Self-Love Path to Inner Peace
by Dr. Mary E. Pritchard, PhD, HHC
“And that is what the intuition is for;
it is the direct messenger of the soul.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I was asked to speak at an online women’s retreat last summer. As I love the host and her message and we’ve worked together before, I immediately said yes. She told me the topic of the series was trusting your intuition and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I responded immediately: Self-love!
She asked me, “What does trusting your intuition have to do with self-love?”
My answer: Everything.
Let me break it down for you.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I struggled with endometriosis, infertility, osteopenia, and an eating disorder. All of this culminated in a series of Cosmic 2×4’s that turned my life upside down. In the last six months of 2013, I had a midlife crisis, changed my career trajectory, wrote a book, birthed two websites, got a divorce, moved, broke my heel for the second time in a year and turned 40. (Pay attention: This is where the self-love part comes in….)
As I watched all of this unfolding (at times it felt so surreal that it really did seem like I was but a pawn in my own life), I realized something: I didn’t love myself. I don’t mean in the narcissistic “I am so great” kind of way, but in the basic “I didn’t trust, honor, or respect myself” kind of way. I was my own worst enemy, extremely self-critical and intolerant of my mistakes. And though I did honor my intuition and make those major life changes, it was with a one-foot-in-one-foot-out mentality. I worked myself to the bone to make all of that happen, but I didn’t trust myself. I wasn’t truly allowing things to unfold. I was fighting against the Universe, kicking and screaming the whole time.
It took me another six months, but I finally got it. You can’t fight against the Universe and expect to win – or even keep your sanity! You know that saying, “Everything happens for a reason”? I used to roll my eyes when people said that. Now I smile and say, “Yes, it does.”
And that’s the beauty of life. Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you. Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel and give up, something happens that you never would have expected – something that kicks you in the butt – but that you needed to grow and evolve.
But perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far has been to love myself. To realize that I am a worthy person – not for what I can do for others, but for who I am. That we are all beautiful and unique and we all have gifts to share with the world. Sometimes these gifts aren’t what we necessarily would have chosen for ourselves, but they are still gifts.
My friend and colleague Lisa Marie Rosati likes to say: “Your mess is your message.” That could not be truer for me. Sometimes Universe sends challenges your way – not just so you can learn from them, but so that others can learn from you. So that you can pass on messages of hope and be the beacon for someone else who is going through a rough time.
So what do you do when that Cosmic 2×4 comes your way and shakes you to your core? You listen to your intuition, that’s what.
But how do you do that when you’ve been riddled with self-doubt for decades?
For me, it was a 6-step process:
- Acknowledge What Brought You to This Point in Your Life. You didn’t get to where you are in life by happenstance. So I’m asking you to reflect on where you are right now and what got you to this point.
- Accept Yourself for Who You Are. When I first meet with clients, they want me to “fix” all their emotional or physical problems – preferably in one session. The first thing to know is that even when you feel bad there is nothing to fix. “Fixing” something implies that there is something wrong with you. There isn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean that there is no healing that needs to occur. There is. But healing is different than fixing. Healing is about consciously reconnecting with the Divine and yourself, listening to your body’s wisdom and allowing your connection with your intuition to shine through.
- Cultivate a Relationship with Your Intuition. When I first started reconnecting with my intuition, I was very conscious about the whole process. I chose to do things every day that will allow me to connect with my inner guidance system – like yoga, meditation or getting a massage. I call them “Goddess Breaks,” and they have become a cherished part of my day.
- Exercise Your Power. Change doesn’t happen overnight for most people. So when I find myself backsliding, I cut myself some slack and let that serve as another wake-up call to check in with my intuition. Over time, you’ll find your intuition coming to the forefront more often. In turn you’ll find yourself more at peace, content with being who you are and living the life you were meant to live.
- Re-write Your Personal Story. First, get out of victim mode and into empowerment mode. Second, figure out what you want your “story” to be. Who do you want to be moving forward? How do you want to act? You may need to learn a new skill and learn to see your struggles and challenges as a blessing, not a curse – so you can feel empowered, rather than sorry for yourself.
- New Divine Being on the Block: YOU! You are a Divine Being; never forget that. Your intuition is your connection to your inner divine wisdom. Take your time with this process and don’t expect change overnight. Keep acknowledging what brought you to this point in your life and please, please get support when you need it.
I know. I know. You’re thinking: Easier said than done. I’m not saying that the path to self-love, or inner peace for that matter, will be easy. After all, life gives us lessons we need to learn to evolve and grow into the person we are meant to be.
But I do know this: Your intuition will never lead you astray. It may tell you to do something unpopular; you might not always like what it has to say…but believe me when I tell you that it has your best interest at heart.
So love yourself, trust your intuition, and you will find inner peace.
Dr. Mary E. Pritchard, PhD, HHC is a Psychologist and Body Love Expert, international bestselling author, founder of the thriving “Awakening the Goddess Within” virtual community, an esteemed blogger at Psychology Today and Huffington Post and the Expert Body Love Columnist for Aspire Magazine. She is passionately dedicated to empowering today’s women in healing their relationships with food, their bodies, and themselves, reconnecting with their Inner Goddess, stepping through their perceived fears and embracing the truth of who they are.
Dr. Pritchard has been invited to share her inspiring wisdom and powerful insights as an author. She is a coauthor of the international best-selling books, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness and Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy, as well as a coauthor of the best-selling The Wisdom of Midlife Women 2 and Unleash Your Inner Magnificence Kindle books published by Inspired Living Publishing.
Stop by www.DrMaryPritchard.com today and claim your free 7-piece Goddess Path to Self-Love and Body Love gift bundle and to schedule a complimentary call with Dr. Mary. It’s time to Reclaim Body Love and Reignite your Goddess Self.