5 Reasons Why Self-Love Can Be Elusive
Written by Martina Hughes
Love is often something that we seek.
However, did you know that there are more potent ways to feel and experience love?
Love has many forms and expressions.
Yet, true intimacy with others begins with self-love.
There were many obstacles at the beginning of my journey to self-love.
Through addressing these obstacles, I discovered more of me and opened to self-love.
Imagine my surprise when I experienced my capacity to cultivate and radiate love through my own body.
5 common obstacles to cultivating true self-love include:
1. Skimming the Surface
I started my self-love journey with affirmations, which worked for a short while.
I found that without doing the deeper work, they were more like bandaids instead of surgery.
They lasted a while but didn’t address the core concerns.
2. Misaligned Priorities
Some days I would just become neglectful of myself, and “forget” to do the things that supported me. And some days there just didn’t feel like there was time.
Often in a relationship, I would get lazy with self-love, and expect my partner to fill me up.
I was looking for him to bring the nourishment and aliveness that I was longing for. This put a lot of pressure on my relationships until I learnt how to cultivate the quality of nourishment that I was desiring.
This now means I can bring a deeper quality of love to my relationships.
At the time, I didn’t know that a true sense of love within myself was possible.
Our cultural narrative, movies, songs and books had me convinced that the answer is in “having the right relationship”. When I learnt that true love can only start from within, the disillusionment felt painful.
But it paved the way for a stronger foundation within me that allows for giving and receiving the kind of love that is beyond what I could have imagined at the time.
Whenever I was able to be consistent in taking care of myself and doing regular practices, the feedback was always the same - “you are absolutely shining with love”. When I didn't practice, the feedback disappeared.
Addressing the above five obstacles was essential to mastering the discipline to practice a small amount each day.
What I see now is that self-love and being loved by another (whether that is friends, family or an intimate partner) is a complementary dance.
And in truth, one requires the other, especially if you desire the valuable healing, expansion and nourishment that comes with this kind of love.
All of us have different life experiences, and our journeys will unfold in varying ways. The path of love is not a “one size fits all” experience.
But if love from another is lacking in your life, you cannot make that love appear.
You cannot control how another person loves you or shows up in your life.
Believe me, I tried that with great failures and pain to myself and others.
Cultivating true self-love involves practicing consistently, looking within, going deep, discarding old conditioning, and realigning your values.
With Love, Martina
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