BEFORE MY SELF LOVE PROGRAM… THE QUIET, ‘NICE GIRL’, ME
Not that long ago I didn’t know what self-love meant or how to love myself. I was a girl with low self-esteem and little confidence around others. I was shy and I reserved my feelings for a limited crowd of family and close friends, but even then I was closed off from allowing anyone to see and fully discover the ‘real me’.
In keeping myself closed to others I thought I was protecting myself from getting hurt or rejected, but in actual fact I was hurting and rejecting myself most deeply. I had created a picture of what and who I should be and fooled even myself with the quiet, ‘nice girl’ persona.
I prided myself on my ability to listen intently, be responsible, provide care for my family and patients at work, but inside I was feeling more drained and distant from other people. I wasn’t really looking after myself in a way that supported my everyday life and I certainly didn’t think I was worth making time for, or deserving of, loving care for myself or my own body.
This played out by my indulging in food and using things like TV as a distraction in mostly every spare minute I ever had.
I felt withdrawn, anxious and tense within my own body. As I grew older my shoulders hunched as I worked on perfecting my outward smile in an attempt to cover the sadness I felt from not living the love and joy that I knew I could be. I was numbing myself with food and at times alcohol and I was suffering from anxiety; the food and alcohol became my coping tools when I just wanted to fit in with others, or simply didn’t want the real me to be seen or noticed.
I had a picture of what would bring happiness and love to my life, a list of things from the outside, the home, the husband and children. But as I ticked these things off my list I was realising this wasn’t it. I was missing out on a deeper love, a love that could never be given to me by someone else, it could only come from my own heart by choosing true love for myself; by learning how to love myself and choosing to live the real me.
AFTER MY SELF LOVE PROGRAM… ACCEPTING MYSELF – THE NATURAL AND JOYFUL ME
In November 2010, I began a program with a Universal Medicine practitioner. We called this a program of ‘Self-Love’ and from my first esoteric healing session I knew that there was more to life than the picture I had limited myself by. I began to learn to love myself and to feel and trust my body for the first time since I was a small child.
In the past three years I have shed accumulated layers of hurt and sadness and narrow ways of thinking of how I thought I should be. Although I have dropped around 30kg it has not been about losing physical weight for me – the weight literally came off as I began to accept myself and as I began to learn to love myself and treat my body with the love it always deserved. It has been about discovering who I am once again – discovering the real me – and sharing this unreservedly with others.
I am forever grateful for the inspiration that the practitioners of Universal Medicine have gifted me. I have made countless new and loving choices to support me to live what feels natural; not to better myself, but from the knowing that I am already so amazing, so beautiful. My diet and exercise routines are always changing to be more supportive and I make choices by listening to my body, going to bed early when I am tired, eating to nourish my body, not holding back from sharing what I feel with others – and I absolutely love going to work and being with other people.
As I have been learning how to love myself more and more deeply, I am now accepting myself and of who I am, and this feels like just the beginning. I have a willingness to grow, to understand and discover more about life and I have made a commitment to living in full, the real ME.
It’s a miracle to me that I have let go of such a shield of protection and hardness and given myself the permission to expand and unfold the natural and joyful Cherise… the natural and joyful me!
By Cherise Holt, 30, Nurse, Australia