by Danielle Pirera, Australia
I have been hearing about ‘self-love’ my whole life; about being ‘kind to myself’, being ‘who I am’, ‘loving’ or ‘respecting myself” or ‘liking me, for me’, but it never really meant anything to me – they were just words and no-one could explain or show me what those phrases about self-love really meant.
Then at age 24, I met Mary-Louise Myers for my very first esoteric healing session. I asked for a massage, and I did get a gentle back massage but I also got a whole lot more. At the end of the session, Mary-Louise shared with me how important it was to be gentle and ‘self-loving’ and to take care of my body. I was a little dumbfounded by what she meant by ‘self-loving’, so I asked her – I remember her saying to me “begin by making loving choices for yourself”. At this point something clicked and it was “oh! I get that”, realising that I had been gradually doing this (in small ways) for the past five or six years.
The very first ‘self-loving’ choices that I can remember making were when I was 18 years old. They may not seem that self-loving now, but in the lifestyle that I was leading then, they were massive, loving choices. Such choices included – to not mix beer, wine and spirits because if I did, I would do silly things, get sick and not remember anything in the morning; to catch a taxi home after a night out; to not walk alone at 3am and to always come home to my own bed.
Since my first session with Mary-Louise (about 7 years ago now), I have continued to make more loving choices for myself because I have realised this is a way that I can keep connected to myself and not only discover more of who I am, but also begin to actually let who I am, out.
More recently I realised that making loving choices is only the beginning part of ‘self-love’. I recognised this when I saw that some loving choices were harder than others to make, or to stick to. Even just simple things like – not overeating; dressing myself in a gentle and non-rushed way but also in a way that I am adoring of myself and of my body; allowing myself the time to enjoy and be still in a bubble bath and exercising daily. I pondered on “why can it be so difficult to make loving choices, but very, very easy to make abusive choices?” – to eat the wrong food, stay up late, try to do too much in one day or to not exercise for days, or even weeks at a time?
What I came to, for myself was that – to truly make a self-loving choice and be able to stick to it, I must truly love myself; recognise that I am in fact love; and as I am love, therefore, I deserve no less than love and hence, I deserve the loving choices that I am making.
So a self-loving choice cannot be made from my mind’s ideal of what the most loving choice would be, or what someone else would do in that moment. It must come from a point of love first by recognising I am myself this love and that I don’t need to make the loving choice in order to be love or to become love. Living in such a way, I am now beginning to recognise what choices are unloving by the way they feel in my body and by the fact that they are not in-line with the loveliness that I feel I am. This is what had been missing in my journey of self-love – the recognising that I am in fact love, so how could I accept less?
Is it possible that we find it easier to make self-abusive choices because we have lacked self-love and in-truth lacked the connection to who we truly are? That is, to know that we are love and therefore deserve no less than love. So instead, we grow up not liking who we are, or wishing we were different or more, because deep down we can feel we are more than what we are actually living.
My self-loving journey is still in development, and always will be, as I continue to learn to love myself in full. Because deep within I can feel I am a whole lot of love, to love.
In discovering how to live self-lovingly as the lovely woman that I can feel myself to be, I am a ‘woman in livingness’ – that is, living naturally as myself, as a true woman.