Skip to Content

Self-love: What Is It?

The Nurturing Myself Centering Skill is perhaps the most important and difficult to remember. Too often Nurturing Myself seems to be a list of things we are supposed to do to take care of ourselves. For me, Nurturing Myself starts with self-love. However, this is tricky territory—an elusive yet perfectly present phenomenon. 

Shall we start with what gets in the way? How hard I can be on myself? About my default belief of not being enough? About the impact of my early childhood trauma’s on my self-esteem? No, not those old stories. Let’s focus on a universal truth. 

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.

~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Our world traditions share this wisdom:

  • Christianity – The Kingdom of Heaven is within. 
  • Buddhism – Look within, you are the Buddha. 
  • Islam – Those who know themselves know their Lord. 
  • Judaism – He is in all and all is in him. 
  • Confucianism – By exhaustively examining one’s own heart, one can know heaven. 

In my life, I have often felt the presence of love in my heart: snuggling with my dog at age six, in the kiss of my beloved at twenty-six, in my daily meditation and Aikido practices, in the laughter of my beautiful grandchildren, and always in the extraordinary beauty of nature.

When I look within, love and her twin sister, joy, are here, inside me, and ever-present. Even as I write these words, I’m listening to beautiful music and its rhythm is like the heartbeat of the universe. It may sound like something outside of me, but no, it’s a quick shift to realize that what seems to be on the outside is actually inside of me. Experiencing the magic of a sunrise also lives inside me. I simply have to use my Centering Skill of Noticing Myself and I can feel the love inside—viscerally, deep in my belly, in my heart, and wide open in my expression of awe.

How is self-love any different? It’s always here when I am open to it. When I use my Centering Skill of Letting Go, I can drop my judging mind and be open to the present, now. If I use my Centering Skill of Finding Gratitude, I feel my heart open and realize how grateful I am to be alive. When I use my Resilient Mindset of Curiosity and make the tiniest shift in awareness, to wonder what’s happening inside me, I realize it is me that I am loving being!

When I love my own being I am a better person for it and I touch the world in a very different way.

How do you access your inner self-loving?

With Resilience, 
Chuck and the Dovetail Learning team