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Savannah Hanson: The answer is self love — Full stop

Savannah Hanson
Columnist

“One way we know we have commenced integration of our unconscious definitions of love is when we no longer seek someone out so we can feel loved… The love we give ourselves is enough… Love is then only about giving unconditionally — and in the unconditional giving is the receiving.” “The Presence Process,” Michael Brown.

This quote contains the essence of all I have Remembered about what Love is. A dear friend called the other day and out of nowhere I heard myself say something like, I am sure of one thing. The key to all of this, the one crucial ingredient to our freedom is Self love. Full stop.

I know we have all heard it a million times before: love yourself. Can feel rather daunting, yes? Most of us will want to pull out a laundry list of faults and promise to love ourselves AFTER clearing up all our errors.



Yet this turns out to be incredibly toxic. Seeing ANY error in self or other turns out to be highly costly and keeps us looped in suffering.

I have spent just under two years participating weekly in a leadership platform where one of the founding principles is to not try to fix or change anyone, including ourselves. For a trained and licensed psychotherapist this is particularly paradoxical even though the minute I got licensed, I stopped doing traditional psychotherapy, focusing on the problem. I began doing work with conscious presence, embodied practices to support the awareness of one’s true identity as Source.



Easter of 2019 I was headed to the airport to fly alone internationally for the first time in decades. I was having a mild panic attack and my blood pressure was sky-high as I contemplated the over 30 hours without sleep, arriving in Israel in the middle of the night, not knowing how to get to my hotel. It was the first time I came in direct contact with mySelf. I heard an inner voice say “I am here for you.” It kept repeating it until I calmed down. Prior to this, Source was external, now I had finally contacted it within. Increasingly over the years my professional work has been about supporting clients in the full Remembrance of who they are and supporting them to fall fully in love with themSelves. This changes everything.

Yet the deeper I dig into this topic, the more is revealed, an endless treasure chest yielding untold gifts. Over the last weeks the sense of inner Homecoming has been unspeakably nourishing and satisfying as increasingly more subtle levels of self rejection fall away to be replaced by a plethora of self appreciation. The inner dance of celebration has lead to tears of exquisite joy.

As external sources of fear and separation are seemingly increasing daily, it behoves us to find another way to stay out of the quagmire through having dominion of our own consciousness. And key to this is total self acceptance. Needless to say for many if not all of us, this is a process, given how much conditioning and programming we have to dismantle.

I was surprised to hear myself say so emphatically that Self love is the thing to stay superglued to. While I first recognized self hatred was alive inside me almost 20 years ago, I was not able to say I truly loved myself until maybe eight years ago. But there were a few major aspects of self I did not love, specifically the sensitivity to energy that had seemed to debilitate and cripple me for much of my life. I had never had an anxiety free moment until 1997 and there were two more decades of alternating anxiety until I reached a place of deep surrender. And still there was this huge self rejection about how my nervous system processes energy. I write about this in detail as I had no idea how even this moderate self rejection hurt. Until it stopped and the full acceptance of self, “warts” and all, was revealed to be so incredibly nourishing.

When we think we can love another without loving ourselves, we are deluding ourselves. Many are still stuck in the special relationship game where we try to bargain for love. You adore me and I’ll adore you and neither of us will rock the boat. Until the game is over and we need to play with someone new. This new person will seem wonderful, not odious as our prior partner ultimately seemed to be. Until we have cleared our own conditioning and ego traps, we will surely be pulled into drama in our relationships.

I heard two teachers I deeply respect say the answer is never another person yet it took me two decades to personally dismantle that boobytrap. For me, it was one of the stickiest.

What does it take to love ourselves? We must meet all our seeming errors, weaknesses, annoying or destructive tendencies with love, compassion, and welcome, surrounding it to Source. Clearly easier said than done. I do not know anyone who got free without a strong intent and dedication with a lot of willingness. We get to viscerally dive repeatedly into any stuck energies, allow all feelings to be felt and given pass through. The task can feel endless and it is easy to get lost in self attack, convinced that if only we did not have this or that “wrong” with us, then it would be so much easier.

Let this post be a marker pointing to true North. Since we are children of God, made in the image of our Creator, literally part of Divine Intelligence then to criticize or try to fix any part of ourselves simply loops us in separation. Yet my direct experience is by loving and allowing whatever arises in the now, the dross simply disintegrates itself, leaving the pure essence of Truth behind. I know this can sound airy fairy yet the proof is in the action. Commit and see what miracles unfold.

Finally, wisdom from the movie “Alice in Wonderland:” “Do you love me?” Alice asked. “No, I don’t love you!” replied the White Rabbit. Alice frowned and clasped her hands together as she did whenever she felt hurt.

“See?” replied the White Rabbit….If you don’t love yourself, at least a little, if you don’t create an armor of self-love and happiness around your heart, the feeble annoyances caused by others will become lethal and will destroy you. The first time I saw you I made a pact with myself: ‘I will avoid loving you until you learn to love yourself.’”

For information on private sessions or classes or to schedule a free 20-minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at (530) 575-5052 or RisingasLove@gmail.com


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