People often ask my siblings and I what it was like to grow up with Wayne Dyer as a dad. I usually immediately feel this need to bring up my mom- since she did so much of the “raising” and has probably been the greatest spiritual influence on my dad throughout his life. The funny thing about that is my parents separated over 12 years ago- but they have remained incredibly close, so close that they have never gotten a divorce- they said they never felt the need to.
Whenever I am asked about my parents, usually my Dad, I reflect back on my childhood and feel overwhelmed with a feeling of security and love. My parents- both incredibly spiritual people- loved us unconditionally- and that love can be seen in family photos, when watching home videos, or even in my own mind when I reflect back on what it was like to grow up in my household. I am one of 8 children, and my siblings and I are insanely close. We spend all of our free time together because we really are each others closest friends.
But despite an ideal childhood filled with loving family and spiritually progressive parents that loved every part of me and made sure I knew it, it has been a struggle to find that same kind of unconditional love for myself- and that, I believe, is the most important kind of love we all need in our lives.
If we accept the fact that we cannot give away what we don’t have- then we must also accept the idea that until we learn to treasure every part of ourselves, we will not be able to fully love anyone else either. Love must begin within before we can offer it outward.
And for so many of us, loving ourselves, accepting our looks, being at peace with our bodies, embracing our past, treasuring our insecurities and giving up judgement of ourselves is the hardest thing in the world to do! We can encourage others to love themselves but we cannot allow ourselves to do the same.
I know a lot of people that also grew up with spiritual parents. Parents that told them they were wonderful, beautiful and capable of anything- but they never felt worthy of anything inside. I believe that learning to love ourselves- unconditionally- is one of the hardest things we can attempt in life.
My parents could have been Jesus and Mary and it wouldn’t have mattered- until I learned to love myself! I believe that when we put ourselves down- we are putting down the name of God. We are all little sparks of God- little pieces divinely created with love- and we each came here with a dharma to fulfill. If you want to know what your purpose is, you gorgeous little miracle you, then get quiet and thank the part of you that recognizes that you are indeed a little piece of God. A spark of the great oneness. Begin to honor the God-presence within you, and give thanks for being as magnificent as you are.
It was only when I stopped judging myself and tried loving myself that I began to discover that the universe, God, whatever you want to call it, fully supported me in my efforts and I started getting all “green lights” on my path toward discovering just what my dharma was. When I started attempting deep and profound self-love, the kind great parents offer to their children, I started to feel good- I started to find that the right people were showing up at the right places and my life began to feel more on purpose. Since I began the process of self-love and self-acceptance, the right man came into my life. When I started to offer love to myself on the inside, I started to lose the extra weight I was carrying around because I began to realize that I didn’t need food to give me the feeling of being full, I felt full and complete without food or drugs or alcohol.
The practice of loving myself has been filled with ups and downs- and that is ok- because it is a “practice” and i am still learning to get good at it. The practice of loving myself has brought miracles into my life. As Louise Hay says so beautifully “You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.”
I have given approving myself a shot, and it has been paying off. I urge you to do the same.