Lightning Rod Podcast Episode #2: Self Love in the Age of Distraction
In the Episode 2, Evelyn shares her insights about how to experience more self love in the age of distraction. Below, find the near same transcript of the podcast along with the personal challenge.
Earlier this year, I was invited to give a talk at a local event celebrating all things Black Love. My talk was entitled: Self Love in the Age of Distraction. A week before the talk, I was still trying to figure out what to say and how to say it in a way that would land, resonate and plant seeds of transformation. I remember going into a meditation and asking my guides “what is it that I need to say about this topic?” The guidance flowed and what resulted was about 7 pages of notes that I distilled into a 15-minute talk.
The concept of self love is as easy as it is complicated and we all have our own working definitions of what it means to us. Throw in the distraction device at our fingertips, and it’s easy to have unfettered access to the curated aspects of other people’s lives. If we are not mindful, we easily fall into the traps of confusion, comparison and self criticism. At the height of distraction, while trying to learn how to love ourselves better, we can easily spend hours cruising the web seeking “inspiration” and “tools” but not be any better off, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
See, in the world of insta-inspiration, it’s easy to throw together a quote meme and post it to our social media accounts. The visual inspiration is helpful to an extent because it reminds us to check in with ourselves. However, it’s not enough to post memes about “Loving Yourself” and “You Can’t Love Anybody Else Until You Love Yourself First”, when there is real pain that needs to be addressed. Conventional wisdom suggests that the path back to self love is a series of mantras, affirmations and actions to encourage self acceptance and positive self belief. And that the path back to self love may be filled with surrender, letting go, different self care practices, learning to set boundaries or even mounting up the courage to live our dreams. This is all well and good, but with so many of us having consistent challenges around the notion of self love, I decided to try and answer these two burning questions that I’ve had for some time: (1) What are we missing when it comes to self love? and (2) What takes us away from loving ourselves in the first place?
In preparing for the talk, I posed these exact questions to Spirit and my guides. I was given some insight into the true art of self love that deeply resonated with me, and this insight was the basis for the talk. Firstly, Spirit stated that self love has less to do with what we DO and more to do with what we believe about ourselves at our core. That it’s about taking the time to heal the universal core beliefs that are compromised or corrupted because these beliefs create the space and place from which we live and interact with life. By doing this work, we automatically fall into a state of self love.
When I talk about universal core beliefs, I am talking about the fundamental set of beliefs that are universal for all incarnated human beings. In the “You Become What You Believe” 21-Day Meditation Experience offered by the Chopra Center for Meditation*, Deepak Chopra mentions a set of four universal core beliefs that govern life:
- I Am Love
- I Am Whole
- I Am Secure
- I Am Worthy
To this list, Spirit gave me three more:
- I Am Enough
- I Matter
- I Am Connected to Everyone & Everything.
These seven universal core beliefs represent the foundation from which every other belief that we hold about ourselves originates. We are what we believe. If we don’t believe unequivocally in our love, wholeness, security, worthiness, enough-ness etc., lack in these areas is exactly what we will experience in life. It doesn’t matter what we do, how we do it, how many times we do it, what we affirm, what we tell ourselves or what we type. If we are not first dealing with our damaged core beliefs, we are merely extending our pain and suffering. Spirit also gave me the additional pieces that are critical to our understanding but are consistently missing from the self love formula such as:
- Self Love is a state of being and a way of life. It’s not something that we do, consume or chase. It’s simply who we are. It is our default tendency and everything else is a lie. To the extent that we are not already experiencing self-love, is to the extent that we have one or many compromised universal core beliefs. As such, this makes it extremely difficult for self love to exist in a vessel (a human body) that is functioning with corrupted and/or compromised core beliefs. It’s like trying to keep flowers alive in a vase filled with holes. You can pour a lot of water into the vase, but the leaking water will create a mess and the goal of keeping the flowers alive will not be achieved.
- When we are born, these universal core beliefs are intact. They are uncompromised. The process of life damages our sense of self and moves us away from our natural state of being. Until we are aware of and deal with this fact, we constantly act from our original wounds. This is one reason why we tend to experience certain patterns of hardship repeatedly in our own lives and across generations.
- More insight was shared during the talk, but the main point was that in order to truly heal so that we can experience enduring and unconditional self love, we first must do the deep dive work to shed the things that no longer serve us and keeps us from our natural state of self love. Our work is not to “fix” anything. Our work is to shed and release anything that keeps us from being who we really are. In order to do our work, we must feel and not distract ourselves from our pain. The physical practices (affirmations, self care, exercise, etc.) facilitate our work, but we must not use them as a crutch or an excuse to not deal with what ails us or to not ask for help (personal, professional and therapeutic) when we need it.
Now that you have read through this post, I want to offer up a challenge to help you better synthesize and act on this information. If you’re up to it, take some time to answer the questions below in your personal journal.
Challenge: First, write down the seven universal core beliefs listed above on a sheet of fresh paper. Next, using a scale of corrupted, compromised, intact, rate where you are with each of the core beliefs. Finally, assess how the state of each core belief is showing up in your life right now.
Take time to reflect on what you have written down. What are your answers telling you about yourself at this point in time? Remember-the more honest you are with your assessment, the better off you will be.
Lastly- I want you to know that you are doing GREAT at this thing called life. None of us make it out of here alive so please give yourself some credit, a pat on the back and a hug for waking up and facing each day the best you can.
- *Becoming What You Believe although this 21 day challenge is over, you can still purchase it: https://chopracentermeditation.com/store/product/116/become_what_you_believe_streaming