“The only ‘right path’ for you is the one that stems deeply from the core of your true self. The only ‘wrong’ path for you is one that is not in alignment or acting in honor of your true self.”
― Elaina Marie, Happiness is Overrated – Live the Inspired Life Instead
I spent most of my life hearing, “you just have to love yourself.” or “Learn to love yourself.” as a response to my feelings of loneliness, despair and even frustration. And to be honest, no matter how much I loved myself, it never really seemed to do the trick. Loving yourself is a great concept, but it starts with the presumption that each of us knows what self love is about, and how to implement it in a way that is both nurturing and fulfilling.
And I have to say, I really didn’t.
I believed that self love meant saying nice things about myself, positive self-talk, going to a spa or getting a massage, carving out personal time to do what I enjoy doing. And I did those things. Many of us did those things. Hell, the entire self-help industry was created to generate new and provocative ways for us to learn to love ourselves. But honestly, I never really experienced a feeling of sustained and unshakable self love until I learned to honor myself.
Honoring is a powerful word, that we most often associate with reverence, and recognition of life-time achievement and war heroes. While it is important to have these recognitions, the act of honoring is a reverent action we can bestow upon ourselves and each other. The verb honor comes from the Old French word onrer meaning “respect, esteem, revere; welcome, present (witness to something)1. Honor as a verb, is to show respect and esteem to someone or something.
Learning to honor ourselves, is the most loving act we can undertake in choosing self-love. In doing so, we come to stop looking for what we are not, and instead pay respect and give appreciation for what we are and are becoming.
Honoring the self can look like:
- Honoring your emotions as they are, rather than bypassing or minimizing your experience.
- Honoring your choices, letting go of the need to explain or defend.
- Honoring your value, responding/acting from knowing you are inherently good and inherently worthy.
- Honoring your experience – sharing your experience without the need for validation or acceptance.
Honoring begins by seeing ourselves as a child of God/Spirit/the Universe, and allowing our way of being in the world to emulate that. We honor ourselves as this.
What you will notice
The more you practice honoring yourself and your own experience, you will begin to notice that you feel more at ease in the world.
You may find that:
- You are kind to yourself, even when you make mistakes or feel embarrassed.
- You spend more time trusting yourself, rather than seeking affirmation from others.
- You feel more confident in your words, ideas and service in the world.
- You spend less time comparing yourself to others, and more time being in appreciation of the talents and capabilities and support of others.
- You feel more at peace with yourself, others and in the world.
Honoring yourself is the answer to the question “How do I learn to love myself?” Begin here, with this most loving act.
An Invitation for you…
- This month, pick one area of your life where you may feel ‘less than’ or find yourself habitually diminishing yourself or your work.
- Take time to reflect, either in meditation, journaling or both – “What in me is being dishonored by these words/actions/beliefs?”
- Then close your eyes and imagine that this beautiful being that you are is a Child of God, born from all that is Divine and Good.
- Ask yourself, “What is one action/phrase/choice I can put into practice today that will Honor me?”
- Share your action/phrase or choice below in the discussion below.
1Found on Entomology Online (website, https://www.etymonline.com/word/honor, read 3.1.2021)