Loving Myself and My Choices

When I began to allow in the possibility that there might, after all, be something in all this loving myself stuff, I began to notice more and more parts of my life that weren’t in tune with the real me, hidden away under all those layers. But the more I noticed, the more tender, raw and exposed I felt. I started to feel so uncomfortable with the way I’d been living as not myself, but I had no idea what to do about it. Nurturing myself, being more loving, and more consistent, sounded great in principle but so far away that I couldn’t understand what practical steps I needed to take to get back to being and loving myself again.

How does one begin to let that tired and fake wallpaper fall away to expose the beautiful real person, including those ‘cracks’ that you’ve been trying so hard for so long to paper over? I had no idea. I blamed other people. I felt stuck. I kept thinking about how great I’d feel if only this, that and the other were different. I felt disconnected and not strong enough to make any significant changes to the way I was living. I wanted the practitioner to tell me what to do.

After I’d picked myself up from wallowing on the floor, I began to try not to think my way through things, but to feel it. Thinking, my cherished number one pastime, had led me nowhere except the repeat button on a broken CD player, playing out the same patterns and cycles but never moving on to the next song, let alone a different album.

As I tried to feel what to do, the old patterns kicked in – I thought “I know how to fix this. I’ll just book myself in for a few healing sessions, go on a detox and voila! – life sorted and bursting with love and low-fat hummus forevermore. Can’t wait to get started! Healing will be just like waxing my legs: I’ll just get the pain over with and have another session every time the hairy mess grows back”.

As I worked on ‘loving myself stuff’ I began to try a different way: not rushing in like some kind of panicked person mopping up a disaster, not trying to fix everything and everyone in sight, not stage-managing the situation, but just noticing. That’s it. Oh, and dropping that whole self-judgment/loathing thing. That little thing.

I cut down on the drinking (a bit) and stopped pushing myself all the time. After all, I didn’t want to give myself some kind of ‘weird diet’ and another excuse for my perfection-striving brain to go into overdrive.

Instead of prescribing myself some kind of healing boot-camp, I decided to try to just stop and listen to my body more often. What changes might take place within and around me, if I start truly committing to loving myself and looking after myself?

This is what I’ve learned so far:

  • It starts with me. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that recognises that I need to look after myself before I can be of any use to the rest of the world.
  • Being honest. This also means asking for what I want and need instead of pretending “I’m so flexible, lucky me for having no needs, and being so ‘un-needy!”
  • It’s not a quick leg-waxing fix, but about building a long-term connection and commitment to myself. Asking myself if what I am doing is really supporting me, listening to my body and then responding to it.
  • Calling myself out: am I really going to accept this continuous burying of my feelings and not saying aloud what I can feel? Or am I going to take this opportunity to accept, instead of deny, that this is what I’m feeling, and start what will feel like a risky but potentially rewarding and loving conversation and deeper connection?

The benefits of this loving myself approach so far have been interesting:

  • All the money I’ve saved on not flying to India to find myself.
  • A lighter bookshelf now that they aren’t groaning with the weight of self-improvement manuals.
  • Not having to quit my job, dump my relationship and abandon my entire life to live in a cave.
  • Closer relationships.
  • Having fun, actually allowing myself to feel tender and delicate but strong and powerful.
  • Feeling myself again. What a relief!

I also realised that I don’t need to wait for stillness and space to start making changes and be more loving towards myself. What if, underneath everything else and deeper within myself, I already know how I want to live and the love that I am? What changes and choices can I make to the way I’m living now to better support me and how I want to live from now on? And how would I feel if I actually accepted, as part of my development, ALL the choices I’ve made so far, even the ones I’ve judged as ‘bad’?

Inspired by the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

By Bryony, London, UK

406 thoughts on “Loving Myself and My Choices

  1. ‘Being honest. This also means asking for what I want and need instead of pretending “I’m so flexible, lucky me for having no needs, and being so ‘un-needy!”’ This has taken me a long time to stop being the o so flexible un-needy me which in truth led me nowhere than terrible headaches and migraines. And sometimes I find myself back in letting things slip because of not being honest towards myself and not wanting to become aware of the feelings I actually had while pretending I did not.But at least I catch myself and come back to the truth of my being.

  2. I could so relate Bryony, especially to this, “After all, I didn’t want to give myself some kind of ‘weird diet’ and another excuse for my perfection-striving brain to go into overdrive.”, my mind loves to have something to focus on so I don’t have to feel anything else… especially quick fixes that don’t actually fix anything but bury what is there to just come up another day. When I first started any form of healing, I remember wanting everything out straight away, and I would say I didn’t care how much it hurt just as long as it was out… this was totally from my unloving mind at the time that didn’t care about the body.

    1. What I’ve come to feel lately is what a harsh taskmaster my mind is, compared to my body which is so infinitely delicate, wise and patient. The more I listen to my body instead of my mind, the more easily life flows. I could not have written that a couple of years ago- I was so attached to my mind and my thinking brain that I couldn’t imagine being able to function without being driven by it. It’s not about not using or reacting to the mind, but understanding how to use it, and not using it in a way that compromises the body.

  3. Beautifully inspiring Bryony in sharing how it is possible to choose to lovingly support ourselves the more we commit to listening to and responding lovingly to our body and what it is telling us

  4. Such an awesome blog Bryony – it really does begin with us and our everyday choices and our willingness to be honest and face the hard stuff, and I love how you point out this is a life-long commitment and one we can never drop our responsibility on – what a fantastic way to live life.

  5. This loving yourself business really works…. it is a great medicine and it is up to each and everyone how much of this medicine we allow, the more we love the more we can share with others.

  6. Love the humour in your blog Bryony – it cracked me up! There are so many benefits to taking more responsibility for my life rather than blaming things and people outside of me.

  7. Bryony, this blog is open and simple and says to all that read it that what we already are is all we need – very simply to start to listen to our body and the rest will be taken care of. No overwhelm, no rules, no comparison, just being honest.

  8. I love returning to this blog for the lightness and humour that is shared…. and for all the little gems of wisdom.
    Healing and changing our old unloving ways/patterns and behaviours may be challenging at times, but well worth the benefits, as listed here.

  9. Yes, imagine accepting ourselves for all we are and letting go of the judgement, the beating up, the drama of how we are going to take the next step. So much of what you share here is familiar! The humour is what means this does not take itself to despair. Somehow there is a connection within that says I am with you all the way, I never left and I am here for you the moment you choose to connect again. Taking stop moments really help to allow that connection to be felt from the body.

  10. Love to return to this blog…. all the benefits of this loving myself approach that you have listed is also my experience. All my relationships have improved because the relationship with myself has deepened and I can appreciate all the changes I have made and continue to make as my self-love expands. Self-love has ripple effects in all areas of my life!

  11. This is a simple yet powerful blog Bryony that highlights the importance of loving ourselves and learning to accept and appreciate ourselves. I often wonder why we aren’t taught this as children or in schools, there are not enough role models reflecting this is life so it is beautiful when people such as yourself choose to live this way as it inspires and support others to choose this as well.

  12. To me articles like this are poetic in their own way. This is a completely different spin on what life offers us, “What if, underneath everything else and deeper within myself, I already know how I want to live and the love that I am?” We have walked so far away from this that some would even deny it exists or brush it off as some type of confusing rubbish. What is being said is true and the fact we already know is littered through our past. We choose not to see things like this because of how we choose to move in the world. The world takes our focus to other things, deliberately so we don’t see the movements we make which then either supports us to see deeper or steps us back onto the merry go round. Whatever life is throwing at us holding true to the feeling that under that is more you brings forward what is needed to get there or more, exposes what is in the way.

  13. Loved reading your blog Bryony, choosing to make more self-loving choices, and actually allowing yourself to love yourself, sounds crazy that we have to change our choices in order to love ourselves because it really is the most natural thing to do, yet we bury ourselves in protection and in doing so, we stop being the natural love that we are.

  14. I like how you write just as you mean it, and that it is so clear, raw and straightforward. Knowing what you express and not holding back on how it comes out. I find this very inspiring as I have been used all my life to conform my speech, way of acting, behavior, voice, sound, body posture and out based on what others wanted to see or handle (maximum).
    I can tell from +- 20 years of experience. It is exhausting, I do not recommend it to anyone. And so, I prefer now to speak from the heart, straight away and not manipulate anything that I say – as it needs to come out as to how it was received in the first place. I am learning this now, and it is brilliant and very freeing!

  15. Self-love has not a narcissistic bone in it. Self-love requires a deep honouring and love of self, so the beauty of who you are can be shared with the world.

  16. I too have a much lighter bookshelf and have saved a shed load of money on not going off to find myself on endless meditation and yoga retreats, and I’m actually enjoying the same job that I left believing that I hated it and I would never return. There are certainly lots of plus points to truly committing to loving and taking care of myself.

  17. Having attended many spiritual practises and spent a shed load of money, never was self care, let alone self love ever mentioned as being important or even slightly considered. It was all based on finding solutions without any true evolution.

    1. In my experience Julie of the spiritual New Age many of the practises led me to being even more disconnected to my body and unable to cope with the practicalities of life, and I felt further removed from dealing with the difficulties life and relationships presented. Unbelievably, there was never a mention of self care and the only practices that claimed to be “self love” I came across were to change beliefs about the self, but there was no reconnection back to the love within. It was just more thinking.

      1. Melinda, I would have to say the same. I became more withdrawn from people, and life, as the more I meditated the less committed to life I became, and looking at it from where I am now, I would say depressed. I attended many different types of modalities but soon realised that what I was searching for would not be found within these practises. I would now say that since attending the Universal Medicine presentations, retreats and workshops, that I have a commitment to life that I have never had before, and that there is a huge difference to what is being taught within the spiritual new age arena.

  18. Feelings of being “disconnected” are normal when we live with not being focused on the way we express and move, and by being focused we should be with what ever we are doing while we are doing it. This sounds easy but in absolute honesty it takes a lot of practice to bring a level of dedication to the true purpose of being connected. So what are we talking about when we say connection or disconnection? Could it be that our focus on connection starts with our breath? As breath is the movement that starts out the rest of the ways we move, so the way we breathe sets the tone for every other movement there after. Inspired by the Gentle Breath Meditation as presented by Serge Benhayon. For more on the GENTLE BREATH MEDITATION go to;
    http://www.unimedliving.com/search?keyword=gentle+breath+meditation

  19. Gorgeous sharing – real, raw and honest – love it. You give us the understanding of why ‘fixing’ doesnt work, and what is actually a loving support to do. For me which very much supports me is doing the Esoteric Yoga, that allows me to feel my body instead of being all the time in my mind. From here I then have a recipient point in my day, of then where to draw my energy from. A connection with me (my whole) body instead of just a part (my mind). And trust me , it is worth doing, as it brings your days to a whole more quality of energy.

  20. I love the freshness in which you write and see life, and the practicality you allow yourself to live life with.

  21. Yes, I remember the early days of returning to starting loving myself, and wondering what this would look like- wanting someone to tell me what to do, haha, ‘I couldn’t understand what practical steps I needed to take to get back to being and loving myself again.’ Seems crazy, but many have been puzzled by this.

  22. Super-great blog, Bryony, spot-on and a nicely dry sense of humour to boot : )) Wow, and I wish I’d read it before I started on my numerous (and costly) healing and spiritual boot-camps! Finding Universal Medicine and the simple truths presented therein have done what all those fruitless investigations could not – returned me to me.

  23. It is so worth building a long-term connection and commitment to ourselves, when we are honest and open up our awareness to stop and listen to how our body is really feeling and honouring what it is communicating, we are able to build a true steadiness within that enables us to deepen our relationship with ourselves and value our true worth.

  24. You make a great point Bryony we know what to do and fully equipped in each moment to do what is needed. When things are hard and feel like a mountain it is that worth to break that old momentum into the focus of the smaller moments and the simplicity of just the one task and completing with care and quality of one small task at a time.

  25. Bryony I really loved, this, I had some laugh out loud moments as your humour is very relatable. It’s great timing for me to read this as I have recently been caught in my mind through pictures and ideals of how life “should” be, and as a result my body was not being listened to. Now that I have the awareness I realise that my body was communicating that there was an issue, but I’m still used to disregarding it in my drive to meet an outcome. How “right” the mind feels in its follies, despite the body communicating the harm of such activities.

  26. “It starts with me”, how true your words. Bryony I loved the humor in your blog, pointing our the honesty within it all. How easy it is to say just be yourself, when I feel being myself is so not myself at this point in time. However I await the real feeling of actually being myself in every aspect of my daily life.
    Yes it start with me!

  27. The benefits of loving yourself first are huge as you point out, ‘The benefits of this loving myself approach so far have been interesting:
    All the money I’ve saved on not flying to India to find myself.
    A lighter bookshelf now that they aren’t groaning with the weight of self-improvement manuals.
    Not having to quit my job, dump my relationship and abandon my entire life to live in a cave.
    Closer relationships.
    Having fun, actually allowing myself to feel tender and delicate but strong and powerful.
    Feeling myself again. What a relief!’ And I am sure you have found more benefits since writing this blog.

  28. I loved reading this blog in its lighthearted and honest style. It brings me back to the point that we can never exhaust approaching any situation from the basis of how our bodies feel and understand life.

  29. It is interesting to observe that when we initiate loving momentums we then become acutely aware of the unloving momentums we have created and been living in, which no longer fit or feel true and in fact now feel harmful or abusive. Our bodies are attuned the movements of love and the more we move with love the more we become aware of what is not love, and has no further place in our lives.

  30. So great to read this again, thank you Bryony! This is so true “I already know how I want to live and the love that I am”. This is what restores the simplicity to the ‘whole self love thing’, thanks for the great reminders and for the opportunity to laugh at the brilliant and very gorgeous way you express things.

  31. It may be a little challenging at first but choosing to listen and allowing our body to lead the way rather than our mind is so worth committing to for the deeper and more loving connections we are able to build with ourselves and others.

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