The journey

I remember being in year 9 . I was struggling with friends and my dad would say to me, “Mary you need to have self love”. I would shout at him and say,” yeh, great and how do I get that?” His answer didn’t help me find the way. His instruction sounded like a shopping list and that I might go shopping and buy myself some self love in a shop. Three university degrees and years of work in mental health and all that I have come to learn leads me back to the same instruction. This time I have some extra information that I hope will help you.


Self regard, self worth, self confidence, self compassion ,self love, self acceptance, these are the words that lead us all to wholeness and full life. In the Christian tradition we hear the words that Jesus came that we may have life to the full.


I suspect  life to the full  is to be fully ourselves, the unique creation we were created to be.


In mental health we understand that when life feels empty we are struggling to be who we want to be and accept who we are. Circumstances, pain and criticism can all challenge our sense of self worth.


My advice here is be careful where you go to shop for self love.


Avoid facebook  and Instagram supermarkets that sell , ‘ likes’ and positive comments. They are virtual shops and often when you ‘buy’ something online it’s the wrong size or shape and returns cost money.


Avoid seeking approval from others. People often compare and compete and what one person admires another despises.


Avoid seeking approval through achievements success is not measured through comparison, being the best. Success is measured by the love present. Achievements come and go and have no lasting power.


Avoid seeking approval by fitting in. I am not sure why but the conscience is very strong and you will almost always feel terrible when you behave in a way that your heart thinks you shouldn’t.


Seek self love ,self compassion ,self worth by choosing it. In your thoughts and choices. It will be a daily adventure.  Choose to do those things that you know feel right and true for you.


When you are feeling empty of love and you find yourself talking about someone else, judging them to be less than you -stop and notice the lack of love is not from another but from you to yourself. When you notice you want to have likes on facebook, ask yourself why you are feeling empty of love and go and fill yourself up at a reliable love fountain.


That may be your mum or dad or  grandparent or favourite singer. It may be by walking in nature or watching the sunrise. It would be helpful if ,as you sit in love, you remember that is what you are made from and for. That no one can make you less loving or loveable, it is your truest nature.


I am pretty sure if you do this often enough you will fill up with love and with self love and  have a full life, of love.


Choose loving thoughts about yourself. It will be a matter of discipline. Avoid being critical of yourself. Take care of yourself, which includes having a rest when you need one. Choose to do what you love. Choose to be with people that love you, as you are.


I am not saying this is easy. I just think I have learnt over the years that dad was right – he just never explained that it was a choice – it was choice I couldn’t see – but it was there all along.

Love and blessings Mary


and one day driving home from the country with my dad , I heard this song. I heard the words and I remember crying at the  truth, I was less than ten years old at the time…and the words touched me deeply… I hope the words heal you too…