By Katarzyna Szumal
This February issue is focused on what I feel is one of the most important topics, a topic that many of us struggle with, self-love.
What is self-love? For me, self-love is both seeing myself as and feeling that I am a fully lovable being who is complete. Self-love is an extension and an expression of the Divine. I am fully responsible for my own self-care, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. There are many hurdles to self-love, but I will talk about the one that I have struggled with the most, codependency.
I was brought up in a house where nobody talked about love or expressed love in a way in which I could feel it. I am the oldest of four kids, and when I was nine, my mother went to the U.S. So, it was up to me to take on the “mom” role, cleaning, cooking, doing homework with siblings, etc. While I grew up to become a woman who is responsible, smart, quick, and funny, I lost the most important person in my life, which was me! I became codependent on other people physically, mentally and emotionally. I lost touch with what is important to me; my dreams, my values and my happiness. When I became aware of my codependency, I knew that I needed to heal myself from it. Otherwise, I would never be happy, joyful and truly free.
My road was long, but through practicing yoga and meditation, taking walks in the woods, appreciating myself, and seeking stillness, I came home to myself. I found my own self-governance. Now when I look in the mirror, I see a woman who is becoming her own master.
To learn more about shaping the person you see in the mirror, turn to What Do You See In the Mirror? by Ania Haas. One very powerful way in which we can show ourselves self-love is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To get some ideas for nutritious and delicious foods, read High Vibe Foods by Betsy Bruns.
Love, whether it’s romantic love, friendship, neighborly love, or self-love cannot be forced. Alan Cohen reminds us that “Love has to spring spontaneously from within.” Read Alan’s column, Unlegislated Love, for some more suggestions on how we can encourage love to spring forth in our relationships and our lives.
I encourage you to seek love within yourself this month. You will surely find it!
Happy Valentine’s Day!