A Workbook and Guide to Finding Your Way Back to Self-Love
Book Cover & Preview Text
I cannot teach anybody anything.
I can only make them think.
Self-love or the lack of self-love not only determines how we see ourselves but also governs how we experience the world around us. It is the prism through which we see and define all things. So why do so few of us see self-love as the starting point to our inner and outer health? Oh, we tell children to like themselves, but how do we teach them to do that when we don't practice it ourselves? When you ask people if they love themselves and how they do that, they often will say, "Yes, I love myself," and then they will likely provide an example of an action, such as, "I take a spa day," "I buy myself something I have wanted," or "I eat only healthy foods." I have rarely heard someone respond with "Yes, I am compassionate with myself," "I value myself at all times," or "I am kind and forgiving with myself." While taking a spa day or eating what gives you pleasure can be helpful and loving, these things are in no way indicative of someone who is necessarily rooted in self-love.
While self-love can propel us to take loving actions, self-love is not an action but a state of being. When you reside in that loving state, it is with you at all times wherever you go, and it can never be diminished or taken away by outside influences. Just as negativity or darkness can permeate every nook and cranny of your existence if you allow them to, self-love can and will permeate your entire existence if you will heal and transform what has separated you from the truth of self-love.
My mission with this book is to get you to look at self-love with new eyes in order to understand that it is your right to reclaim your self-love. Also, I want to help you connect the dots to what has separated you from your own love so you can be empowered to rediscover it.
This book is not a big book for a reason. I wanted it to be less about me and more about you. After all, it is your personal journey toward the truth, not mine. That is why it is written in a workbook format. I know some may want a step-by-step, two-week process that they can complete and be done with it so they can move on, but that is not how it works.
Personal growth takes time, diligence, and patience. It cannot be achieved by doing one meditation or a couple of exercises. You have had years to reinforce your lack of self-love and the negative beliefs that grew out of it. So, understandably, it is going to take some time and focus for you to untangle yourself from the lies you have believed for so long and move back into self-lpove.
My experience with inner healing has shown me that it must be done in layers so you can absorb the understanding before you move onto the next layer needing healing and transformation. This is not to make it drawn out for the universe's amusement but rather to allow you to grow in your wisdom, thus empowering you along the path toward wholeness.
It is your job on the path back to self-love to become intimate with yourself and to learn what makes you tick. I know that can sound silly, and I can hear some shouting, "Are you crazy? Of course I know myself!" But I would counter, "Do you know why you react as you do to certain emotional triggers? Do you know why you feel powerless? Do you know why you make decisions that never seem to be in your best interest? Do you know why you put off your own happiness for another's happiness? Do you know why you keep experiencing the same negative energy over and over again, just in new clothes?"
As spiritual beings, it is our job to investigate, interrogate and eventually integrate everything going on inside of us. While that can seem daunting, just know you have everything you need inside of you to do this sacred work. Much like a detective on a case, you will become adept at investigating what is happening inside of you. You will be amazed at how much information will be revealed simply by consciously observing and taking notes on what is going on inside of you throughout your day. You will teach yourself how to interrogate the various parts of yourself and push past the first response to the truth that lies underneath. You will discover the power that is inherent in the simple word why.
Through the process of investigating and interrogating, you will begin to integrate those parts of yourself that have been orphaned and lost, bringing them back to the whole through understanding and love. While it can seem difficult, just know that it is the most fulfilling work you can do.
Some of you may now be wondering what my job in this relationship will be if you are going to do all the work. After all, I wrote the book; I must have some responsibilities. And I do. As the Socrates quote said, my job is to make you think. And that includes not only helping you to discover what you truly think about yourself and the world around you but also helping you redefine what self-love means.
I would also add one caveat to the Socrates quote. My job is not only to make you think but, even more importantly, to make you feel. Self-love, as is all love, is anchored in your heart. So besides guiding you to investigate through the use of questions—the big whys—I will do my best to aid you in understanding the importance of your emotions and how to become comfortable with your emotions and even befriend them for your detective work. It is only through becoming emotionally adept that you can make lasting changes within and return to your natural state of self-love.
You can do all the programming and techniques you want to get a better life, but if you don’t love yourself, it will not change a damn thing. You will still feel the same way about yourself tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.
The bottom line is the most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself. This relationship can be a rewarding one when rooted in self-love, or it can be toxic when not. So, what is self-love? Why is it so important? And most importantly, how do you find it?
The Heart of the Matter answers these questions and more. It takes the esoteric concept of self-love and makes it accessible by clearly defining the three necessary components of self-love. Learn how to reconnect to these components by:
• Discovering the transformational tools that are available within.
• Learning how to use these tools to uncover what you really think and feel about yourself and the world around you, and more importantly why.
• Transforming the wounded parts of self that have been separated from this love through practical steps and exercises for healing and forgiving the past.
• Empowering yourself to make more loving and conscious choices about what you believe and therefore what you will feel and experience.
We all are searching for more love in our lives. The Heart of the Matter not only shows you where to look but also gives you a roadmap on how to get there.
About the Author
Joffre McClung is a Spiritual Author and an Independent Filmmaker. She published one other book, How Learning to Say Goodbye Taught Me How to Live (A Spiritual Memoir) in 2015. She previously worked as a senior producer and director for a production company in New York City.