This post contributed by BB Harding.
For years, I have heard the adage that you just need to love yourself. So much of misfortune, diseases, and other sticky stuff of life emerges out of a lack of self-love. Ok, I heard that, and felt that yeah, pretty much I did that. Not a big deal, not something to spend time worrying about. Yeah, yeah, yeah….kind of like the old Beatles song. Apparently, I am not alone, as the instructor for the Human Design class that I am taking has said that in her practice, more than 85% of her clients have issues with self-love.
As I write this article, 2017 is coming to a close, and 2018 is waiting in the wings; in fact, in some parts of the world, 2018 has already arrived. I am reflecting on where I have allowed love to enter my life more in 2017. Where have some of the opportunities for transformation been presented?
One of the first things that comes to mind is some work around power. Two of us who did the Sacred Ambition event in August of 2016 did some extended work around power. Over several weeks we repeatedly asked the same 5 questions focused on power and answered them in the moment. It was clear that for me, power was an “evil” thing; not only in the world, also in my hands. Somehow, power in my hands would not be a good thing – I would hurt people – a message that was given to me in my youth. So, it would be understandable that I would want to avoid power. Over the weeks, the insight that “power is the love that sets things in motion” came to me. It was an inspired thought, and it brought about a shift. The love that sets things in motion. What does this say about all of what is considered the use of power that is exuded into the world? Really, the LOVE that sets things into motion? I could easily grasp that if power were used in a “good way” LOVE was setting things into motion. Not so sure about power used is so many of the visible ways in our world today. That leads to the contemplation that today’s notion of power is really abuse, rather than power.
Another area – working with the understanding that all parts serve a noble purpose. All parts are here to serve me – to get the best for me. The more work I do with the voice dialogue or active imagination techniques to understand where a part is coming from, the more I begin to understand this. Some parts are easier to accept than others. It is my judgment that categorizes them as good or bad. It is my judgment as to whether I will accept them or not. Moving into acceptance for all has, at times, been a challenge; after all I didn’t want to admit that a “more enlightened” person recognizes that the turmoil that resides in the outside world also resides inside. When doing the “darker” work, as it is referred to, to investigate within my own conscious or even the unconscious – the murderer, the rapist, the robber, the world dominator – well, I’m sure you get the idea – wasn’t really what I wanted to look at. Asking those questions how is it that I kill myself or others off? Where is it that I would force my will on another? How do I take the life force from myself and others? Where do I adamantly see that it should be my way or the highway? All good questions and the proverbial grist for the mill. I am not going to claim that I have done all the work that there is. There are nuances that pop up here and there, and at the same time, I can feel that “progress” is being made. There is a different sense of well-being and knowing inside that wasn’t there.
Attempting to reach mastery can be a steep hill to climb. Another saying of popularity is there are only two choices – fear or love. ANY time I am not choosing love, I am choosing fear. It seems sooooo black and white; where are my fifty-shades of grey? I am learning that love generally doesn’t spring from reaction. That at some level, self-preservation is what springs into reaction. I want to explain so that you don’t think I am stupid; I want to do good things so that you will love me; I want to solve problems so that you will see my value; and most of all I don’t want to do anything that will result in my being kicked out of the tribe. At the same time, I feel shielded by the fact that most of my adult life has really been alone so that no one could pierce the not so invisible armor. It is exhausting to be one guard for one reason or another – what can I do to feel open, vulnerable, trusting, connected? I am learning that loving who I am, foibles and all, and learning which projection about my actions is mine, and which belongs to someone else. It is soooo hard to grasp that just BE-ing is enough. What would the world be like if we were all just BE-ing? Of course I wonder, what would ever get done if everyone were just being.
And the last thing I would like to share with you is self-care. One look at me, and it is obvious that I have not spent a lot of time on the kind of self-care that results in a very healthy life. My body is grossly overweight and racked with pain. I truthfully have not given it much thought one way or the other and it wasn’t a topic that I talked about. I felt I simply had to accept the way things were, as I wasn’t likely to be able to change it. It wasn’t that I hated myself, it was more like a lifetime of not caring one way or another, and now, I would just have to live with it; I was too far gone to really be able to change things at this point in the game. I am learning that there is a difference between blithely accepting and learning to love the way things are. After years of doing things to get more healthy and failing, I have a clarity that I am waiting until the momentum comes from within. I am experimenting with expanding possibilities, choosing one and then feeling into whether I am producing the results that feel good or not. I am paying attention so that I can recognize where the convergence of the desire to shift and the impulse to action converge in support of the desire. It has taken a certain amount of work to even allow the desire to emerge, let alone open the door to new possibilities and until that convergence has caught fire within, I am learning to love things just the way they are. I am also acknowledging that there is pain, and that rest is needed. Rest to allow healing to take place; rest to take a breather rather than pushing completely beyond the limits; rest to honor that BE-ing has a precedence; to allow my own power to emerge. This is one where I slip out of alignment frequently because I’m in the middle of something that I like doing, want to know more about, etc. 😉
In this year of 2018, I encourage you to create the doorways in which self-love can gently enter and allowing your love to set things in motion.