• Nadja Eriksson

What's missing in Self-love

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Hand on heart: how many times have you heard your 20-something yoga teacher (or any other well-meaning self-help guru) say “and when you’re in down dog, just love yourself” while all you wanted to do was smack them in the face in anger.

There’s much talk about self-love and empowerment going around these days. Loving ourselves no matter what size we are has become a true must. While the 1990’s were all about body-shaming as soon as women didn’t have the frame of a skinny supermodel, the 2010’s celebrate curves, big times. With the Kardashians leading the way, Khloe has launched her new jeans line dressing women's bodies of all sizes, from 00 to 24. (I just bought a pair myself, they're great! And no, this is not a sponsored post.)

While I’m a strong believer in encouraging women towards accepting themselves at any size, (after having worked through my own insecurities for years), I can’t help but feel like we’re putting a happy sticker on a much larger issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-love, but we’ve gotten it the wrong way around. It’s not just about looking yourself in the mirror and saying “I love you.” Sure, it starts there, but positive self-talk is just the beginning. There is a much deeper dimension to self-love that we're overlooking.

Think about it: what are your reasons for not being joyfully in love with yourself right now? Cellulite? A belly pooch? Do you think your boobs are too big, too small, that you’re getting old, or that you’re not smart or successful enough? The reasons why women are putting themselves down are endless and extend way beyond body image and dress size. We are our own worst enemies.

But the deep, underlying insecurity of not feeling "good enough" will never be erased by the mind (no matter how many positive affirmations you repeat in the mirror, or how many photoshopped selfies you post on Instagram), because we cannot solve a problem with the same modality that started it (according to Einstein). I think it is the mind's ability for critical self-reflection that makes us miserable in the first place, because it separates us from who we really are, our true nature as love.

Of course the mind is a great tool, it has helped us become conscious; and the ability to self-reflect places us "above" the animal and plant kingdom when it comes to self-awareness and personal growth. Maybe this is our new frontier as we grow in wisdom and awareness as a species, to overcome the separation that the mind creates while still using it as the powerful tool that it is.

But anyway, I am drifting off. My point is that even if you feel great about your looks, your worldly success and your relationships, at some point all of this will disappear. You might lose your career, your kids will grow up and leave the house, and your body ages and will eventually disappear. In a hundred years from now, nobody will remember us. Nothing in this physical realm is everlasting, so why are we so obsessed with placing our intrinsic value on those worldly parameters?

The only constant through all this change (and incidentally also your true source of unconditional (self-) love) is your true being, your feminine Soul, or Big She.

She is always with you, from the day you entered this earthly existence, until the day you’ll leave again. In fact, She is who you really are, and She loves you unconditionally, no matter what. So the next time you think about self-love, know that it’s the love of your true Self you desire to feel. This is something that can never be taken away from you, because She is you (no matter what people say you should think or believe).

All you need to do is to relax and establish an intimate connection with Her. Pay attention within. It’s simple, but not easy. As women, we can use advantage of the devotional nature of the feminine. What we long for is also longing for us, so by opening to Her and sincerely inviting Her into your life, She will fill you up more and more with Her unconditional love from the inside. (It's a heart-thing, not a mind-hack.) As a result, you’ll feel happier, more content, relaxed and at ease within yourself.

Just like with any other relationship, the relationship with your She needs time and commitment to flourish. I suggest you nurture your inner connection every day. Make it a priority to sit still and listen - even just as little as five minutes a day! (Stillness is so underrated in Western Modern Society. Maybe that's why we're all so anxious and stressed out of our minds! We don't allow any more stillness and spaciousness. But the phrase Be still and know that I am God still holds true today.)

Talk to Her, ask for Her guidance. She’ll be happy to help you. She is not separate from you, She is you. The deepest, wisest, most loving part of you. She is your unique connection to universal intelligence, or whatever you'd like to call the vastness which is bigger than the Mini-Me.

Here’s what I do as soon as I wake up. Instead of checking Email or going on Instagram, I connect inwards and surrender my day and life to Her. I fold forward from my hips and pray with open palms, connecting with my true Self. I may ask for Her guidance on a specific subject, or just state my intention of surrendering more fully, trusting that She knows my deepest desires and only wants to help me get to where my heart most longs to go. I end with this prayer from A Course In Miracles:

“Where would you have me go, what would you have me do, what would you have me say and to whom?”

If this resonates with you, I suggest you give it a try. Be consistent for about 66 days (research shows that this is the amount of time needed to establish a new habit), and notice the subtle shifts happening. As you come more into alignment with who you really are, you may notice more flow, love and joy in your life experience. And as you gradually embody more of the unconditional love that is your She, loving yourself will become second nature.

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© Nadja Eriksson 2012-2020