Okay, that title is a bit of a hoax because I totally believe in self-love but it’s easier said than done, right? How the hell do we love ourselves when we have been beating ourselves up our entire lives?! I have found myself asking this question numerous times because seriously, how do we do it?

We know that self love is the key to a fulfilled life. When we love ourselves we are able to serve the world at our highest capacity and provide humanity with the gifts we were born to give. But why is it so dang hard?

The way I see self-love is this. Each being is a puzzle. We were born a complete puzzle, in which all pieces were in the right spot creating a beautiful, beautiful image. At the moment when we decided a part of ourselves was unworthy, whether it came from ourselves or an external source, we took some pieces of the puzzle out and placed them to the side. We hid these pieces in a drawer someplace else and locked them up, so no one would ever see them again. We thought that if we hid the pieces of the puzzle that we disliked, our puzzle would still be complete. The problem with this is that there were huge gaps! This puzzle was incomplete.

Self-love is unlocking the drawer where the hidden puzzle pieces are and figuring out how they can fit back into the puzzle. Finding the right placement for each piece. These pieces that we kept hidden are representative of our shadow selves, the parts of ourselves that we perceive as flaws. When we begin to integrate the ex-condemned pieces back into the puzzle, we put time and energy into figuring out how each piece can fit back in. Self-love is adding one piece at a time until all the pieces are back in their right place.

Self-love is admitting that we are human which means admitting we aren’t perfect.  Self-love is moving through our feelings of fear, anxiety and self-loathing rather than being paralyzed by them. Self-love is admitting “hey, I’m scared right now, I need some support.” Self-love is embracing the darkness, the parts of ourselves we might rather pretend don’t exist. It doesn’t mean we have to sit and swoon over our fears and insecurities, but it’s an acknowledgment that this part of ourselves exists. And it’s an acknowledgement that ultimately, all parts of ourselves exist for our benefit.

So to answer my question: how the hell do we love ourselves when we have been beating ourselves up our entire lives?! I say we continue to desire to love ourselves completely and each and every day we will add one more piece to the puzzle. Knowing that each piece added brings more peace and joy and aliveness.

Go on, love yo’selves.

**Got things you do to practice self-love?  We would love to hear them so share in the comments below!**

About the Author

This article was written by Alison Leipzig, our very own Body Confidence Guru! Alison is dedicated to making our relationship with our bodies loving, safe and freakin' fun and she infuses her confidence philosophies in to everything she creates. Having been through her own struggles with her body and loving and accepting herself, Alison has a compassionate and unique perspective that can allow you to access divine clarity. She also loves to guide our Bella Beauties on their Body Confidence journeys so leave a comment below and she will walk you through your questions and concerns step by step. To learn more about Alison Leipzig or to connect with her further, visit her Bella Life profile here.

16 Responses to What’s Up With This Self-Love Shmelf-Love?
  1. love this analogy. thank you for sharing your light.

  2. I love this Ali! Thanks for the beautiful article!

  3. What a great way to draw up a picture of the shadow! Those disowned parts of us that are dying to be discovered are a puzzle piece that has to fit back into our lives for us to be whole and happy. Great post!

  4. Patricia Ottaviano July 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM Reply

    I’ve always imagined that perfect self-love meant being happy all the time. Im so thankful to know that its okay to admit we aren’t perfect and its okay to feel sadness at times. As long as we honor ourselves and see the light within us, we can still be on the road to radical self-love! Great article Ali!!!

  5. That was a beautiful analogy, and a wonderful article. I like the concept of “unlocking” pieces of the puzzle. You don’t have to be happy at once, but you can do it one puzzle piece at a time. :)

  6. Alison, this is so beautiful! I can see you are doing the work and are doing so beautifully. I like looking at ourselves as a puzzle because we do need ALL our parts to be completely ourselves. Thank you for sharing your light!

  7. […] Originally posted on YourBellaLife. […]


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