February is the month of love and we normally spend the first half of it hoping our sweet Valentines will shower us with proofs of their devotion.

Flowers, chocolates, diamonds…anything that says:

“Yes, you matter to me & I have spent a significant amount of money & time to prove you that!”

I always find the pressure around Valentine’s day rather sweet, for we really do go out of our way to tell our other half how special they are.

How incredible that we rarely do the same with ourselves.

Actually that makes sense, as no one ever taught us to love ourselves.

Those are just words we hear from time to time.

We read them in books and hear them in songs.

But we rarely “feel” them, and when we do there is a good chance we will run away in horror.

I remember many years back, someone asked me if I loved myself.

Their question, both so direct & unexpected, just made me recoil in silence.

“Do you love yourself?” – when they asked again I knew it was time to say goodbye.

That simple question caused an inner reaction which I was absolutely not prepared for.

It just did not feel right to me and it truly made me want to be sick.

“What kind of stupid question is that!?”, I kept on thinking all day.

Truth is, I found their question invasive.

And I am not one easily offended.

But that day, perhaps I was.

Those words just sounded like an insult to me: how can self love have anything to do with anything?

I did not have an answer and that made me feel both inadequate & pissed off.

Ten years on, I look back to that moment fondly.

The sheer terror I felt then is what I sense in many of the people I meet nowadays.

Loving ourselves rarely sits well in our heart.

We just don’t let it, for no one before us did that either.

It simply never was the way of the world.

Loving everybody else, sure, we can do that.

Even those who hurt us time & time again.

But self love requires something that we simply do not do: allow ourselves to be just as we are.

Right now, in this very moment.

Until we can stand in all our bareness, our scars, our faults and really be ok with it all, we will never be able to feel real love.

Not for ourselves or anyone else.

Because what we feel is simply a constant attempt to make us & them better.

There will always be the misleading hope that those scars can be covered up and those flaws fixed.

And that is no love, in anyone’s book!

When we offer ourselves kindness despite our shortcomings, we can then offer it to a world that constantly pisses us off.

When we have compassion for our human limits, we shall be more forgiving & trusting of those around us.

What we have been experiencing globally in the last year has invited many people to look for something bigger than themselves.

Spirituality, they usually call that.

I call it “hoping someone will fix this mess for me!”

A genuine call to open our heart more and connect to our greater wisdom will not embellish our struggles.

Mostly, it will not guarantee any sudden burst of inner love, because we are still not allowing ourselves.

“Hi, I am So & So, I am hopelessly flawed, cannot even remember what day it is most of the time, but I am all I have.”

And what you will have is a deep respect, appreciation, & passion for yourself and this incredible life.

Until you have that, you will just be faking it while still trying to fix it!

Be Your Own Love,

Antonia Lyons

 

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