but in the true sense of feminine power.
Here’s the mantra, I share it with you now with the invitation to write it out, put it in your journal, make a piece of art with it, and then practice it this year. In the moments you feel lost, lonely, depleted, defeated, frustrated, confused, come back to it, come back to yourself and let Wisdom guide you forward on your Path supported by the practice of self-love.
To find out where you are weak and strong in self-love — you can take the free self-love quiz at www.SelfLoveQuiz.com
To receive a recording of the STAY STRONG Self Love Day feminine super power session with Christine Arylo go to www.SelfLoveDay.com
Originally published at medium.com