Updated: Jun 12
Yes, but do you love yourself?
Truly, fully, deeply?
What is this "self", and what is real "love"?
Let’s dive a little deeper.
There, I said it. And dammit what I wouldn't do to see this lived in some greater capacity in our lifetime. You see, there is a silent, hidden and highly capitalized epidemic that no one seems to want to address, but we all know it’s there.
It’s self hatred.
It's normalized codependency.
It's habitlualized self abandonment.
But that can be too harsh for some, so we end up calling it addiction, auto-immune diseases(the body attacking itself aka self hatred), eating disorders, a $70 billion dollar diet and weight loss industry, the fact that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death (from the American suicide prevention foundation), codependent relationships with policy, power, and persons, and that most of the people you saw today had thought at least once that they were not good, beautiful, rich, smart, or worthy enough for the connection to universal love - which is what every human being longs for the most.
In the longing and looking for the feeling of self love, we end up affirming the illusion that is it something outside of us.
It is in fact not something that can be found, because it is something we already are.
Why is true self love not at the core of all healing modalities and businesses and practices of activism?
There is a well oiled and ancient industry is booming more than ever in the construct of consumptive capitalist conditioning. Within most media and marketing tactics and subversive communication tools, there is a root message that you are not good enough as is, in some way, and need "fill in the blank" to be good enough to be worthy of the experience of love, belonging.
You must be fixed, you need to be better and smarter, your wounds and feelings are not welcome here, if only you were different it would all be easier - how often do we feel this?!
The Diet and weight loss is a $70 something billion dollar industry according to CNBC, and that does not include the makeup, anti-aging, or clothing industries. This ethos of our modern society is a hard habit to break because it’s working so “beautifully”. The heartbreaking history of people being made to feel like they are perpetually not-good-enough is almost un-trackable, yet clearly outlined in most major religions, most political and power models in modern human history, and even in the tale of Adam and Eve - the original sin is now to be repented for until the end of mankind itself. I do believe it has become an adaptive and inherited genetic pattern to continue the narratives of a lack of self worth and powerlessness based on the stories of what our world has been for hundreds of years.
But the time has come to break this cycle once and for all, and we have the right tools now more than ever thanks to the evolution and weaving of quantum sciences that can track energetic frequencies, the reclamation of earth based indigenous wisdoms, neuroplasticity and nervous system regulation, and what we are learning about inherited ancestral and genetic trauma that lives in our biology and biography. (Carolyn Myss talks greatly on how the biography of the self becomes the biology, therefore belief influence the physiology of the organism. What does the belief that I am unlovable as I am create physically?!)
Dr. Gabor Mate articulates clearly that the onset of adult self abandoning, self hating, and self sabotaging patterns (with many various modes of manifestation) all stem from unresolved and unprocessed childhood trauma. That the mother herself was traumatized, and then the wound gets passed down again, and it got passed on to her from a line of ancestors who were then unable to break the violent cycle. This understanding evokes deep empathy into the understanding of what is actually going on in our day and age, yet where is the answer to the million dollar question of “How do we heal this wound? How do we learn to love our self so we can love the world, awakening the unshakable truth that we are one?!”
This is where somatic therapy, self expression, psycho-therapeutic counsel, movement, dance, and community get their turn to influence and hold space for this mental and cognitive information and transfigure it within the genius of the body’s own experience. Trauma needs to be metabolized. There is a skill most of us have that helps us let go in the mental and communication energy centers, but then our lower centers (body, root and solar plexus, gut, fear and power centers) are not in harmonic congruence with this new found idea of self love because it has not been given proper tools to become fully embodied. You can see this in of all the women who attend regular yoga classes and meditate and go to weekend workshops and do the “work”, and yet are still afraid of gaining 5 pounds or speaking their truth or can’t leave the house without makeup on. There is nothing wrong with these patterns, yet I hope I am able to draw a simple picture here of where there is a much deeper healing that is required before we can start to think about changing the world.
The globe is heating up, glaciers are melting, ancient tree beings are being cut down, the amazon is on fire, and if you are still concerned with how your ass looks in a pair of yoga pants then yes, there is a moral problem here that might need illuminating.
Maybe it is helpful to define what self love is? Most have not gifted themself the opportunity to have a clear agreement within their own "self" of that this is, means, and feels like outside of a collective jargon used to sell self care products or courses that are also not defining the deeper essence that so many of us are starving for, literally.
Everyone has a different definition of The Self. Oxford Languages defines self as "a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action." I feel a deep resonance to this, and an even deeper to what constitutes a person's essential being. My extension here would be that what is essential is the unified paradoxical wholeness that is beyond and before the conditionings of the mind and epigenetic factors. One's true nature that is light and dark and the infinite spectrum that unifies them as actually not separate.
What about love? My definition is that love is the all pervading energy of everything. But I'm sure most of you may have a bit more grounded and contextual experience of it, as a feeling you get when you are "in love", or as the dictionary speaks " a great interest and pleasure in something, an intense feeling of deep affection." If I am being honest here, this definition that is collectively agreed to and affirmed is nothing short of a full insult and grief at the immensity and powerful essence of life that LOVE actually is. And yet, none of these definitions are real, provable by science, or a fact, because it's all collective agreement. The good part about collective agreement (also herd mentality and disempowered free thinking) is that it can be challenged, changed, and these "terms" can be, and should be, renegotiated to include the vast ineffable beauty of the cosmos to the center of the earth as the pure emmanation of love as the pervading energy of life as we know it. But that's just me, and at least I can honor that each being is fully sovereign to make their own reality based on their own beliefs here, and that's part of this whole collective healing too!
Long story long: what does it mean to you?! Where does that meaning come from? Does that meaning want a greater vision and experience? Does your own precious heart want to add any of its own influence here to the collective agreement?
We all have a voice and right to be an influencing seat at the co-created consciousness table, I think. And when we root deeply into the truth of what self and love are, we can then relate to ourself and each other from this place that empowers and permissions each of us to know this deep embodiment is not a cause and effect from an outside source, rather it's our inner source of all cause and effect.
This is all a problem of being elementally and fundamentally disconnected from our bodies as Divine, conscious, and intelligent fruits of life force itself. Therefore if we are not aware of what our own bodies are, we probably are not in tune with the majesty and infinite abundant mother of all creation, Earth, as anything that we need to care about either. And this is where we currently stand.
So, we need to stop standing. To listen to the traumas that lead to the dissociative disorders of mind and body we must descend into the heart. This means grief work. This means awakening people into the TRUTH that they have potentially lived their lives so painfully unaware of the perfection they have always been. This sacred grief is the doorway to unparalleled compassion. Then with an authentic and genuine fortitude of compassion can the embodiment practice fully begin. This step is the most often overlooked and yet the most important. To bypass this grieving of the blindness and confusion of our ways will only lead an individual to feel half-hearted in all of their healing attempts. The capacity to feel unbound love is the same capacity to feel deep grief and sorrow. They are connected on a sphere of awareness, and with the proper support of community, these terrains can finally be traversed with wholeness and the honor they deserve.
After the holy realms of grief have been integrated, the energy must be moved and released from the body, since this is where the physical energy gets stuck the most. Do you ever feel like you’ve processed a dense emotion in your mind, and then you get triggered again and remember it’s not over? Where does that trigger live and get felt first? In the body. In the nervous system. So then transmuting trauma and coming home the baseline truth of self love is a physical experience. This is why somatic therapeutic techniques are non-negotiable in the healing of love on earth. It’s embodied. It’s honest. The body is a truth telling machine that says “yeah so I actually haven’t had time to process that as fast as the mind has and I’m still not ok with it”. What happens often when we hear this cry for help and attunement from our bodies is that we will find as many coping mechanisms as possible to turn that voice off, instead of soothing the soul that it speaks from.
The soul needs freedom. Utter liberation of movement and expression to remember it’s capacity to articulate and experience the fullness of all of life. There is nothing like movement, unbound by the mind and powered by one's own energy to bring the mind back into the body. And as we are currently living in a mostly masculine and mental world, this is indeed a radical act. Mark Walsh, Director and Cofounder of the Embodiment Facilitator Certification Program, talks about embodiment as the “how”, and this seems like the missing link. How things move, how you think, how we are in relationships and so on. I find this incredibly helpful when speaking about yoga, breathwork, weight lifting, or other “exercise” modalities. Because if people are coming to these embodiment practices from a place of self hatred, that’s a clear HOW that will further solidify a clear state of being. But if they are coming to movement from the prayer of expansion and healing physically embodied trauma, there will be a very different outcome. The intention of the seed becomes the whole tree. What people tend to dislike about themself the most is, in fact, the body.
And it’s this simple. To communicate the truth of what is actually going on, bring people back into their hearts to feel the fullness of truth, and then move this highly normalized frequency of self loathing through the genius metabolizing energy mechanisms of the body. And then as we all know, the most important phase of this self love empowerment journey is indeed the integration. I believe integration is synonymous with community. And in our modern systems the true meaning and reality of community has all but dissolved, and the effects of that are seen in the illness of our uninitiated society.
So in contemplation of the HOW, I do see HOPE. Hope that we can build this community again from the fertile compost of what has been lost, and emerge more loving and whole than we could have ever imagined, guided by the inner knowing that this is the way of our true nature.
This work can be brutally honest, highly triggering, and totally life changing if we let it. Yet we need to rise up as a community. That is to say that part of the grief to feel is the reality that most of us have been left alone to heal and find our way in the dark waters of confusion for too long, and need a lot of help to find our way back into the light. But the good news is that we are hardwired and designed for connection. It’s what we humans do. And not just to each other, but to the entire spectrum of life on earth. This is the integration. To connect! To attune our nervous systems to healthy and loving individuals, and also to the earth, the trees, the animals and rivers and clouds. So much integration has been allocated to the mental domains of psychological processing, instead of a return to the simplicity of non-verbal communication that is always teaching and guiding us deeper into what we really are, unity consciousness. As the mind can start to relax and let the body integrate new energy into it’s lived experience, we will start to see the entire world change.
We have the tools of breath, of community, of emotional expression, of dance, of touch, of ancient wisdoms readily available, and of the simplicity of nature. We have just needed strong voices to rise up and speak out, proclaiming that it is actually not OK to be living these half lives of fear and judgement. Because that is the problem underneath the problem. We are in the time of addressing and unearthing the root causes of systemic/ cultural self hatred and self avoidant addictions to heal the famine of full unity and connection with ourself and our earth mother.
Let us dance and move and sing these conversations wherever women gather and let this devotion to truth ripple out as we dismantle the skin deep addiction models to beauty, and retool our definitions of value all together to include pleasure and innate perfection and a deeper seeing of what we came here to be on this earth.
When we can fully embody self love, we return home to the belonging that is also a remembrance that love is all we have ever been.