Self Love – The Basis for All Healing

This is an image of block letters that spell out LOVE YOURSELF

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You can only unconditionally love and accept others by first unconditionally loving and accepting yourself.

 

 

“You can only unconditionally love and accept others by first unconditionally loving and accepting yourself.” When I first heard this statement many years ago, I was sitting in my first holistic health class in which we were discussing the fundamental principles underlying spiritual healing. At that time, the words sounded strange to my logical mind, yet somehow resonated at a heart level. I was in my early twenties when I took this course and recall perceiving that I found it easy to love a lot of people, no matter how I felt about myself. I prided myself in thinking that I had spent a good part of my life helping others.

 

 

I had not thought that much about loving MYSELF.

 

 

Yet, this statement really opened my mind to the awareness that, up until that point, I had not thought that much about loving MYSELF. I was raised in a strong Germanic culture, and my parents had taught me to always put other people’s needs ahead of my own. Helping others was the first priority. Secondary to that was having a strong work ethic. “Fun” was something you had if there was any time after all your work was finished! I don’t recall any key figures in my childhood, or for that matter anyone up until that moment in class, ever mentioning the importance of loving and enjoying myself. In fact, in those days I was taught that it was downright selfish to put my personal needs and desires ahead of the physical and emotional needs of other people.

 

 

 I was a “good” person when I put other people first.

 

 

My parents meant well – they were simply passing the emotional hand-me-down given to them from their parents. While their intentions were kind and honest, what I did not realize until that point, was that I had subconsciously incorporated these messages into a belief system that was based on the foundation that I was a “good” person when I put other people’s needs ahead of my own. I was a “selfish” person when I focused on addressing my own mental, emotional, and physical needs.

 

 

 I thought I could fix other people.

 

 

As I committed myself to understanding the necessity of self love at a deeper level, the memories began to surface. I started to recognize that as I grew into a young adult, this belief system had mushroomed into my creating many painful memories and melodramas with the common theme of me playing the savior role. I was living under the illusion that I could fix situations for other people. Not surprisingly, I constantly attracted people who wanted me to “save” them or complete them. What I did not realize was that I was seeing a reflection of what I most needed to recognize within myself: I also wanted to be completed through others by wanting them to validate me for my savior role. This awareness opened the door to a crucial turn around in my life.

 

 

Self love is at the root of all spiritual healing.

 

 

Most people whom I have met in life have not been taught self love; they have learned it through the life experiences they have created.  Self love, after all, is at the root of all issues of spiritual healing. Through my own life experiences, I came to fully understand that what I heard in class that day really was true. We have to first love ourselves in order to unconditionally love another.

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandy

 

The Precious Downtime of Winter

This is an image of two skiers in lounge chairs looking out at a sunny mountain range

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Winter is a Gift

 

 

This is the time of year when many of us go into the doldrums – it’s cold, the days are shorter and there is too much darkness.  We are longing to see our friend, the sun!  We are so accustomed to being over stimulated, that it may be difficult to identify this as being the perfect time to change our perspective and to see the winter as a gift. Awareness is the first step! Below are seven insights that may change your perspective to see the wintertime as a blessing:

 

1. Go Within

 

Just as we have a tendency to stay indoors in the winter, it is a perfect time to go within ourselves to clear our minds and nurture our souls. This can be done through meditation, by reading a good book, or watching a favorite movie. The important point is that we get quiet time to relax. Really what you are doing is planting seeds for the longer and brighter days of tomorrow.

 

2. Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down

 

This time of year offers us the space and time to slow down. We often find ourselves craving a comfortable couch and a roaring fire. It makes us feel warm, happy, and sleepy. Also, there is nothing like staying in bed a little longer, snuggled up under the covers, enjoying the warmth.

 

3. Appreciate the Silence 

 

The winter offers clarity in silence. It is truly amazing to step outside after it snows and notice how crisp the air is and how quiet your surroundings are. It is a blanket that softens everything around you and creates a pause that allows you to appreciate the true beauty of silence.

 

4. Spark Your Creativity 

 

The void of darkness sometimes gives us the room we need to allow our creative mind to come alive. It is like having a blank canvas with infinite possibilities. Have fun! This is the time to start an arts and crafts project, enroll in a woodworking class, or simply cook a meal that is out of the ordinary.

 

5. Savor the Simple Things

 

This quiet time offers you the opportunity to notice the small wonders of life such as hot soup, the texture of sheets, the warmth of a good fire, or how much fun it is to make a snow angel – even if you are an adult!

 

6. Catch up with Friends 

 

This is a wonderful time to get together for coffee, tea, or lunch. Precious time with those who truly know us brings joy to life.

 

7.  Embrace the Cold

 

Enjoy a brisk walk in the cold. It will heighten your awareness and make you feel alive. You will be amazed at how invigorated you feel.

 

Enjoy what is around you right now! You don’t need to “get away” literally. Most of us need to “get away” from our daily lives and our frenetic pace. You can do this anywhere, including right where you are.

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandy

 

 

The Aftereffects of Valentine’s Day

Why does everyone make such a big deal out of Valentine’s Day?

“Whew!” You tell yourself. I made it through another Valentine’s Day. What is this holiday all about anyway, and why does everyone have to make such a big deal out of it? With so many singles out there it is not like we need reminders of all those happy couples out there doing all that romantic stuff with each other! Or, you may be thinking that all this sappy stuff is silly now that you have been married for so long.

 

Why did I react the way I did this year?

It is kind of funny though, how you can catch yourself automatically criticizing something just to make yourself feel better. If you hate Valentine’s Day and what it stands for, does that mean you are either dissatisfied with your current relationship – feeling alone even though you are with someone? Or, have you had so much difficulty connecting with another person that you deride others for being able to make such connections? If you are having difficulty in your current relationship or if you have difficulty being in a relationship, you may want to ask yourself why you have such difficulty loving another.  Have you really taken the time to explore your relationship with YOU? My guess is that you have not.

 

This is an image of a broken heart with a bandaid

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How weird, right? You may be saying at this moment, “Yeah…let me stop everything and take time to  have a relationship with myself!” Well, actually, yes – please do!!! So many people have asked me, “Why am I alone?” or “Why do I feel so alone?” The answer can be found within – I promise you.

 

Have you really made yourself available to another person?

 

If you are single and would like to be with a significant other, ask what steps have you taken to get out there and meet people? Or, more importantly, ask yourself if you are in a good place to bring another into your life. Perhaps you have filled up your life so much with other stuff that there is no room for anything or anyone else.  It is amazing how energy works. Stuffing your life with so many things puts out there that you are too busy and that loving another isn’t a priority in your life. Providing the space to clear your head, your heart, and your life to be open to receive the love from another is an important first step.

 

Would you want to date you?

This is an image of a lonely, sad man

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Another important component is being healthy within before you look outside yourself for another to be in your life. In many cases we look for another to “complete” us when in all actuality you are already a beautiful, unique, complete being! Often we look to another to “fix” us.  The familiar words, “If only I had a man or woman in my life that…I would be happy,” somehow don’t end up working out quite like that. We might find a person who makes us happy initially, but that tends to fizzle out once we got our quick “fix.”

 

 Lonely but not alone?

This is an image of a sad and lonely persian cat

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For those couples out there who may have had a less than romantic Valentine’s Day, ask what is it about your relationship where you no longer are honoring each other? It is so easy to take another for granted, especially after being together for a long time. But, ask yourself how would you feel if that person were no longer there? PAY ATTENTION to your body’s physical response to this question! Do you feel anxious, scared, sad, relieved?

 

 Have you lost yourself and your own personal power to your partner?

If you feel anxious or scared, is it because this person “takes care of you” and you wouldn’t know how to live on your own? If so, perhaps you may want to evaluate whether you or your partner has come to resent this dynamic. Have you lost yourself and your own personal power to your partner? Often these underlying issues can cause the chemistry that brought you together to come to a screeching halt!  Talk with your partner; find out where their head is. It could be that a 5 minute conversation could turn into an hour of pure pleasure that you thought wasn’t possible before!

 

 When was the last time you said, “I love you?”

 

If you feel sad, could it be that you deeply love and care for your partner and the thought of them not being in your life almost makes you feel ill? If so, and you feel disconnected from this person, what have you done lately to let them know how deeply you care for them? Perhaps this separation you feel comes from them thinking you don’t feel the same about them. Again, a 5 minute conversation could turn an old relationship into something new again. Don’t wait for him or her to say, “I love you.” Taking initiative in a relationship is important – and you might just shock your partner – in a good way!

 

 Do you need to get out?

 

If you feel relieved, it could be time for you to move on from an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship. This also goes back to making space in your life to receive love. Staying in a relationship that no longer fulfills you isn’t good for the partner you are with either. If you can no longer give love to this person, it is in their best interest for you to move on as well. Once you are on your own and have healed from this relationship, really get to know yourself and get on stable footing before seeking another partner. Otherwise, you may tend to repeat the same dynamic you had before. Make sure to reflect on the lesson(s) you needed to learn from the relationship you had been in – this is crucial for your emotional growth so that you bring a healthy, stable, and empowered YOU into a new relationship!

 

 It’s all an illusion! 

 

Remember that, loneliness, after all, is just a perception. You are never truly alone. You are always surrounded by the unconditional love of the universe. Remembering this will fill your heart and allow you the space to reflect on the love you have for YOU and that special person in your life…or that special person who may be about to enter your life!

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra

No Time for Yourself? You May Be Living From The Outside-In

We live in a busy world filled with enormous demands for our time and energy.  Whether it be keeping up with a job, juggling the responsibilities of parenting, learning new technology, or simply plugging through our own to-do lists, most people are feeling there are just not enough hours in the day for the necessities. Time for pleasure? Fat chance. Simply stated: Most of us are on overload.

 

There is a simple explanation, yet understanding what it means takes a bit more reflection.  It means we mold our lives to fit within the context of expectations of our outer physical world.  We are reactive to circumstances instead of creating our own realities. In other words, we live from the Outside-In.

 

This is an image of a woman trapped inside a box.

© Gemenacom

 

Some of the signs that you may be playing this out in your own life:

 

  • You spend most of your energy reacting to the demands of others
  • You define yourself by what other people think of you and your possessions
  • You neglect your own needs in order to take care of everyone else’s
  • You make decisions that are not in accord with your own inner values because you worry how others will react
  • You ignore your need to create the time and space to regenerate yourself

Changing the basis of your life from the model of Living From the Outside-In to the healthier foundation of Living From the Inside-Out may be easier than you think.  First and foremost, it requires a major change of perception. When you change how you perceive life, everything around you changes because your external reality is a projection of your own thoughts.

 

How can you transition to living from the Inside-Out?  Begin to prioritize self-respect and spiritual values, rather than recognition, power, and approval from the physical world.  When you begin to live from the Inside-Out, you’ll start to notice:

 

  • You spend your energy to create what you want
  • You recognize yourself as a spiritual being living in a physical world
  • You honor your own needs, which then empowers you to help others
  • You make decisions that are based on your inner values, with less emphasis on how they are received
  • You make self-nurturing and regeneration a priority

Why wait? Follow these four suggestions to begin living from the Inside-Out:

 

1)  Get up about 15 minutes earlier than usual and start your day quietly in ways that make you feel internally motivated, such as meditation, inspirational readings, or just breathing deeply and staring into space.  This is your “me” time. If you’re not a morning person, this can be done before bed.

 

2)  Start listening to your Intuition – When you get those flashes of imagination and gut level feelings, don’t analyze them – just allow them.  These are message from your soul to your mind.

 

3)  Spend time in nature, engaging as many of your senses as possible. This can often help you to achieve inner silence by showing appreciation for the beauty around you.

 

4)  Write down a vision of the things you would love to see in your life.  Do not judge whether it is feasible or possible.  Just allow yourself to dream and imagine.

 

While doing these exercises will not change your life overnight, practicing any one or all of of them will begin to shift your focus. In moving from reaction to action, you may rise above a world filled with stress to finally create the inner space of peace that you truly deserve.

 

Love and Light,

 

Sandra