They say that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, and yet for many, this will be the hardest thing they’ll ever do.

Truthfully, this is often a foreign concept for most of us.

We may spend thousands of pounds on therapy hoping to be fixed but we will never want to really embrace ourselves.

I have recently worked with a client whose life is a constant attempt to better himself & his situation.

Nothing wrong with that at all.

If not for one small caveat: whilst talking to him, I never had the sense that he actually liked himself much.

He contacted me because his wife accuses him to be “a robot trying to be human.”

No matter their comfortable life & love for each other, she feels there is always something keeping them apart.

I asked him if he feels the same way as her.

To my surprise he admitted that he has trouble feeling relaxed and at ease most of the time.

Usually clients can only admit their struggle in later sessions; this was a man who was atypically very clear about his circumstances.

He knew his tendency to “go up inside his mind” stops him from being present and available.

He also spoke of his attempts to remember what may have caused him being so rigid and often uptight.

Here what struck me was: as my client spoke, I had the very strong sense that nothing could help him.

No matter how much time I’d spend with him, I’d only give him a brief break from his predicament.

Surely I could help him feel better for a while.

Perhaps even think that his wife would now appreciate his improvements.

Yet, one thing was very clear to me: nothing would ever work, for this man has no love for himself.

“You don’t love yourself much, do you?” I blatantly stated half way through our first session.

We spent the remaining time talking about his difficulty to really be OK with himself and how he never thought it to be a problem.

Here is the interesting thing: we go through life either trying to deserve someone else’s love or paying them to make us feel better.

It never occurs to us that all our accomplishments will add to nothing when compared to the absence of self love.

In fact, I dare to say that most of us would rather live a half-life rather than embracing ourselves for what we truly are.

Human beings often have a very messy time whilst trying to remember their divinity.

Truth be told, I was once guilty of that too.

There was a time when just the words “love yourself” would make me puke.

Seriously.

I used to think it was a whole bunch of “New Agey BS”, trying to turn us all into some wishy washy dreamers.

One day though, I saw how my whole life revolved around fighting against something.

Fighting against my hideous imperfections.

My fear to be too small in a world way too big.

I fought against my inability to know what the future holds.

My humanness.

I fought against the fear of dying, ’cause I never thought I truly lived.

And in that moment I saw how this struggle was tearing me apart, leaving me unable to truly enjoy what I am.

There never had been space for love, because I was constantly out there trying to find anything that would end my overwhelming struggle.

There was no sign of compassion for all my fellow humans, let alone myself.

Here I am today, inviting you to stop the fight.

No success, money, or power will ever fill the void you have inside.

No therapy, guru, or self help book can offer you the peace you are seeking.

Whatever it is that you are going against, know that it will never change who you truly are.

Being human takes extreme courage, and you my friend, are the bravest of them all.

You are here not to get it perfect or have it all figured out.

You are here to experience life in all her wondrous messiness.

Along the way not much will make sense but you will see that you are never alone.

I bow to your courage to be alive and your magnificent flaws.

And so it is,

Antonia Lyons

 

 

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