I know I’ve learned some of my greatest lessons through loves journey and will continue to grow. Ultimately it’s about how you feel about yourself, the love that you give is equal to the love you feel you deserve.
There are different kinds of love, romantic love, co-dependent love, soulmate love, unconditional love, self love… I remember the lyrics from an old 80’s song – “Don’t change your world for me.” Giving up things you’d normally do to make someone else happy is based on insecurity and co-dependency, this is not love and stunts growth. It gives your power away. Power without integrity is a dangerous weapon. Remember you are in control of your life.
Release yourself from the feeling of being powerless and claim your power. Do not give it away. To give it away is to give away your strength. Always remember that no person can take your power unless you allow it.
This is a beautiful quote from Swami Vivekananda “All power is within you, you can do anything and everything, believe in that. Do not believe that you are weak. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”
Do you truly love yourself? Let’s find out with this quiz from one of my favourite spiritual teachers, Summer Mc Stravick, creator of Flowdreaming…
This quick test will check your levels of self-love. Make a note of yes’s and no’s…
- I treat myself to little splurges now and then. Not splurges that get me in debt (like paying for something on my credit card that I don’t really need and won’t be able to pay off in a month) or harm my body (like having a cigarette), but I have splurges that make me feel good and and healthy (like a pedicure, some Flowdreaming, taking a walk in the middle of my workday, taking a nap, etc.)
- I take time for myself consistently at least once a week, either as my own quiet time or to enjoy something I love to do.
- I take care of my body and appearance with nice clothes, a good haircut, and anything that makes me feel more powerful and confident.
- I’m able to stop myself from unhealthy behaviors that will hurt me in the long run (overeating, smoking, drinking to excess, calling my bad ex, etc.)
- When I do take time for myself, or spend a little money on myself, I don’t feel any twinges of guilt or “I shouldn’t have.”
- I say no sometimes and I don’t feel guilty.
- I ask for help, whether that means asking my spouse to take a turn putting kids to bed, walk the dog or asking a friend for a ride to work. I don’t try to “tough it out and do everything myself” when I don’t need to.
- I recognize when I’m getting out of alignment in my home, work, or personal life BEFORE it gets out of control, so I’m not cranky, negative, or stressed very often.
- I don’t put up with disempowering situations. I speak up, whether to my boss, my spouse, my friends, or my family. I don’t “suffer things.” I fix them so they no longer harm me.
- I only keep friends and family close who make me feel good and empowered. I’ve been able to let go of (or reduce time with) people who drain me and leave me depressed or angry.
- I get plenty of sleep, and maybe some exercise too. I don’t sacrifice my sleep or exercise unless I have a clear need to do so, and I sure don’t sacrifice it in an ongoing way that makes me tired and foggy all the time.
- I feel happy with where I’m heading and the life I’ve created. I feel like I’ve done a good job, and I’m proud of myself. I’m also generally in a good mood!
If you scored 4 or under, you need to get some serious self-love going! You might be caught up in self-sacrificing situations that border on martyrdom. Or, you may be recovering from a childhood that taught you that you are always last, last, LAST!
If you scored 5 – 8, welcome to the club called “most people.” You’re in the zone where you occasionally do some nice things for yourself and remember to “refuel” yourself, but often you forget and slip into stressful situations that will ultimately deplete your energy.
If you scored 9 – 12, you’ve probably put in time exploring the concept of self-love already. You’ve moved past feelings of guilt over saying no to things so you can keep yourself balanced and in peak shape, both emotionally and mentally. You’ve developed an active schedule of ways to keep your stress low, and you are filled with love and appreciation not just for yourself, but it spills out of you to all the people in your life. Kudos to you!
Were your quiz results a surprise? Feel free to share your results in feedback below…
Self-love is about taking care of yourself so you can take care of others. Too often, we’re doing the reverse: taking care of others, and allowing our own reservoirs of energy to continuously drain without being refilled.
When looked at from the standpoint of Flow, you can think of self-love as an energy condition that has a precise “feeling state” to it. When you practice self-love, such as in a meditation or Flowdream that generates self-love, you place yourself in the middle of this feeling state. You don’t seek a reason for it. You don’t justify it. You just feel love springing up inside you, dancing in you, and wanting to stick around since you’re an ideal vessel for it to play in.
In the Flowdream, ‘Reawakening to Love and Intimacy’, we practice a kind of “emotional reconditioning” in which I place you into this feeling-state of love and intimacy in your Flow. (You can use the mp3 I created, or just do it on your own without an mp3.) The goal is to open you up where you may have been closed. It helps you remember the feeling of falling in love so that this energy begins to ripple through your life (no partner needed—the person you’ll be falling in love with is yourself!)
Those of you who Flowdream know that whatever feeling-state you create in your Flow will spill over into your future. By feeling intense surges of love in your Flow, you’re tasking the Universe to bring you more physical events and situations where you encounter love—at work or at home.
You’re asked to feel love in ALL its forms: as self-love, love to and from others, and unconditional love from Source or your Greater Self. This way, you have every level of love energy engaged and growing in your life.
Right on the heels of love is “intimacy,” which you should practice feeling in your Flow as well, since intimacy means opening yourself to others, and allowing them to open to you, so you can experience unconditional love with each other. Intimacy means being vulnerable, as well as gently caring for someone’s else’s vulnerability. Intimacy is the connective energy that moves between two people, and love is the condition that springs up from that connective energy.
So this month (February, as I write this), when everyone is going “wackadoodle” over romantic love (vis a vis St. Valentine’s Day), you might instead want to turn your attention to something far more core to your life: self-love. From it springs every other kind of love you’ll encounter.
Self-love is like a fertilizer that will grow a crazy huge garden of love in all it’s varieties! So get that watering can!
Need some extra help? A retreat or personal development workshop will help empower you to make better choices in life.
‘The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.’ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson