Take a moment to think about your biggest fears...
Whatever words you used to describe them, for most of us, our biggest fears boil down to fear of death and fear of not being loved. The fear of not being loved is so profound that we will do almost anything to avoid it. We put up walls to avoid vulnerability, we sabotage our relationships, we avoid saying what we really mean or revealing who we really are, we escape into our addictions, we people please, we avoid risks because if we f*ck up, then people won't love us. Even fear of public speaking is a fear of not being loved; we're afraid of looking silly, being ostracized, not being part of the loving group anymore.
So how can we begin to counter this tremendous fear? I don't think the answer will surprise you. By cultivating a deep and sincere love for ourselves, we are bolstered against the onslaught of, "What if they don't like me?! What if they don't love me?!" It starts with self-compassion, loving yourself even if you mess up, even if you're struggling.
By meeting yourself with kindness and appreciating who you are, flaws and all, you begin to lay an unshakable foundation of self-love. You bolster your ability to meet the challenges of life with grace and ease. You go out into the world with an open heart, knowing that you will mess up, knowing that you will be hurt, and knowing that you will still be ok. You will still be loved. By being compassionate with yourself, you expand your courage. You expand your joy. You expand your life.
Begin with the simple practice of speaking to yourself with kindness. Speak to yourself the way that you would speak to Eliot, the baby bunny (pictured above. My sister and niece got her last week). Kind, gentle, nurturing, understanding, encouraging, appreciative of your own cute fluffiness that you bring to the world, forgiving of your unavoidable bunny flaws and mistakes, empathy for your suffering, love for your essence.
And if you want to dive deeper into the practice of self-compassion and self-love, we wholeheartedly welcome you to join us for our virtual weekend retreat September 26-27.
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