Self-love is a hot topic, inevitably so. The regular practice of compassion, strength, courage and belief in your own thoughts, actions and ideas is what we all strive for – to better ourselves and feel content with our true selves.
But where do you even start? What if you’ve had serious struggles and find it difficult to carve out a measly 5 minutes of meditation every morning because your mind just can’t quiet down? What if you’re so plagued with worry that you always call in sick to work when you have a presentation? What if you feel constantly angry that you’re let down by a condition you’re living with? What will happen if you continue to bury these emotions instead of nurturing them? No matter where you are in your life, how do you take control of you and start to love yourself so that you can naturally sew back together the broken pieces and heal?
How to heal from repressed anger
The answer to this question is up for debate, but in my opinion, it starts with rage. Yes, rage. That emotion that most of us were told to completely ignore, push down or were told wasn’t acceptable or appropriate. That one. Right now, you may be recalling some phrases friends or family have told you like, “Stop complaining, there are people in the world who have nothing!”, or “You have all of this abundance why can’t you just be grateful?”. Well – one thing’s for sure – no one, not one single person, knows what your life, emotions, thoughts or feelings are about. You are the only person who has the authority to take control and eventually, really self-love.
When I was deeply suffering from the pain of my chronic illnesses of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis caused me on a daily basis, self-love seemed like total crap. I kept hearing all of these meditation teachers and self-help gurus preach about being kind to ourselves and loving everything about who we are. I would then look down at my scaling, bleeding, flaking body and feel like I had such trouble controlling my anger. I would look at myself and not feel love. I would feel complete hatred for every inch of my skin and every bone that wasn’t functioning properly.
Maybe you can relate. Whether you’ve dealt with psoriasis like me or have struggled with weight loss or are dealing with another health issue, we have all have those moments where we hate something about ourselves and our bodies. The thought of loving the very thing that has caused us tremendous shame and suffering feels almost cruel to even suggest.
Ways to learn to love yourself
Are we doomed by perpetual self-bashing and negative talk then that hinders us from starting the journey to self-love? Not at all. In fact, the rage is what will get us through to the other side, friends! Get in touch with the lack of self-love in order to fully step into loving yourself. This is the step that many gurus bypass in my opinion – maybe because it’s too messy or maybe because they’re afraid we will wallow, but what I do know is that it did not serve me, so maybe it won’t for you either. (Note: If you’re dealing with more serious emotional and mental health issues like depression, please always consult your therapist or medical advisor.)
So, get in touch with your RAGE and ask yourself all the RIGHT questions simultaneously like, “Why do I feel so much pain and hatred towards my body or my circumstances?”, or “Why am I so angry about the way things are showing up in my life?”, or “Why do I feel so hopeless that things will never get better?”
I know these are not fun things to think about and many answers will be painful to face, but you know what? Chances are you are already in pain. It’s just a pain that seems safer and more comfortable to you so you allow it to continue. But if I have learned anything in my experience it’s that pain needs to be expressed, explored and acknowledged in order to transcend into love. It’s hard. It’s scary. But it’s healing.
How to build self-love
You can journal to help you manage your triggers and rage, talk out loud to it or, one of my favourite things to do, sing at the top of your lungs to music that has deep meaning for you. It always moves the energy and allows me to safely feel everything I need to feel. Whatever you do, feel the rage. I promise you that if it’s there, it’s begging to be heard.
Try to be honest about the rage that is lurking below the surface and that has possibly been with you for longer than you can even remember. Remember to do it in a way that feels healthy for you and be safe by knowing your limits. This is something I have had to practice over time and grow in to. You’ve got this.
To save these helpful tips, Pin This!