One of the common misconceptions I encounter about the self love journey is that it will be smooth sailing. Like all of a sudden, the stars will align, and poof, you’ll love yourself forever and ever amen.
In reality, though, the self love journey just doesn’t go that way. It is full of ups, downs, and everything in between. That is just how transformation works.
So, today, I want to share with you what to do when you encounter those bumps in the road.
But first, I want to tell you a little story:
A Bump in the Road on My Self Love Journey
I’ve always had the drive to “make something” and have used that drive to create many things in my life.
In second grade, I wrote a story about a turtle that was published in the local paper. I started making and selling jewelry when I was around fourteen. Now, my creative passion is mostly expressed in writing for my blog and courses, but also in creating delicious and nourishing food in my kitchen, decorating my home, and playing in my art journal.
I really don’t remember a time when the desire to create wasn’t there. It’s just always been a part of me in a variety of ways.
Out of all those creative things, though, writing is the thing that really feeds me. It’s a natural talent that connects we directly with the Divine and is a daily source of self-expression.
So, a while back, when the creation of Self-Love School wasn’t going how I’d thought it would, it surprised me.
I expected it to be easy. I thought the words would just flow. I was sure it would all come together in the blink of an eye.
But, on one particular lesson, it just wasn’t. The music was jamming, the coffee shop was abuzz, and the tea was flowing.
All the outside conditions seemed perfect but my desire to hop on Facebook and email was so strong that I swear the people around me could feel it.
I’d hit a spot where the words weren’t coming together the way I wanted them to and BOOM, I wanted to bail.
I’d get frustrated. It was uncomfortable.
I’d run. Off to Facebook and email I’d go.
I don’t have to deal with that discomfort, now.
And then, I’d beat myself up for not staying focused and the cycle repeated until I packed up my laptop and called it a day.
Later that night, it struck me like a lightning bolt:
My writing experience was a direct mirror for what happens when we hit a bump in the road on our self love journey.
We get it into our minds that it is supposed to look a certain way. We think that once we “get it,” that it will all flow with the ease and grace of a gentle stream in the woods. We’ll be taking bubble baths, chanting affirmations from mountaintops, and all will be right with the world.
But, what I know for sure is that, like the creative process, self-love isn’t like that in real life.
It is bumpy. And messy. And a lot of the times, especially when we encounter our shadow selves, things get downright uncomfortable.
No matter what the Facebook updates and magical blog posts say, we all experience discomfort. We all question our “good-enoughness.” We all have doubts and fears.
We all have moments where we want to run and hide. We all have moments where we DO run and hide.
And one of the essential things to remember when it comes to self-love is that this is 100% part of the process.
You don’t have to be – and never will be – perfect at it.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. ~ Theodore Roosevelt by way of Brene Brown
Each time we take an action that doesn’t look like love, or say mean things to ourselves, or just plain give up doesn’t mean that we are hopeless. It doesn’t mean that we will never “get it.” It doesn’t mean that you are failing or unworthy of your own love.
Having an imperfect self love journey means that you are on the right path.
It means that you are facing yourself. It means you are in the ring. It means that you are doing it.
And like creativity, the joy of self-love lies in the process. In the noticing. In the getting to know yourself a little more each day. In the discovery of new nooks, crannies, and the new places within yourself to expand into.
The only thing you need to do when you hit these inevitable bumps on your self love journey is to keep going.
You won’t be perfect at it. I’m not.
But, girlfriend, you are doing it. You are in the ring.
And you’ve SO got this.