Love Thy Self; Love Thy Shadow

By Sequoia Heartman

Love.  It’s what we are all here to give and receive.  When we think of love we immediately and instinctively think of something or someone outside our self.  A love of art, music, or country.  Or the love of a family member, a close friend, or intimate partner.  All outside the realm of our own being.  But what of the love we seldom hear about?  The love of our own heart, our own soul, our own self.

We have not been taught that this is where true love actually starts.  And by love of self, I do not refer to confidence or self-esteem.  These arise naturally and organically with authentic self-love.  Confidence and self-esteem feel more like false prop-ups to get us through the days, weeks, or months.  Please do not infer that I do not believe in building self-esteem.  Rather I suggest it is just a step in the direction of real self-worth and acceptance.  I encourage all to not stop there.  True self-love is recognizing our shadow, accepting that it is a part of us, and listening to what it has to say.

The conversation may be difficult and very hard to hear.  However, when you allow it space to speak its truth, you have given it something it never had been given before…love.  We hide our shadow.  We ignore it, medicate it, or sometimes hate it.  It has only wanted to be heard and felt.  It doesn’t exist to destroy.  It is actually there to create.  Create a You that you never knew existed.  It may not feel like it from their initial words to you, but over time you will find that it has loved you more than you ever thought anyone on this planet ever has.  It just hasn’t been able to express itself in a healthy way.  It didn’t have a You there to talk to.

Through my SoulFullHeart process I have been led to this shadow part of myself.  Through my arising authentic, sacred Self or SoulFullHeart Self, I have been able to hold space for it.  Listen to it and not be afraid of it.  It is through this work that I find myself in the midst of not only being aware of my own heart, but taking the time to feel it, listen to it, and love it as I would my own child.  The rewards are far greater than the price I paid to get here.  When you feel it for the first time, like I have, you wonder how you ever got along without it.

Sequoia Heartman is an apprentice facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more. 

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