A Peek into a Private Conversation about Self-Love

Today, I have the honor of sharing with you a private email conversation between me and one of my courageous clients, Hailey, (with her express permission, of course), exploring a bit about self-love.

“Ann, I’m sitting in my room with the window open listening to Nina Simone covers, feeling everything so deeply…

I’ve been wanting to touch more on the topic of self-love with you {my favorite :) }.

If you feel comfortable sharing, may I ask what your road to self-love was like? I understand it’s an ongoing practice that we all must work to maintain. And, was there a moment in particular when you allowed yourself to step more into self-love and move away from harsh self-criticism/self-hatred?

Because, I often wonder if my self-consciousness and lack of self-acceptance will ever go away. I guess it really comes down to feeling peace in/with oneself.

When did you get to the point where you felt peaceful in who/what you are? I know each of us is on our own journey but I feel like it would be wonderful to hear your experience with this topic.”

A Peek into a Private Conversation about Self-Love

“Hi Hailey,

I’m happy to answer you and I don’t think there was one big ah-ha moment. Three thing I do know:

1. Coaching, talking deeply, to my niece Alisha for the past 16 years, since she was 11 (and I was 40) has really soften me toward myself. Sort of like I became aware of how much I wanted to support her in loving self-talk, so I had to do it for me, too.

2. When I was 34 and my boyfriend died of a drug overdose, I had to get really clear on why I chose to keep living. At that time, I realized it was about love. He was the most purely loving person I’ve ever known and I committed to honoring him by being more loving myself. And that started with me – loving me more unconditionally.

In a way, at that time, it was sort of easy because with so much grief, my defenses were down.

3. I really took to heart that thing about putting my own oxygen mask first (on the plane) before I try to help anyone else. If I wasn’t going to love and take care of myself, who would?

What might you hear in all of this for you?

Love, Ann”

“Oh Ann, THANK YOU. This is beautiful. I’m grateful for you sharing all of this with me. Truly, it means a lot to me.

I am hearing SO many things in all of this; I mostly asked the question because I sometimes wonder if it’s even totally POSSIBLE to love oneself and thus be in flow. I’m hearing that life can be full of suffering in one moment and full of beauty and magic in another moment. I’m hearing proof of the human condition!

I also hear that pain softens you. I totally understand this. It’s almost as if pain breaks you open in a way that allows for the possibility of more love to flow in. At least that can be the case sometimes.

I’m hearing that perhaps there is no correct path to the “enlightenment” I’m looking for, aka total self-acceptance. I’m hearing that it’s mostly about choice – do I choose to accept myself in THIS MOMENT or do I not? It’s simply a yes or no question.

I’m remembering a conversation we had where you mentioned that sometimes you don’t even need your coach to answer questions because you’re able to answer them yourself just by asking the question in the coaching space.

I feel that way in this situation. I know what to do and I suppose I was just looking for an affirmation in another person’s experience other than mine. Because, like I said, sometimes I feel so much resistance to myself and the way things are that I doubt life will ever be truly peaceful. I understand now that life’s one moment at a time.

Thank you for reflecting on this with me Ann.”

So, what about you? What do you hear in this for you?

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Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.


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