I wish I had known the moment in life when my love of self began to decline. I wish there had been a sign or a color that flashed before my eyes so I could have seen when it was happening and possibly prevented it. Unfortunately, the sign doesn’t manifest itself like that. I started to notice my self-love deficiency when I began hustling for something outside of myself to make me feel good & loved. Ya know, the new job, the new relationship, the new location, the new pair of shoes, the new this, the new that, the new other. All these outside forces that I thought would reignite my love affair with self. Yet they were all just a temporary fix.
So there I found myself, entangled in a trance of unacceptance, caged in with self-judgment, restlessness, and dissatisfaction, and the only way out began with accepting absolutely everything. Everything I was feeling about myself and my life and that meant embracing my experience up until that point. Easy, right? Uh, yeah…. no!
But I had to do this…I needed to get back that love that I so openly and honestly gave others but had so little left for myself. I continuously show those in my life how much they’re loved and worth. I consistently demonstrate unconditional love to my son and outwardly convey my immense pride in all he achieves. Yet, when it comes to myself it’s like this void, my tank is on E and I wonder how the hell I arrived here.
So I started thinking to myself: how do I become uncaged? How do I refill this tank of self-love and where the hell do I start?
Thinking, thinking, thinking…light bulb!
Who do I know that radically loves and accepts themselves completely? Those that live authentically, are self-evolved, and truly know and love who they are.
Thinking, thinking, thinking…hmmm.
I suddenly didn’t feel so alone in this self-love struggle. I was coming up short with people who truly fit this description. After scrolling through my phone and social feeds, I came upon three in my extended tribe and asked if they could recommend anyone that fit the profile. Because, you know, your vibe attracts your tribe. In the end, I found eleven people (which happens to be my lucky number) walking this earth in complete awareness, acceptance, and love of self. They ranged in age (7-72 years old), lifestyle, ethnicity, and overall belief systems. So I reached out to each of them, asked for 15 minutes of their time to chat, and therein began ‘The Self Love Experiment’.
It took me a full month to carve out time to have rich conversations with these 11 individuals. There was one thing that became apparent after each meet and greet: their common visible qualities. Each one had this certain je ne sais quoi. They glowed from the inside out. They smiled a lot, laughed plenty and carried themselves with such lightness. They were most definitely uncaged. I asked the questions, they openly answered, and the life-changing learnings were planted.
After this month of deep exchanges, I was reading my notes and found more of those special threads that wove this tapestry of self-loving truths together. What came to life, and what I have to share with you today, is truly a fool-proof blueprint for falling back in love with yourself.
First, let me share some of the quotable gems that came from these conversations and then I will get into the blueprint:
Don’t you feel like you just went to church? It’s mind-blowing. This is the kind of wisdom you can’t read in a book, this is wisdom which is genuinely lived.
Now, on to the blueprint.
There are five core principals which united all of these interviewees. They all professed and enforced them in their own lives. Each need to be practiced together – in no particular order – but you can’t go without one and expect the journey towards self-love to be authentic & sustainable.
As I was wrapping up the notes from these interviews, I got a call from one of the men I spoke to. He asked me how the project was going. I told him I was compiling all the notes and ready to write about the findings.
He said…”do you like Charlie Chaplin?”
I was silent.
He said… “I thought about you the other day as I was sitting down for breakfast, I remembered something Charlie Chaplin said about his journey to self-love.” “It changed my life when I first read it, and I want to share it with you.” “Refer to it when you have doubts.” “Make it your religion.” “Live by his example.”
And he ended the conversation with… “and Honey, put down the pen and paper, go out and live the findings”.
And he hung up. I then received the email from him and since then I have been repeatedly consuming Charlie Chaplin’s description of self-love. I wanted to share this piece with you too.
So here I am, working through the five principals above, reading and re-reading the brilliant Charlie Chaplin piece, unlearning the yuck, getting unstuck and successfully living uncaged. I find myself becoming a more forgiving, self-caring, prouder version of myself, who I am totally developing a mad crush on.
Here’s to love…of self!