“Those who know the secret of love know the greatest secret of life.”

– Osho

Even before I was born, I knew that my parents did not want me. They were having yet another child, the 5th, and financial strains would only grow.

They found it hard to love me. My father came from a male dominated society and what he truly desired was to have a son. My mother had been the victim of both sexual and physical abuse as a child and real love was a foreign concept to her.

They were both sent to harsh boarding schools far away from home when they were only 6 years old and only saw their families once per year. If they were lucky, their parents would write them an occasional letter.

When I think about the cold world that my parents came from and how much affection they managed to give to us children, I marvel at their courage.

My mother always made sure she cooked us healthy food, played with us and our home was always clean. She would ‘do’ anything for us, yet she could not give it from the heart. That feeling, that love, just was not there for her to offer. She tried so hard to feel it, but she just could not find the connection with love.

My father fought very hard to provide for us financially. No matter what, any money that was earned was always spent on us children in order to give us the best opportunities in life. I have never known any person fight as hard for anything as he did for us. Yet no matter how much he tried, his face would never light up as brightly as when he saw my brother; his world was filled with joy because he had a son.

I grew up never understanding what was wrong with me and why they never really loved me. All I knew was that something about me must be ‘broken’ or ‘not quite right’. As if they made a mistake when they made me.

Subconsciously, everything I did became about trying to earn their love. My mission was to be the perfect child and I became obssessed with never doing anything wrong. My sensitivity to others and my environment was heightened in order for me to always ensure that I pleased everyone. I persistently sought acknowledgement and approval.

As an adult, my world reflected my inner belief ‘I am not lovable’. I deliberately chose men who treated me badly. I worked in jobs I did not enjoy. I found fault in my friendships and abruptly ended them. I took drugs to escape my pain. I cut myself. I looked at my life and I saw despair, neverending turmoil and self-hatred.

Eventually I hit rock bottom and I had a nervous breakdown.

And then something miraculous happened.

I heard a voice from deep within me saying that there was hope. That I could have a beautiful life filled with abundant love for myself and others.

I have been listening to that voice ever since.

I have been on a powerful journey through many a peak and trough, with my inner voice of wisdom to guide me, and I have dedicated myself fully to the art of self-love and creating a life that I love.

4 Steps To The Giving Yourself The Love You Never Got

For all those that have become disconnected in this lifetime with the love that they completely deserve, I will share with you some important truths that I know helped me to realise my connection again.

1. Give yourself the love

No one and nothing can ever give you the love you have always seeked. Only you can give yourself the love that you never got and that you still yearn for.

You have a light of love brighter than you could ever imagine deep within the centre of your being. This love is your connection to Source, to who you fundamentally are, and the supply is infinite.

Once you begin connecting with this love, you will be in awe of its radiance and you will understand that all the love that you need is already within you.

2. Heal your past

You cannot change the past and you don’t need to. All you need to do is to accept it and let it go. By releasing resentment, blame, judgement and anger around the past, you allow yourself the opportunity to make peace with it and you set yourself free.

You can give the child in you all the love that it always yearned for. You can be the parent you never had. There is no place in you, no matter how sad, lonely or tormented, that love cannot heal.

Love is singularly the greatest force there is.

3. Practise loving yourself

Self-love does not come in the form of a luxury parcel that you one day receive at your door and then exclaim ‘now I finally love myself’! Rather, it is a practice that becomes your life.

When you practise the art of self-love you incorporate it into every single aspect of your day. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you go to sleep at night, you promise to love yourself in every way. You dedicate time daily to expressions of your self-love e.g. meditation, yoga, healthy eating, enough sleep.

Self-love is a commitment that you make to yourself in exchange for a lifetime of joyful, abundant living.

4. Continuously choose self-love

Old negative beliefs systems that have formulated as a result of your childhood can seem hard-wired into the brain. These negative thoughts about yourself e.g. I am not good enough, may even lead to unhealthy behaviours e.g. binge eating.

But you always have a choice. You are the director of the thoughts that take centre stage in your brain. You can always choose to think loving thoughts about yourself.

Even if you don’t know how to, even the slightest ‘willingness’ to see love will deliver it to you. The thought only needs to be ‘I am willing to love myself’ and the power of this intention will manifest itself fully in your consciousness.

A Happy Ending

On my own journey, as the love for myself has grown, the world has transformed before my eyes and my life has become miraculous.

I have forgiven and released my past, I take loving care of myself every day, I have a beautifully harmonious relationship, I have friendships that I treasure, I actively manifest my dreams, I follow my passion and I live my purpose.

I am testament to the fact that, no matter what, you have the power within you to transform your life. It all begins with you and loving yourself.

Can you imagine how it must feel to love yourself completely?

Photo by Shanon Wise

Jess Heslop

Jessica Heslop is a student of A Course In Miracles. She is the founder of Live The Life You Love, which supports others to live a life filled with authenticity, abundance, infinite love and joy. Hop on over there and you can get access to her highly regarded A Guided Meditation On Love And Loving You.

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