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by Katherine Skaggs

February is the month associated with love, valentines, flowers and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. If in love, it is a time for romance. If without partner, it is too often a time that brings emotional pain, disappointment and loneliness. On the soul’s journey, transcendent of holidays and time, love’s most sacred mission is self-love and union with the Divine. It is a rejoicing in everyway for one’s life, for one’s gifts, and simply for one’s own existence. The ultimate love affair is the discovery and celebration of the divine union with the Inner Beloved… this experience of Oneness with God and all life is as blissful as the most romantic love affair you can imagine with another.

This act of sacred self-love provides the path to greater intimacy with another, and all life. It creates fertile ground for a vulnerable yet strong heart, a forgiving heart, and a life lead by a wise heart. It creates healthy boundaries and self-awareness that births respect, self-worth and the ability to dance more fully with another.

Can you imagine having a love affair with yourself? Can you then imagine that this love affair expands vast quantities of love, joy and bliss to all around you, and to the entire world? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel so connected and loved within yourself, that you can offer nothing but an overflowing of that energy to your partner, and to your family and friends?

A Few Tips for Romancing the Heart of Your Inner Beloved,
and Healing Your Soul:

Celebrate and love yourself.

Whether morning or night, do something good for yourself each day that is done with gentleness, love and kindness. Take a walk in nature and reflect, meditate, take a yoga class, read a book, take an art class, soak in a hot bubble bath… what makes you feel great, loved and loveable? Even if you only take five minutes to acknowledge and love yourself in one simple act, it could be the pivot point to change your world. Make time for you each day!

Admit 10 things you love about yourself!

Grab a sheet of paper and write at least 10 things you love about yourself. Use crayons or colored pens, add images or symbols. Pour all the energy of gratitude, appreciation and love into the act of writing yourself a love letter. This is a love note to your Inner Beloved. Put this in a place where you will read it everyday… in a journal, on your bathroom mirror, posted beside your bed. Self-validation is the beginning of belonging.

Practice an attitude of love and gratitude.

Now extend the practice of what you love about yourself, to an expansion of gratitude and love for your life and the world around you. What do you have to be grateful for in your life? Name as many things as possible… as big or as small as possible. Say “thank you” to all you can imagine. Bless all the people, things, places and situations possible. Practice this every day, in each thought and you will see that what you give to your world is returned to you over and over again. This practice as much as any other mentioned will shape shift you and your world.

Forgive yourself, and others.

Take time to let go of the past, and all the stories that cultivate anger, separation, loneliness and a broken heart. Write out the stories until you have exhausted every thought and feeling of not being enough, stories that you have somehow screwed things up, stories that others have hurt and victimized you, stories that you aren’t loved or loveable, stories about hurting others, etc. If you can, explore this beyond writing. The more you can be creative in expressing the story, the more it can be let go of. Dance it out, paint it out, shout it out — most of all let the past stories go! Forgiveness is one of the most powerful exercises for changing your life.

Create a Celebration Ritual for Your Inner Beloved!

Set aside an undisturbed time and sacred space for a personal ceremony to honor yourself. Light a candle, and some incense. Use an essential oil such as rose or sandalwood on your heart and hands, breathing it in deeply. Close your eyes, and focus your attention on your heart, breathing into thoughts and feelings of love, gratitude and appreciation for yourself. Now, imagine that there is an enlightened being who looks just like you, sitting in the center of your heart, full of joy, happiness and bliss. Focus on this beautiful being and feel the love, joy, happiness and bliss. Now imagine this loving, bliss-full being, who looks just like you, is dreaming a new life of only love, beauty and joy!
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