The journey to self-love through understanding ourselves
Do you recognise these words? “…But I’m here for a reason, could it be the reason I was born?”. They’re from the song Show Yourself from Frozen 2.
When I heard these words, they resonated with me, with this feeling of my life’s purpose, understanding myself better and therefore having the awareness to identify what it is I’m here for.
When you are in a place of unworthiness and living in a place of lack, whether that be financial, in relationships, career or lack of love for yourself, it’s hard to find a reason for your purpose. You can become so consumed by the doubts that you forget to look at the beauty you have underneath it all.
Ask yourself, what is that doubt, what are those worries? Could they be the reason you were born? I know it sounds backwards, but bear with me. I was always a really sensitive child. I felt everything. Feelings, change, others’ feelings, the pain, the joy. It was overwhelming most of the time, and the most challenging aspect was that I didn’t realise it was a gift.
In our culture in particular - and I can’t speak for others - this culture is one of pushing feelings down, originally. Not as much now, with organisations like Therapy Directory (and Happiful) being created to support the openness of emotional therapy. However, it’s still prevalent today that we feel the need to suppress our emotions because they can be seen as uncontrollable if they’re let out of the box, and yet they are so tightly contained in.
Here’s the thing, what if it wasn’t about controlling them, but understanding them? What if by opening the box, and understanding them more deeply we could acknowledge them, and therefore ourselves? Communicate in an honest way to others, while standing in our truth and holding responsibility for those feelings. We could start an internal relationship with ourselves and take the power out of the ‘hidden secrets’ we keep.
How to better understand yourself
You may be thinking, “How can I understand my emotions better, and understand myself better?”. There are many schools of thought which mostly come back to the same foundation. We need to be willing.
Understanding ourselves isn’t just about learning a set of tools, or taking the steps to know how to feel better. Yes, those steps do help, but to really understand ourselves, to a point where we can make effective change, we need to look inside ourselves. We must be willing to look, even if we don’t like what we see. Yes, this can be hard, I know. I’ve been there. It has always been my priority to live with as much awareness as possible to reach a place where I can feel like I am living my most authentic life.
So, if we are willing, what’s next? We need to be prepared to take responsibility and we need to feel in order to heal. Responsibility as far as I’m concerned really falls in line with forgiveness. If we can look at the choices we have made, and although some may not be totally desirable, and look at them through a lens of forgiveness for ourselves, we can then create this cycle of forgiveness for others, which can really heal old wounds. You’ve got to feel it to heal it.
There are several techniques that can help with this, including a fantastic process by Kristen Neff, author of 'Self-Compassion'. She talks about the three aspects of self-compassion; self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.
In short, we need to acknowledge what the emotion is arising in us. Pushing it away not only does the opposite, but it increases the pain. Standing in front of your emotion takes the power out of it like an itch you want to scratch. Try it, next time you have one, tell yourself, “I have an itch” and feel it go away. Once acknowledged, there is no rush to fix or change, it’s just pure kindness.
Give yourself what you need, how you would offer that to another, a kind word. Realise that we are all the same and you are not alone. Then be in the moment with it. Esther Hicks, a well-known inspirational speaker talks about “reaching for the next best feeling thought”. So, take the pressure off and just try to reach for the next best feeling thought. Raise your energetic vibration slightly to give yourself a chance to get back to yourself.
Finding your life's purpose
Now you can build on this awareness. Every time you feel these moments arise, you can offer yourself a number of tools to centre yourself back to understanding how you respond, what your triggers are and what you need in order to move forward and learn.
So, we have this awareness, and with books, online resources, and most importantly, science, at our fingertips (check out Dr Jo Dispenza) we can start to wonder. “What do I do with this, how can I identify what my purpose is in this world? What is my passion and what inspires me? What can I offer?”.
It’s a journey of learning, and the willingness to keep understanding who we are, so we can identify. But it’s also important to link it to the one thing that we aren’t always taught to focus on when we’re climbing the success ladder of life. Why do we want to share our gifts with the world? There is a law in science called the Law of Attraction which says that like attracts like. Therefore, if we put our gifts out in an authentic way, we get back in kind.
I take this to mean that if we reach inside ourselves to what lights up our soul, what makes our body reach forward, what makes us proclaim “Yes!”, we could shift our mindset. We can change the thought of ‘what can we receive’ to ‘how can we share our gifts with others’. Then we can identify how our gifts could serve others, and in turn, others would do the same for us, for the collective population of our planet. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Let’s not leave out life events and external pressures though. I can hear some people asking, “What happens when the s**t hits the fan?” or “How can we keep ourselves focused when the world seems to be so focused on our external factors?”. Well, I believe with my whole heart that we cannot control our lives, that there are some things in life that happen and there is no rhyme or reason, but these can always be a lesson to learn. In order to overcome these life challenges, we need to go through a process of alignment. We need to recalibrate and ask ourselves, “Does my life and do my actions still serve me like this? Or do I need to shift my focus because my priorities have now changed?”.
With the pressure on material possessions and validation from outside our internal world, we need to find a practice that can get us back in touch with our truth, with our understanding and with the fire inside of us. We need to look at how our old or conditioned patterns can draw us back to listening to our heads instead of our hearts. This is the work, rewiring our brains back to ourselves. Nurturing ourselves back to love. Loving ourselves, every single inch of us.
At the end of the song, Elsa sings, “You are the one you’ve been waiting for”. Beautiful isn’t it, to realise the answers were there inside her the whole time. Because when we are in true alignment, fully loving who we are, strong in the knowledge that we understand what our purpose is, only then can we live a life of fulfilment and continue a cycle of loving energy to others in our world, and on our planet.
Find the complementary therapist for you
All therapists are verified professionals.