Dr. Nandi Hetenyi
April 5, 2019
As someone who has spent most of my life unraveling deep shame and a core fear of my true self, there have been many times on my journey where I felt completely deflated around the whole concept of self-love.
What is it? Why don’t these self-love affirmations work for me? Why do I feel like I’m pretending to be someone who loves themselves when deep down I fight with myself all the time? Why does it seem to be so easy for everyone else? What’s wrong with me?
In a world that values externality, the inner realms are exiled to the borderlands of self. We try to reach them from where we sit, but don’t want to fully bring them back. We try to love ourselves on small islands of self-fragments that are the ones we are told are ideal, rewarded for being acceptable.
Scarcity and shame are not mindsets. They live in the soul-body and the energetic heart. Trauma is in the nervous system, not the mind.
Not good enough is a painful interpretation of early trauma, where the love and the reflection and holding the care was not enough, and because it wasn’t enough, it’s too dangerous for a young psyche to metabolize this, so it gets turned inwards towards the self and translated to I am not enough.
This soul wound becomes our identity, the pain we wrap our personalities around, personalities and identities we try to develop of the person who loves themselves.
I long believed that if I loved myself, my pain would go away. Soul wound is a karmic frequency that was pulling me to places which led me to believe Oh, this familiar feeling, this is love, this is contact, this is connection. This wound is reaching for addictions, longing for a mother to hold her, which addictions do until they turn on us and make us sick.
Our true identity comes from grieving what we needed to cultivate to survive our inner exile, grieving what and who we must let go of. That grief is the first breath of love welcoming lost parts living inside caves, longing for a fresh drink of water and a deep breath of fresh air.
Self-love has been the deepest journey into my soul wound, discovering there the parts I exiled because they were not loved. I had to learn how to love them. To become the person I am, I had to let go of what my mind thought and turn towards my soul-body, towards my heart, and let the story of my DNA lead the way to where I must sit and hold vigil, deep prayers that I may learn how to love here too.
We can sing a prayer of longing into the spaces that have not known love.
May I know how to love here too.
Affirmations are like yelling at a hurt inner child or a confused internal mother that they are loved and safe when they are shaking in terror, have no idea what is going on, and need to be tended to and nurtured.
Love is from the heart. It is a verb. It’s action and feeling.
We must sit in the cracks of our broken hearts and listen to the songs and the stories, lay flowers, anoint the broken parts with oils, and ask, What do you need? What do you need me to know?
Here, we resurrect our true riches and learn that this continuous cracking open is how we let grace lead the way. Then, pedicures and new clothes and vacations are icing on a pretty yummy tasting slice of cake.
Here’s to finding love in all the places here and now.
Dr. Nandi Hetenyi