So in the spirit of Venus retrograde I wanted to look at something that we often overlook in our lives – self love and our accompanying sense of self. When we truly desire someone, it is only too easy to sacrifice our principles and self worth in order to secure an enduring relationship with that person. We begin to look at love only from the other person’s perspective and become dependent on the return of affection. We become vulnerable when we depend on the other person for validation of our self worth, no matter how well the relationship is going.
Whether we realise it or not, desire makes us vulnerable and can lead us to dismiss or reduce the importance of our self love. Anyone who has spoken with me will know that I like to work inclusively, exploring elements of myself and my personal experiences during readings. I hope this helps to empower and inspire my querents, as I truly wish I had had someone to discuss and explore my experiences with earlier in my life. Maintaining self love in a relationship is a difficult and testing experience, but also one that can be insightful and affirming; we must remember that is it down to us to cultivate our sense of self, and our ability to love ourselves as well as others.
In my life I have experienced very difficult relationships with people, not just in a romantic sense but in other social interactions. These difficult relationships took me to some dark places, with the resulting experiences helping to shape how I perceived myself, physically and psychologically.
Looking back has enabled me to develop deeper empathy, and while I am certain I could have been kinder to myself whilst achieving this, that’s my own journey.
Eventually, I realised that I was not feeling good or worthy enough; feeling as though my sole (not soul) purpose was to help others.
I’ve actually become much more aware recently; I’ve realised that I am worthy, that I can gain and progress in my life and that helping people is a purpose of mine. (Funnily enough it was through practising self love that I truly understood this.) It was through having a balance and practising self love that I began to love myself in addition to loving others.
But, enough about me, let’s look at you and how I can help. I would like to share the techniques that I have learned and used in practising self love, I hope this will resonate with you all and help you all to successfully love yourselves more.
Becoming aware of yourself and how you are taking care of yourself is the important first step. Self awareness is the foundation for most things in life, especially when you examine yourself and your relationship with others.
Lovingly ask yourself – how aware are you of yourself, and how you act towards yourself?. Look at areas like routine, rest time, headspace. Don’t get caught up on how others see you, it’s how do YOU see you and how do you feel about that?
Allowing yourself to become self-aware is at times a struggle as we tend to prioritise other people before ourselves, particularly those of us that are “givers” or “nurturers. It’s about giving yourself the time and space to become aware of yourself and how you relate to every day life.
So this is quite often a more difficult challenge. Generally, we look for alternatives, distractions and excuses to avoid having to accept something is the way it is. This is truly part of our individual growth. Self-acceptance is a process of acknowledging our experiences and who we are now. We must then look at how we can learn and grow from these experiences, and how we can gain insight into ourselves and continue our self-development. We discern the changes we can make and the aspects of ourselves that we want to nurture and to embrace.
Now for the the most awkward and unfamiliar one for many of us, the one that doesn’t always sit well as it arouses the protective but misguided ego – “Appreciation”.
I’ve actually found that self-appreciation really is the deliverer for many things in my life as it creates a sense of happiness more than anything. Like attracts like, and when we truly appreciate something it springs from from a place of authenticity within our intuition, attracting more of the same.
This step is all about having compassion and confidence and it really doesn’t have to become egotistically centred or projected in a boastful way. It’s the art of having appreciation for what you have achieved, and mastering the confidence that to believe you truly deserve what you receive.
This then helps to form the basis of how you love or appreciate others, leading to firm relationships based on mutual affection and respect. Look at the long lasting relationships you’ve had in your lives to affirm this theory.
As humans, no one is perfect and this is a GOOD thing. We all possess wonderful uniqueness despite our flaws.
Augusten Burroughs once said, “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” I feel this quote captures what I want to say in a nutshell. Along as you have sincere intentions towards others, and yourself, that’s all that matters. Anything else is a part of self growth, helping us to brighten our virtues and values along the way.
As a final note, all the above comes in to play when you interact with others and go through different events.
We all make mistakes, don’t become discouraged or disheartened or allow your self perception to become dampened. Even in the hardest of times, we must have compassion for ourselves as well as others. This will give you the ability to cope with what life throws at your with confidence. Master your self love through self preservation and balance, claim time and headspace for yourself, and yuou’ll find the energy to balance the love you have for yourself with the love you have for others.
“You’re not the same as you were before,” he said. “You were much more…..muchier….you’ve lost your muchness!” (The Mad Hatter, Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.)
He may be a mad (subjective term) hatter but the point he’s making here is quite profound.
Never lose yourself, don’t feel small in new environments or because of others. Always remember what a privilege it is, both to be you and to know you. To do so is to bring your best self to your life situations and relationships.
Love and self love to you all. Jonathan
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