Self-Love: The Greatest Form of Resistance
I held and rocked the toddler version of myself tight to my body, with her head resting on my breast, tears flowing from her eyes and mine. Then another little girl walked up and wanted to join the hug. She was a tiny girl, around three, with adorable curly brown hair, rosy cheeks that looked like apples, a cute button nose, and sad eyes. Holy shit! That’s my Mom as a little girl! She joined in the tight, loving, safe, rocking embrace. We all cried while we were intentionally physically connected for the first time.
Amazing! Here I am simultaneously giving love to my inner child and my mother’s inner child the same time. I wonder if my mother was ever held like this when she was a child?
Then it hit me. We are so much alike.
We grew up in a family, religion, and culture that did not value women’s bodies. We understood that we hide our bodies except when attracting or pleasuring men; only then can they be revealed. We also learned that pleasure was shameful, even in some cases, a mortal sin. We discovered that our reproductive process and body parts were considered dirty and shameful and that childbirth and breastfeeding our babies were somehow sexual. The man-altered versions of these life-giving acts were considered better than the wisdom of our bodies. Our innate wisdom, inherent to our being, was somehow regarded as faulty. We did not have sovereignty over our bodies, and we did not trust or love our bodies.
My dream, including me, holding my toddler self, and my toddler mother, was powerful. I was able to provide this safe and nurturing embrace because I love myself, and I know that I can give myself love…and accept love from myself at any time. We had been given shame that wasn’t ours, but we took it in and walked through the world with shame guiding us along the way. This embrace was holy and healing.
Many factors are well-known to contribute to the cycle of women not loving themselves. While it may start with the “mother or father wound” for some, the whole family contributes, as do our schools, our religion, media, and our culture. Our culture tells women that they are not good enough, not worth as much as men, and not as intelligent and capable as men. We have to work harder and prove our competence constantly for our less than equal pay while navigating all the marketing telling us we need to be perfect, and in order to do so, we need to improve these ten things about ourselves. Our choices about everything are scrutinized to a ridiculous level and many times by other women. It’s a constant no-win situation! While there have been many improvements on this front, we still have a long way to go, and the changes that have taken place are constantly under attack by people who believe in the old oppressive ways.
This is what I believe: When women learn to love themselves it is the greatest form of resistance!
When a woman loves herself, the oppressive narrative quickly begins to fall away. She doesn’t believe the stories that she is not enough, less capable, and she surely doesn’t walk through the world with shame! When a woman loves herself, she can dream big and achieve whatever dream she wants. She can dance, sing, feel pleasure, and embody confidence. She has freedom in her body! She can speak her truth. She can say no. She can fully express anger, sadness, and happiness. She is powerful!
She doesn’t compare herself to other women or judge herself or other women. She doesn’t stay in abusive relationships, and she doesn’t feel the constant need to be right or prove herself. It all falls away.
She can truly feel everything beautiful and powerful about being a woman!
She can stop the cycle of passing down the shame, and her children will be healthier and freer. For every girl and woman that learns to love herself, it will be chipping away at the oppressive, patriarchal systems. Once a woman loves herself, everything changes, and her oppressors lose their power.
This is my passion: Helping women love themselves. I am striving to break this cycle in my family and beyond. Imagine a world where women love themselves! I imagine this world to be significantly more loving, joyful, balanced, peaceful, and harmonious.
I invite you to join me in the resistance!
Here are several ways:
- Please follow and share this blog!
- Book a game-changing coaching session with Tina!
- Join Tina’s monthly, “Self-Love Sundays” events online or in person.
Tina Green is the “Self-Love Queen,” and she is the Founder, Owner, and Life Coach at Exposing The Roots. Through her life coaching, women’s circles, and retreats, she partners with women to assist them in increasing their self-love. She believes that when a woman learns to love herself, everything changes.
Tina is a trained Life Coach, Best-Selling Author, and Chef. She brings her vital mother energy and lived experience to her work. She also has 20 years of experience as an executive in non-profit and financial services. Tina lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in Northern California, where she is a personal transformation enthusiast, foodie, outdoor adventurer, gardener, and cook.