Guest Posts, Self Love, Truth

Hunting Self-Love

April 17, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Amy B. Scher

Just say the affirmations, they claimed, and you’ll believe them. So over and over I repeated the Louise Hay affirmations that seemed to dust everyone else’s life with a perfect sheen. I used them tenaciously each day to make me love my 20-something-year-old body that was falling apart at the seams. To make me love the me inside, too.

I love myself.

I accept myself.

I am perfect.

All will be well.

But I just kept believing that these things could only be true if. I would love and accept myself and I’d be perfect and all would be well surely, if I made more money, if I could heal this unruly body of mine, and if my partner accepted me more …

So, I said those affirmations louder and harder.

I fucking love myself.

I fucking accept myself.

I am fucking perfect.

All will be fucking well.

Then one morning, I listened very closely to the gaps between my assertions.

I love myself.

I hate myself.

I accept myself.

I reject myself.

I am perfect.

I am a mess.

All will be well.

It’s all a fucking lie.

That’s when I discovered why my words weren’t working. Thirty-four times a day at least: No I don’t, I don’t. I don’t love and accept myself very much at all. I am not perfect. It’s all a fucking lie.

Affirmation fail.

Affirmations are for people who can sneak positivity into their beings and believe it; but that is not for me. I am a Virgo and I don’t believe easily, especially something that is miles away from what I believe now. I discovered what happens when humans try to stretch too far, too fast. We resist. And when we resist, we start forcing. And when we force, we get further from what we want.

Ram Dass said, “In the Tibetan literature they say, ‘embrace your ten thousand horrible demons and your ten thousand beautiful demons.’ You’ve just got to take it all and keep going. All your fears have to be embraced, entertained, honored, and you go on with them.”  So I listened, because Ram Dass knows what he’s talking about. I stopped painting pretty words over the dark skies inside of me. I entertained the truth for once: that I was scared to death and angry as hell. And that’s when everything began to unfold.

I rewrote the rules of affirmations so I could try crawling toward self-love. Perhaps I’d make it there in a hundred years or maybe even a few less.

I might be able to love and accept myself one day.

I am not really that bad (well, maybe yesterday, but not today)

I do love that I keep trying to accept myself.

I think, actually, that I might be okay’ish.

Yes, I am.

These are things I believe.

(Repeat a million times a day)

I became okay’ish even when I dripped tears and snot all over Ann Lamott’s books, convinced that I was a terrible writer. I was okay’ish even when I had a PMS meltdown on the kitchen floor over burnt rice (it really happened). I’m really okay’ish no matter what. And I like it that way. No, no, I love it that way. I even, sometimes, love and accept myself like people at folk concerts do–where you see them drowning in bliss, eyes closed, swirling about. But I don’t expect it too often because I don’t like to push my luck.

Self-love, I learned, cannot easily be forced. But it does grow if we let it.

Amy B. Scher is an author and leading voice in the field of mind-body healing; teaching that our ultimate wellbeing is born not from self-help, but self-love.  Amy has been featured in publications such as CNN, Curve magazine, Psych Central, Elephant Journal, The San Francisco Book Review and was named one of Advocate’s “40 Under 40” for 2013. Most importantly, she lives by the self-created motto: “When life kicks your ass, kick back.” She can be found on Twitter as @amybscher or on her site at amybscher.com.

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Mother's Day Retreat! Join Jen Pastiloff in Ojai, Calif this May for a life-changing weekend retreat. May 8-10th. No yoga experience required. Just be a human being.  Click photo to book.   "Here’s the thing about Jen Pastiloff, folks. Here’s the revolutionary thing. She listens. She listens with an intent focus, a focus that follows your words inside you. Because she has hearing problems, she watches your lips as you speak, and she plucks the ash of your words from the air and takes it inside herself and lays it beside her heart, where before too long your words start beating as if they were strong, capable, living mammals. And then she gives them back to you. Boiled down, this is the secret to Jen’s popularity. She can call what she does Beauty Hunting–she is for sure out there helping people find beauty. She can start a campaign called “Don’t be an asshole” and remind us all to stop a second and please, please, please be our better selves. She can use words like attention, space, time, connection, intimacy. She can ask participants to answer questions like What gets in your way? What stories are you carrying around in your body? What makes you come alive? Who would you be if nobody told you who you were? All of that is what it is. But why it works is because of her kind of listening. And what her kind of listening does is simple: It saves lives." ~ Jane Eaton Hamilton.

Mother’s Day Retreat! Join Jen Pastiloff in Ojai, Calif this May for a life-changing weekend retreat. May 8-10th. No yoga experience required. Just be a human being. Click photo to book.
“Here’s the thing about Jen Pastiloff, folks. Here’s the revolutionary thing.
She listens.
She listens with an intent focus, a focus that follows your words inside you. Because she has hearing problems, she watches your lips as you speak, and she plucks the ash of your words from the air and takes it inside herself and lays it beside her heart, where before too long your words start beating as if they were strong, capable, living mammals. And then she gives them back to you.
Boiled down, this is the secret to Jen’s popularity. She can call what she does Beauty Hunting–she is for sure out there helping people find beauty. She can start a campaign called “Don’t be an asshole” and remind us all to stop a second and please, please, please be our better selves. She can use words like attention, space, time, connection, intimacy. She can ask participants to answer questions like What gets in your way? What stories are you carrying around in your body? What makes you come alive? Who would you be if nobody told you who you were? All of that is what it is. But why it works is because of her kind of listening.
And what her kind of listening does is simple:
It saves lives.” ~ Jane Eaton Hamilton.

 

Featured photo by Melissa Shattuck.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Jenna April 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Hell yes. I’m going to try this! The positive affirmations haven’t worked for me, leafing me to the conclusion, I can’t even do this!

  • Reply Brianna April 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    WOW. You are so brave to write about this! I struggle with this as well every day. Somedays Ill just cry in the shower feeling so broken but we just got to take it day by day, moment by moment. Once we accept and see the beauty of ourselves in the painful circumstances, we start to live. Thank you for sharing. Many hugs and blessings to you beautiful soul.
    xox

    • Reply Amy B. Scher April 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Thank you for your comment, Brianna. YOU are brave, too, my dear. We are all in this together. Sending massive blessings your way!

  • Reply Sheila Bergquist April 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    This was so refreshing to read! I, too, fail most of the time with the positive affirmations and am so relived to hear others do too. Your approach makes so much sense…thank you!

    • Reply Amy B. Scher April 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

      You’re so welcome, Sheila! We’ve each just gotta do what works for us. And sometimes, being open to knowing it won’t be the “norm,” makes all the difference in finding those things. Big love to you!

  • Reply Jessie April 20, 2015 at 3:05 am

    I love this – it is so true for me as well! Thanks for the “modified affirmation” tip…I am going to give it a try;)

  • Reply Jaya Khanna April 20, 2015 at 4:02 am

    Self- learned is the best kinda learned! What a wonderful read it was…

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