Growing up in a family of nine kids, I always felt that I had to work on getting my share of love and attention from my parents. Don’t get me wrong, they did their best to be fair and did a great job raising us, but I always felt that I was just another one of the nine kids… I felt that I needed to differentiate myself by working hard at school, following the rules and being the “good one”.

As I grew up and had relationships, I went through the same motions of trying to work hard for the love I “deserved”. Sadly, the harder I tried, the less fruitful the relationship; with my heart being broken far too often.

Essentially there was this void I desperately wanted to fill.

I’m sure this is a common story for many of you. Amidst everything that is happening around us, it is easy to feel lost, insignificant, incomplete and unloved. I have realised through meditation and my yoga practice that this void I have been trying to fill has never actually existed. That I have always been complete. The “feeling” of emptiness was the result of my own disconnect from the biggest love of my life…my SELF.

I am not talking about the ego driven kind of “love“. It’s that quiet love that calms your fears by cocooning you in your own essence to see clearly what your life is truly about. It’s learning to accept the choices that you made, looking past the hurts and focusing on the wisdom that they present. It’s the love that makes you accountable for each moment of your life. It’s living and not just reacting to the ways of the world.

Think about it, without the ability to love oneself, it is highly unlikely one can ever be happy or achieve a state of inner contentment and well-being.

The invitation is always there…

Spend tender moments with yourself, a quiet walk on the beach, taking time to slowdown and telling yourself “I love you…I am listening”. Embrace the beauty of your vulnerability and stay soft inside. Do something special for yourself and focus, without feeling remotely guilty about putting your phone on silent and spending time on YOU.

We are born in a state of love and we will leave in a state of love. What happens in between is entirely up to us. But know this … You cannot truly be happy, love another or receive love from another if you are not happy with and love yourself.

Elisa

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