When you think of Self-Love, what do you think about? If I asked you, do you love yourself, what would you say?
You would most probably answer “Yes of course”, wouldn’t you? And so would most people. I too was one of those people, who always looked impeccable, went to the hairdresser every week, had my nails done to perfection, wore the best clothes, ate at the fanciest restaurants, and even held a fab management role job, at one of the largest real estate companies in the entire world. If you asked me, Nara, do you love yourself? I would tell you, “Of course I Love Myself.”
And to top it off, I would add “Can´t you see by looking at me and my life?”
I, like everyone else, believed that Self-Love is about liking yourself, taking good care of yourself, looking good, and having a normal healthy relationship with yourself, and being happy. I mean, what else could there be to the equation right?
When my life one day, was put to test, I learned a life changing concept: that Self-Love has nothing to do with looking good, wearing sexy lipstick and heels, having a fab job, sipping champagne and canapes, wearing Gucci and Louboutins or having a hot sexy body. Self-Love is also not even about taking yourself to the Spa.
All of that, is called Self-Care, and sits on the very outer layer.
So if taking care of yourself, is not Self-Love, then what is Self-Love?
Before I tell you what it is, I want to share with you a snippet of my story and how I came to this conclusion:
In all the Perfection of my life, one bright December day, a few days before Christmas, the prince charming that happened to be my life partner for two years, drank himself to an emotional state that seeked expression, in a violent and angry way, by trying to kill me. This day, I almost lost my life. Til this day, I have not digested why anyone would hurt someone they say they love, but, domestic violence, is a crime, and I had thankfully, the bare minimum amount of Self-Love in me, that led me to pack ALL my things, book a flight, and go to my 2nd home in Portugal. I left that same day.
This is because on one level, Self-Love means that you VALUE yourself and your life above anything else. It means that between you and your husband or boyfriend, you choose YOU first. And you will not tolerate nor stay in any situation that is harmful to you, that causes you pain or that threatens your own life.
LEVEL I SELF-LOVE
But that is Level I Self-Love. The bare bare basics. To love yourself enough, to recognize that you are worthy, your life is worthy and anyone that devalues you or your life has no space or room in your life. They have to go not tomorrow, but today. Because life is too precious, and if someone does not value and honour you or your life, you must have the bare minimum level of Self-Love to honour yourself and honour your life.
You cannot wait for someone to tell you how worthy you are, because if they themselves do not love themselves, they will not be able to love nor respect another human being.
The bible said it right “Love your neighbour as ye Love Thyself”
So if you can barely love yourself, how will you love your neighbour? You can only give love to others in a way that you give love to yourself.
Thus the most precious thing you possess is your ability to see yourself clearly, because people always experience life through a filter – their filter.
When they can´t see you clearly, you better have the ability to see yourself clearly. Otherwise you will fall on the trap of unworthiness, believing the projections people tell you about you. They will never see you for who you really are, they will see you through the lense of who they are.
This means that you cannot trust other people’s opinion of you nor the value they place on your life. You must carry a strong sense of value with you, at all times, wherever you go.
You must value yourself more than anyone else values you.
On this same trend, we have cases where, you yourself end up causing harm to yourself, and taking actions that disempower you and dishonour you. This means that, on this level, if you do that to yourself, you send a signal out, that says “disrespect me” because I don´t respect myself. This is where someone crosses the line and you fail to draw the necessary boundaries, because you don´t even have them within yourself.
As a woman in this world, people will always try their luck, and it’s not even personal. And you must know and remember that. But to survive and thrive in such a harsh world, you must value, love and honour yourself. This means that if on top of it, you are the one who is causing harm to yourself, you need to, with utmost urgency raise your Self-Love levels to the roof. You must take it seriously as if your life depended on it, because it really does.
This is bare basics Self-Love and it´s what most people talk about, teach about etc. But to arrive at a pure anchoring of Self-Love, you don´t start on this outer layer. You have to go deeper, way deeper.
LEVEL II SELF-LOVE
I got introduced to Level II Self-Love when I was recovering from the trauma instilled on me, from that domestic violence incident. I of all people, who considered myself a serious spiritual practitioner, since age 11, and had a healthy sense of worth and value for myself, would never dream that a day would come where I had touched depression so deep, that I could barely get out of bed.
I also didn´t know that your will power is not enough with trauma, because it re-wires your brain! It means that whatever was your level of “normality” you now have to work extra hard just to even feel safe to leave the house, nevermind going back to a normal healthy routine. It’s a like a top of the range Mac, than one day gets a computer virus. Everyday, I was fighting for my life. So you go from the top of the mountain, to the bottom of the mountain, and worse, it is so dark that you don´t even know what day of the week it is, or what to do with yourself, because you are used to having control over your mind and your life. What do you mean my circuits are scrambled and some switched off? I had read about these things, but I never thought nor dreamed, it would happen to me. And even if it did, I thought I was strong enough to handle anything. But nothing had quite prepared me for this, so I had to upgrade my Warrior Toolbox.
So this is where everything you have learned about Self-Love, becomes a total joke.
Because, when you are in that state, if your girlfriend says “Babes, just go for a massage, love yourself, go shopping, and oh why don’t you post a selfie on instagram?!”, you will be like “babes, I can barely get out of bed, what are you talking about?!”. Yet this is the Self-Love that our culture believes in.
I know this sounds dramatic, but this is how shallow we have become – until everything we know about life and ourselves is put to test.
During this time, because I couldn´t be strong enough for myself, I surrendered to God. And everything I now know about True Self-Love, came from Source and my beautiful Spirit Guides, who gently guided me to new practices of Self-Love, that helped me heal and return back to life. I not only used and tested these, over a period of 1 year, but I recorded them and share them with people on my Awaken the Goddess Within Academy.
So now that you know what Self-Love is NOT, and how when tested against real life situations, it does not work, then what is True Self-Love?
True Self Love is having the ability to see yourself through the Eyes of God. Because seeing yourself through your own eyes or the eyes of others can be deceiving. And in days when you can barely be strong enough for yourself, you need a Higher Level of Love – you have activate the Power of the Divine Within you.
This is the only power that can heal us and transform us from inside out. Because most of time none of us can see ourselves clearly. We cover our pain with make-up and heels. We look for the next relationship, as a badge of honour that says “you are worthy” or decide to have a baby with any Joe Bloggs, just fill the void and the disconnection that we have with the deeper Source of Love, that lives Within us.
We forget who we are, where we come from, and what level of Precision and Perfection we were made, and we go out and chase that Love and Perfection in all the wrong places. Because we can’t see ourselves properly, even when we believe we can.
We develop food disorders or struggle with our body image, or sabotage ourselves to a point where we no longer even like ourselves, despite that fact, that we were the ones all along taking ourselves there.
If we can just remember our Divine Self, everything else falls away.
It´s a Light so bright, that darkness has no more place to live. The Light is Bright.
It is the death of all Illusion.
And the Awakening of Truth.
That is True Self Love. Remembering your Divine Essence, Reconnecting with the Divine Within you, and living from that place of True Authentic Power.
Originally published at www.naralee.co