I’ve been thinking about loving the Self for a long time now.
The more I think about it, the more I have an image in my mind of a builder. Someone with expertise in how to make something custom, like those people on design shows that walk a client into a new space and create this reaction? “Oh my gosh, it’s perfect! You gave me exactly what I wanted … even though I didn’t know what I wanted! I didn’t even dream anything like this existed, much less think that it could be mine!”
The thrill on their faces, the surprise and joy and true appreciation – you’ve likely seen it, and if you’re like me? You might even have felt it with them too.
How does the magic of this reveal connect to self-love?
What if you imagined your Self as that house or space that was renovated/redesigned/reimagined? What if you had that amazing expert architect/designer/builder on your team? And what if all of that resulted in a house that really felt like a home? A true reflection of all that you are, inside and out?
I feel like that would be absolutely wonderful.
So … if the house in this discussion is your Self, let’s take this a bit further and look at what you need to have a great place to live.
First: safety and protection. Consider this; what will make your home a safe place? What will give you comfort when you need it, welcome others into it, and protect you from the outside world when necessary?
Now take this concept into your Self. What do you need to feel safe? How often do you need comfort or protection? Can you welcome others into your life or is that a challenge?
Second quality of a great place to live: strong building. When I imagine my dream house, I think of it as having great “bones.” What I mean by that is the structure, the framework underneath all the stuff that’s visible. To me, a great house has a framework that not only is strong enough to hold the load of the home and the people in it, but it is flexible enough to be adapted or revised based on necessary repairs or upgraded function.
Taking this metaphor back to the Self, what is the framework that is behind your walls? What holds you up? Where does your strength come from? And how adaptable and flexible is that structure to allow you to evolve and upgrade?
If you follow me already, you know that I see this framework in terms of our beginnings. Who took care of us as a child, how they treated us, what we learned about our value as a result … as well as how secure we felt, how our needs were met, and how love was given and received. These are like the pieces of wood and the nails used to connect them; this is the stuff that shapes our “house.”
In other words, our beginnings shape our ability to love our Self.
Here’s where this starts to challenge us. If you’re back in your imagination, building that dream house that’s YOU, and you look back at the structure you were given, the one that’s currently holding you up and framing your life right now, what do you see?
Is that framework functioning? Does it work in some ways but not others? If it doesn’t work, where doesn’t it?
Is the foundation underneath it solid, and some walls just need to be moved, or do you need to go even deeper and rebuild from the beginning?
And what do you want to do about it all?
This metaphor can go for as long and in as much detail as you like. I’m visual, so I really like digging in. I can actually see in my mind what my basement looks like, how the walls sit on beams, and how the rooms come together. My home/my Self are all represented in these imaginings, and I get a real sense of what I have (and what is missing), and how that has made me feel/how that has shaped my life, my behaviors, my choices.
Wherever your imagination. takes you, I encourage you to allow it. There are no rules for how to envision your Self-love and its development. The goal I have for you? To consider how essential loving your Self really is.
Just as a house would fall without a framework, your Self needs love to stand tall, weather storms, and offer shelter to others. And you deserve to stand tall, and love your Self.
I leave you with this:
If you ache for a home, you are not alone.
You can build it inside of you. You can have a place where you are unquestioned, fully accepted, and wholly loved.
And it will be inside of YOU. How magic is that?