At the core of any problem in our lives will be a lack of self-love. Whether it’s relationship difficulties, work problems, financial problems and even health problems.
No matter what the issue, when you really drill down to it, the core of it is not loving and accepting ourselves and knowing just how amazing we really are. And this really isn’t our fault. We are holding old conditioning and programming in our DNA that’s been handed down to us – old ways of thinking that are the remnants of our ancestors.
Now, as we transition into the Age of Aquarius, we are being required to think in a whole new way. The Age of Aquarius is about the individual – not the tribe – and it is about genuinely loving ourselves and putting ourselves first. When we master self-love and acceptance, we will easily master everything else – relationships, purpose, abundance and wellness.
So why do so many of us struggle to love and accept ourselves? It comes down to seven main reasons.
1. We haven’t been taught to love ourselves
We haven’t been taught how to love and accept ourselves, because our parents and other caregivers weren’t taught that either – how could they teach us what they weren’t taught themselves?
2. We haven’t been shown the importance of self-love
We haven’t been told or shown the importance of self-love- in fact we’ve been taught the opposite. Most of us were taught that to love and care for ourselves means we’re selfish, vain, narcissistic. Self-love has been positively discouraged.
3. Having a relationship with yourself is a new concept
The idea of having a relationship with yourself is a totally new thing – for most of us it’s come about only in the last 35 years – since Louise Hay wrote You Can Heal Your Life. Up until then, in the western world at least, it wasn’t even a concept. We could have a relationship with other people and a relationship with God, but a relationship with ourselves wasn’t a part of our language.
4. We’ve been taught to live ‘out there’
We’ve been taught to live life” out there”, rather than “in here”. The relationship with ourselves must come first. It is the inner journey, and not the outer journey, that is truly important here. The Age of Pisces has discouraged this. Most religions (not all – and certainly not the Buddhists) have discouraged the individual from looking within and connecting with their True Self. In the Christian religion we were told to go through the gatekeepers of the Church to access God. We weren’t encouraged to have a direct connection. While prayer was encouraged, meditation was not and still is not by the Catholic Church.
5. We’ve not been shown unconditional love
We were only loved conditionally as children, not unconditionally – and this goes for all of us. Think about it. We were praised and loved when we behaved well, when we shared, when we were polite, when we did well at school, when we were kind. But most of us were punished, ignored or criticised if we got angry, if we behaved in a way that was not socially acceptable, or if we failed. This happened to a greater or lesser degree for all of us and it’s not our parents fault – they were loving us the way they were loved. And this way of loving had a purpose – they were teaching us how to be acceptable, how to fit in.
6. We’ve learned to repress parts of ourselves
We learned to repress certain parts of ourselves because of the conditional love we received – Carl Jung called this “the shadow” – the parts of ourselves that were deemed unlovable – so we hid them. We learned to loathe these parts of ourselves, or we even went into denial that these parts of ourselves even existed – the angry self, the selfish self, the jealous self. Let’s face it, how many of us actually like these parts of ourselves? And if you’re saying “I don’t have a part of me like that,” I can assure you that you are in denial. We ALL have everything within us. And the more we can claim and love these so-called negative parts of ourselves, the more we can genuinely love ourselves, and others for that matter.
7. We have a strong inner critic
We become hard on ourselves – criticising, judging and rather than see our mistakes as a necessary learning experience, we blame ourselves and don’t forgive ourselves. As we wake up and become more aware, we may dislike ourselves even more, with thoughts such as “I shouldn’t feel like this,” “I should be above this”, “I should be better than this” – and so our judging self shames us further.We beat ourselves up for being who we are and where we are at.
This programming and conditioning is pretty deeply wired in us, and so trying to embrace self-love and self-acceptance just on a psychological level doesn’t work. We need to shift this energetically. As a counsellor and energy healer, I know that dealing with this just at the mental level doesn’t work. So as to heal ourselves, we’ve got to bring into the healing equation the energetic, the spiritual and even the physical levels.
Meditation, affirmations, practices such as EFT, prayer and energy healing such as Reiki are all an important part of the journey to becoming whole and loving ourselves.