Self Love Letter
Kia Ora koutou, ko Karen Hansen ahau.
I like to call myself a HeArtist, because I am passionately creative, a chronic heart sharer, and conqueror of many dark places in my life. This story is a love letter to you, expressed through my direct experience.
I am many things. I am the body that I was born into, I am my mind. I am what I choose to make of and with them. I am a culmination of my thoughts, choices, and reactions I have to my experiences. I am constant change.
It’s taken me a long time to learn personal responsibility for my identity. There was a time when I hated myself so much, that I cried nearly every day to be somebody else - never realising that I was already whole, always becoming, and because I was ignorant of this, was creating my own suffering.
In this same way, I was craving for Love. I had been through a succession of partners and abusive relationships. One night I reached a breaking point. I realised I was in un ugly repeating cycle.
I cried out for the universe to show me what I needed to do to move on.
About midnight, still crying, I went into the bathroom and looked myself in the eyes. I had been reading self help material on the internet, and - staring into that mirror - I knew I had to try something radically different. I took my brightest red lipstick - marilyn monroe colour - and wrote accross my reflection
“YOU ARE LOVED”.
The bathroom mirror was now an affirmation of acceptance that I would read multiple times a day.
Eventually, after a broken night, I got to sleep - and woke super early - before the children. I went into the bathroom, it was barely dawn, and looked in the mirror.
Something miraculous had happened... The Universe had spoken.
The bright red D had disappeared from the end of the affirmation, like it had never even existed. No smearing , no trace. And the absence of that one little letter changed everything. Now, when I looked at my face in the mirror it told me in bright red lipstick:
You ARE Love.
This was one of the defining moments of my life. Those three words have so many layers of understanding. For the following years, I have been slowly, messily , lovingly integrating the universes lesson with mistake after glorious mistake and insight after insight. These have been my teachers.
The truth is, that I was going for all the wrong men because they had things within them that I needed to experience and grow from. Gifts of darkness, with the right insight and compassion applied, cracked me open - and I began to see deeper heart-truth reflected in the world around me.
You see, love is not the highest vibration in the universe, it is compassion: loving kindness. It is from where we all come from, and to where we will return. This messy, wild, vulnerable, crazy, beautiful human experience just covers it up with so many layers that we end up thinking we are them.
The love I was seeking was my own. The validation I was seeking was my own. The teamwork, care, cheerleading, compassion.. All the qualities I had been longing for in a partner, was always about my relationship with myself.
One of the greatest love poets of all time, Jalad al-din Rumi, was actually a 12th century Sufi Mystic. What people don’t usually understand, is that Rumi’s poetry: soul touching, heart wrenching, used in wedding vows all over the world, was never about another person. The Sufi’s were calling with longing through their beautiful words, to be united with their higher selves… the God within.
Listen with new ears:
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you. Never realising I was blind. Lovers do not meet somewhere along the way, they are inside each other all along”
This deep rooted subconscious longing, and disconnection from our own core of loving kindness is so misunderstood and creates much sadness in our lives.
Thich Nhat Hinh said it well:
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself and that suffering is spilling over”
How different a world would it be , if we all filled ourselves with deep self love, support, held space for ourselves, and unlocked the wellspring within. Soon, a flood of compassion would saturate the lives of all those we touched. But, a caution: If you feed others from your cup, then it will slowly deplete. Soon it will become half or completely empty.
So the key is:
always fill your own cup first, let it overflow, and then feed others from your saucer!
Try not to plant negativities, your life is rich fertile soil that will return many times what you sow. Plant and grow a great and beautiful self love tree, You can climb and swing in it, take shelter under it, and best of all - it will produce luscious fruits, each containing the seeds for another 10 trees.
It’s been a long journey and one which will continue to delve deeper, it is the nature of such work - but from the girl who cried daily to be somebody else; her self loathing spilling like toxic waste- I can joyfully say today, that my self love regularly sits at an 8/10 .. after overflow.
I want everyone to remember this:
Ko au, nei he aroha.
I am love.
Ko au koe koe, ko koe ko au
… I am you and you are me.
There is no seperation - only unity.
Love xxx - Karen.