For most of us, it starts outside of us. Our own love for ourselves has to be felt by approximation, via someone else. We love because we are loved. Then-holy revelation- the time comes when that source of love that’s external to us leaves, goes away, or turns into something toxic.
Hopefully, the time will come for you faster than you want it to- the time when you realize any and all outside sources of love are too inconsistent to rely on as your mainspring. You need you.
Sometimes life has to take you through a lot of love-lessons to learn this. It’s ok. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us to get there, to go within. All that matters is that we at last come home to ourselves and to the one true love that has always been there, right here, waiting for us to look within and notice the diamond that it is.
How do we get there?
How do we invert the love we have been radiating out to everyone and everything other than ourselves?
It takes a miracle. But start small. And fake it until you make it.
I started with staring at my eyes in my bathroom mirror. At first, I laughed. Made jokes. “Come here often?”
But I stayed at it. I took a few extra moments while getting ready in the morning and while getting ready for bed at night to wink at that light in my eyes.
And then it happened.
I saw something surface from behind my eyes and look back out at me.
No. I was not hallucinating, and I was not drunk, stoned, or in a mystical trance.
I saw my soul. And this isn’t something you know intellectually. You know it in your gut- in your bones. I saw my soul surface from behind my eyes. And it melted me.
Holy crap. I’m sacred. There’s only one of me.
It started with that. And then it grew. I met with my soul whenever and wherever I could. On the subway, while working out at the gym, standing in line at whole foods.
I started leaving love notes for my soul. With red lipstick, I wrote on the mirror above where I write, and on the long mirror where I check out my full-bodied look before going out at night:
i am my own.
i love you fiercely.
you are divine love incarnate.
The transformation happens by paying attention. Each thought that is far from those love notes I leave for my soul began to stand out as if clothed in neon colors in my mind. They couldn’t just saunter in anymore like thieves in the night.
Now a fire alarm sounds whenever a negative thought about myself enters my mind. I spank it swiftly and let it leave as quickly as it can high tail it out of me.
Come miracles come gradually. Day by day they start to manifest from italics to bold face print in our lives. For me the miracle of my own love returning to me- or of me finally, completely turning within and finding the love I had been looking for my entire life outside of me- came little by little. But the utter transformation is nothing short of a slap on the forehead. I’m healed. I’m living revelation.
I am love in action. For me this is the most radical thing I can do right now as a woman. More so than any protest I could attend or opt-ed I could write- the most profound activism I can participate in is the act of loving myself fiercely. Because for me, everything becomes possible when a woman has met with the love inside her.