Radical Self Love: What Does It Really Mean?
When you hear the term self love, what comes to mind?
There seems to be this image of what “good” self care and self love look like. Some thoughts that come to mind are around emoting joy, clarity, and lusciousness with and for yourself. Engaging in actions such as brewing a beautiful bath, making a delectable meal, planning and following through with a beautiful date for oneself. It could look like silence, peace, quiet, stillness. It could look like blasting your favourite tunes and dancing with intention.
Generally, it seems to give notion to the realm of nurture and is seemingly birthed out of the most beautiful and elegant fullness and wellness. It seems to be like the epitome of success, health and wealth and it sounds conducive with a strong, grounded and caring relationship with the self. These sound like the kinds of actions of love that one would advocate to anyone at any time. With invitations you might offer to the people you love and care for most. Perhaps even with a cherry on top, offering service with, “how can I support you into that self care and self loving space?”.
Well, what about the times when those ideals seem so far away. How do we love and care for ourselves when we feel like we are undeserving of love and care? How do we not get trapped in states of emotion often seen as negative, unsavory and unhelpful such as judgement, self criticism, hopelessness, or despair? What about the times when it feels hard to do much of anything, let alone care for the self in a positive nurturing way? How do we make space to live, love and care authentically in any given moment, no matter the current mood or circumstance? How can we encourage acts of deep soothing love, truly, in any state one experiences?
In this moment, let’s challenge this with a mere shift in perspective. Maybe self love and care means crying your eyes out? Maybe self care looks like unearthing some sticky stuff that’s been trapped within you for some time? Maybe self love and care means feeling the feelings that arise, no matter what they are? Maybe self care means giving permission to feel the shadow, hear the harsh critic and sit within this seemingly mucky mood and attitude? Would we recommend living inside that world forever? We would not. Do we feel like practising small acts of love and care to the self and others on a regular basis is a more sustainable way of living? We do!
And there is no judgement here.
What does feel like a solid and grounded perspective here, is that no one can tell you what your own self love and self care look like. We can however have access to the same well, divinity, source, resource pool of shared information, tools and community to help make that space for ourselves and each other. That’s why when folks come into Alternative Thinking, we can offer a variety of tools for self love and care, as we do offer those luscious, nurturing, and delectable resources. So the invitation is there for you, as there could be an ally waiting for you here.
In this space however, we radically propose that self love is meeting ourselves WHEREVER we’re at. No matter how messy and chaotic. No matter how much morality tries to sneak in to tell us that we’re wrong for being exactly as we are.
Because love? That true unconditional love - HAS. NO. CONDITIONS.
It has no advice for ways for you to be more perfect. You already are. Wherever you’re at.
As Valentine’s Day rears its presence around this corner - and with the darker history of the holiday combined with society’s mainstream images telling you how to be, or how to find love, or giving you implied measurements of where in love you should be in your life.. we invite you to love yourself radically, compassionately, and honestly, however that looks like for you!
And for those seeking some advice about how to find that true love…? Honestly, the stories that have been lived and created about finding and receiving the best, healthiest, most exhilarating forms of love in life, mostly seem to have been created out of or inside of a state or process of radically loving the self. And it makes sense! When one works towards being and knowing the most authentic version of the self, one can’t help but beam. When you are shining from the inside out, bursting at the seams with your beautiful self -- in all of the glory of what you can offer this wonderful life, that’s how your people will find you.
Send out your authentic signals! This is how we will find each other!
With such love, warmth, enthusiasm and solidarity,
The Alter8 Family
~Written and voice/audio recorded by Airrow Toner~