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Knowing yourself first

Knowing yourself first

It feels good to be back into this space when I feel like I need to reflect on life. At this time in early 2020, I’m still slowly moving within my healing journey. The other day I read a funny post on social media where it said that we mistakenly believe that once we find our way back home, we expect things to sort of magically work out afterward as if we just became able to make the right decisions instantly and everything just happens smoothly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out this way. I have examples for myself: I was still avoiding my creativity for months after my own awakening, in the fear of what it has to tell me. I am at most confused as to whether I feel ready to embark on a new relationship, or whether I need more time alone, in the fear that I would forget myself in the life of someone else. And so it goes: the healing journey is one of a lifetime. I only just came to discover, explore and accept this now.

I had to dig a little deeper to understand how to deal with these new challenges. And they arrive, unexpectedly, one after another, as uncomfortable as they can be, making the day feel difficult, creating friction and making me feel like I need to stop and have a look at things from a distance. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a day going around in circles and not moving anywhere. On the other hand, nothing is more satisfying than feeling like you’ve learned something new, that you’ve moved forward in your life.

So when these challenges arrive, immediately old patterns come back up, but instead of closing myself like I used to, I let the sensations arise, I recognize them but I don’t act on them, even though I feel I have this option of closing, yet now I know it will not serve me. So I try to stop and breathe for a moment in order to make space, and to then lay out my feelings and emotions in an attempt to define what it is in the first place that makes me feel this way. Mostly it’s the fear of something: fear of rejection, fear of creating something ugly, fear of giving too much of myself, fear that the outcome might be so great it will be unbearable.

This is where new magic happens. When you stop to calmly and consciously acknowledge and accept your own feelings, you show yourself a tremendous mark of respect. This act of listening is an act of love in its purest form. Accepting who you are, as you are, now, and in each moment, is how you get to take care of yourself. How can you thrive in life if you constantly ignore what your body, your heart, your emotions are trying to tell you? That’s what I did for 35 years, I don’t even know how I survived.

So this is what I came here to say: I had always undervalued the importance of knowing myself, accepting myself, and loving myself. But the thing is, how can you love someone you don’t know? How can you build a life, find happiness and joy, and feel love, if you don’t know who you are?

You can’t love someone you don’t know. Plus you easily get scared of the unknown. So each time you are afraid, you close up, you ignore the emotions, treating them as a nuisance instead of precious messengers of your own heart. Then you move on to the next thing, never actually giving yourself what you needed in the first place. Why? Why not? What is it you think you don’t deserve for you to treat yourself this way?

I want to change this. I want to raise awareness of the two most precious jewels each of us needs to find within ourselves:
1. First, the one thing you will ever need in your life is your own love.
2. It goes with the first one, it is to accept yourself as you are and listen to your emotions, as they bring you clues, help, and guidance in your journey, alongside your intuition.

Be willing to express yourself about how you feel, to yourself.

When you get challenged, when you feel friction, anxiety, stress, emptiness, confusion, fear, take some time to be on your own, and gently tell yourself this: it is ok for me to speak up to myself about how I feel, as I am safe here.

Then ask yourself these questions and gently observe what comes up: Why does this frighten me? What does it have to tell me? Do I feel this way because this is something I don’t want? Am I telling myself the truth? I can trust myself. Is it because of something I actually deeply care about (even though I pretend I don’t)? Is it because I am actually scared of how beautiful and big the outcome could be? Is it because I don’t feel ready? Why am I not ready? What do I need the most right now?

If you ask yourself these questions, the answers given will be filled with warmth, the pure warmth of love, and self-recognition. Your own self will show gratefulness to you for willing to listen, for showing up, for caring, for trying. For loving yourself. And you can then rest for a moment, with these emotions until they slowly fade out and get replaced with the warmth of your own support.

I had not realized that I had been doing some of this work already, but now that the process has repeated itself over various topics, I became aware of it. I feel I know myself now way better from learning so much over the past 8 months than I ever did before. Because I show up with the willingness to learn, to understand, to do better, to move forward. And so those challenges become a normal part of the process of self-discovery, growth, and ultimately, love.

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