Meaghan Archer - How I'm Learning To Love Myself

by GEM Magazine / Aug 20, 2015 / Comments

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am today; a place where I’m comfortable in my own skin. A place where I find beauty in my breath and want to keep going on.

I was beaten down by my own words and those of others. I let myself feel the pain of others because I thought that’s what love was—sharing pain. But collecting baggage is not a healthy hobby. I was weighed down and drowning.

I thought I was okay. "If I hold your pain then you’ll hold my heart, right?" I couldn’t have been more wrong. You can’t love someone or be loved you when all you’re feeling is pain. I didn’t realize.

I tried to like myself. I told myself many times, I love you. But it was a lie. I wanted it to be true but it wasn’t. Not just yet.

I thought I could just switch my thinking and things would change, that the love would come. It didn’t.

I thought that if I said out loud, I’m comfortable in my body, then it would be true. It wasn’t.

Then I found myself in a place where I had to work for it, work for my own love. I sat with myself and I meditated. I listened to my breath. I was still. It hurt but not as much as the burden of carrying pain around day after day.

The more I sat silently with myself, my heart began to get lighter, little by little.

Tears poured out my eyes for days as I moved heavy rocks off my heart and threw them off cliffs. Slight relief would come over my body, only to be flooded again with the rains as a new avalanche fell from my chest.

I removed the debris, all the rocks and pebbles that were cluttering the bottom of the mountain.

I learned to climb the mountain of my heart. With every step I let something go; feelings, shame, guilt, blame, hatred. I threw it to the wind and carried on.

I’m not sure where I am on the mountain now. I can’t yet see the top but I can see far enough in front of me to take the next step.

I can feel my heart growing and love radiating out of my chest. I can feel the light energy that is inside me and I am not afraid to open myself and let it out, let others see and feel that compassion I have for myself, and therefore, everyone else.

Don’t be afraid of yourself, of your heart or of sitting in silence and listening to your breath. Take a seat, be still and silent. Let your feelings come up, let your heart beat at its own rhythm, whatever that looks like in this moment.

Acknowledge the pain, the baggage, the rocks.

Before I found my silent seat I didn’t know that to love yourself meant to love everyone else - acknowledging their pain and sending compassion and love their way, not taking it on as your responsibility.

For I am just one soul in one body, as we all are. We share the light within, no matter how buried it is under the rubble. You can resurface and let it shine. It’s just a matter of finding the strength to move the rocks, and the tiniest stones, to find the fresh air at the bottom of the mountain.

Once you find the silence and your breath, then you begin to climb.

By Meaghan Archer.

Meaghan is a freelance writer and yoga instructor. When she’s not on her mat, she can be found wandering the forest, nose-deep in a book or surrounded by beautiful beings.

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