This post was written in conjunction with The Refined Collective, a powerhouse group of women who all wrote about love this February. Check out there love notes @ Kat, The Refined Woman // Brynn Watkins // Yvette Jain // Lauren Scruggs
Since Valentine’s Day has become plastic I challenged myself to reconnect to the original meaning of the day. My Wikipedia research revealed that St. Valentine was a martyr. He was killed in 4 A.D. by an Emporer who thought Valentine’s love for Jesus was criminal.
To honor St. Valentine’s controversial love, I want to challenge you to engage in your own controversial love.
This week’s mindfulness challenge is to love the parts of yourself that you think are criminal: The fearful you that cowers in the face of risk. The jealous you that gossips behind her back. The angry you that snaps at your partner. Can you love these parts of yourself?
Self-love is easy when you only focus on the best of you. Self-love is rebellious, revolutionary even, when you commit to loving the worst of you.
When you learn to love yourself despite the imperfections, you will notice a funny shift occur: These “criminal” parts of you (fear, anger, pain, jealousy etc ) that steal your peace will finally feel seen and heard. Once seen and heard, they won’t need to scream so loudly. Your anxiety spirals won’t feel so intense. Your insecure thoughts won’t sound so true. Your waves of rage and frustration won’t control you. As you observe these sides of yourself with gentle acceptance they will not only lose their negative power but become sources of wisdom.
As an Energy Psychology Practitioner, I see our identity as a combination of seven archetypes or shadows. As you read each archetype/shadow below, notice which one feels most difficult to love. Take her on a self-love date this Wednesday.
LOVE ME OR LOVE ME NOT?
#1 The Hypervigilant Safety Seeker – Can you love the part of you that is obsessed with safety, survival, and finances? She can be hypervigilant, controlling and afraid at times but she is bent on keeping you alive. Can you love yourself unconditionally even when you’re afraid?
#2 The Pleasure-Resistant Responsible One: Can you love the high-strung anxious part of you that makes it impossible to enjoy the present moment? She makes it impossible to relax on vacation, but she deeply values being responsible and productive. Can you love yourself unconditionally even with a stick up your bum?
#3 The Ego-Maniac: Can you love the prideful part of you that makes you obsessed with proving yourself? She is arrogant when she succeeds and insecure when she fails, but she reminds you of how you are unique, inspiring you to make a contribution to society. Can you love yourself unconditionally despite your ego?
Compassionate acceptance is a powerful act of love.
#4 The Lover: Can you love the guarded part of you that has built walls between you and others? She is the part of you that deeply fears rejection, loss, and heartbreak, but she has the capacity to love deeply when she feels safe. Can you love yourself unconditionally even with walls?
#5 The Misunderstood Advocate: Can you love the part of yourself that gets frustrated trying to voice who you are and what you believe? This part of you has a deep need to feel seen and heard but she lets her emotions get the best of her and you end up feeling misunderstood and judged by others. Can you love yourself unconditionally even when the worst of you comes out?
#6 The Pessimist: Can you love the skeptical part of yourself that sees the worst in every situation? You try to be positive but she makes it impossible since she is obsessed with avoiding (aka pointing out) mistakes and obstacles. Can you love yourself unconditionally even with this inner pessimist?
#7 The Victim: Can you love the part of yourself that makes you feel disempowered and alone? She is the woe-unto-me part of you that makes it hard to truly embrace the support of others and source. Can you love yourself despite the part of you that sabotages your power?
Choose one of these shadows to take on a self-love date this Wednesday. Ask her questions. See and hear her. Compassionately accept her. When you accept each shadow you will not only boost your self-love capacity, but you will begin to see that each shadow has a positive role to play in your life.
If you want to gift yourself a fun Valentine’s present, grab my first book I Can’t Believe I Dated Him. Each chapter guides you through seven shadowy emotions that sabotage relationships when we don’t actively accept them.
Or, if you’d like to receive the first two chapters for free PLUS a mindfulness challenge and free bonus video meditation every week, get on my list.
Happy Valentine’s Day!