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  • Writer's pictureSharanya Naidoo

Self Love

July 14th 2017

In this video we dive deeper into the Love Cup to explore what it is, what drains it and what fills it up. Self-love is a popular topic and some people are a little tired about hearing about it. Not me. I think it’s an important conversation to continue having so that more and people don’t only know about it but they experience it in their lives.

This week I wanted to answer the question, what is the love cup? All three cups are spaces inside us that we know, deep down, when they feel full, half-full and empty. Each cup represents different parts of ourselves that need nourishment for us to function at our best.

When your Love Cup is full, you feel loved. It’s as simple as that. Simple is not always easy. When it is full you feel loved from the inside out, which means to say that you feel loved without condition. You feel as though you don’t have to do anything or be anything outside of yourself to receive that love and appreciation.

Growing up a lot of us would find that sense of fullness or that dollop of love from the outside. We learned that when we do something right we’re praised, we feel loved. And so we get into a pattern of seeking that love from the outside, in order to feel full on the inside. The result of that is that unconsciously we slowly give away our power and the responsibility of feeling loved is placed into someone else’s hands. The birthplace of unhappy, unhealthy relationships with others is when we give them the responsibility of ‘you need to make me feel loved, and if you don’t there’ll be hell to pay”.

So, how do we get out of that? We find ways to fill our love cup up for ourselves. We find ways to feel loved and we give it to ourselves. Everyone is different. What you need is different to what I need to feel loved.  When you find what works for you, you need give it to yourself and the act of giving it to yourself is what fills up your love cup. If you know what you need to feel loved and you don’t give it to yourself, that feels like neglect. You feel why am I not worthy of feeling loved? Why am I not worthy of having that in my life? Why does everyone else get that and I don’t?

The love cup is full when there are no conditions to that love – I love myself simply because I exist. You don’t ask a child whether they love themselves. They just do. They haven’t thought not to yet. They haven’t yet been conditioned into fear and to living without self-love. We are so drawn to their presence because they can bring us back to a feeling of love and connection by simply watching them.

I remember a long time ago when I was in primary school, I had a huge issue with being short. I’m five foot two. I love it now. I mean I don’t care either way now. But when I was in primary school and in high school, I had this issue about being short. I didn’t accept it and I didn’t love it. I wished it would change.

I would pray to the gods of height to please give me another couple of inches. Never happened.

But I remember when Christina Aguilera first came out with “Genie in a Bottle”, and that film clip was just awesome. I remember watching her thinking if I was as tall as her I would be happy. I remember thinking she looked like an Amazon. If you follow pop culture, you’ll know that Christina Aguilera is quite short. I didn’t realise that at the time and there was no internet when I was growing up.

I would just see these videos that would come on TV and she looked amazing and beautiful and I thought yes, the key to happiness is to be tall. It all changed when I read a profile on Christina in a teenage magazine and it listed her height. She is 5’’2.  Exactly my height.

Oh no. How could that be? How could this gorgeous girl be as tall as me? Later on, I realised that you can place dancers in such a way with specific camera angles to make you look taller. I had no idea about all that stuff when I was that young.

I was faced with a dilemma, my condition to be happy and to love myself was to be as tall as her. And now lo and behold, I am as exactly as tall as her. I remember in that moment, and this alludes to the power of decisions as well, I could decide to just dismiss everything and go back to being miserable. My agreement I thought, was unattainable.  I set up a lose-lose situation with myself. Being short justified my misery.

I suddenly found myself in a win-win situation where I now had permission to be happy and love myself.  So, I did. I consciously made that decision I have to be happy now. I thought well, I set myself up for this, now I have to be happy.

It was a knock-on effect that eventually brought me to self-love. That one decision to be happy actually opened my eyes to all the ways in which I was not loving and accepting myself.

Love is what happens when you love yourself without condition.

Being short was a condition away from love that I chose to uphold for so years. It got smashed as soon as I realised that my idol was as tall as me. And then one by one, out of the woodworks, all these people started becoming short all of a sudden. I had always thought they were Amazons – Jada Pinkett Smith, Kylie Minogue, Shakira.  I realised height has got nothing to do with being happy. That was a messed up story that I was telling myself. It prevented me from loving myself because I couldn’t see who I truly am.

We go through that process of getting rid of all the things that we deny ourselves happiness over, and in turn that self-love slowly grows. And when you truly feel full with your Love Cup, it’s when all those conditions are gone. All the issues with deservability around love is all gone. You don’t deserve love. You are love. You are allowed to feel loved. You don’t have to put any conditions on it because those conditions can change and that’s not where your truth lies. Your truth lies in the fact that you’re born, you exist, your nature is love, you deserve love. And so you don’t deny yourself love based on conditions. That’s what it means to have a full cup of love.

So, you love yourself, that’s one thing. You give yourself permission to love yourself. You don’t withhold love from yourself. You do things that make you feel loved. Those are all great. And they keep your Love Cup, I would say, three-quarters full. The other part is that we’re social creatures, we’re not islands in and of ourselves. We have other people around us. And part of having a healthy love cup is being very selective of who comes near it. You do get love from other people and experience kinship with them.

You decide who you will receive love from. They have to be worthy. They have to be of a quality of giving. They have to know… well, don’t have to… we don’t put conditions on people, but it’s always good when you’re around people who know how to love themselves. It means you’re off the hook. You can relax. You can just be yourself. And it’s the same with other people. When you know how to love yourself, you let other people off the hook. You don’t give them the burden of you needing to feel loved from them.

When your love cup is full you become very selective of who comes near that cup because that’s when you’re vulnerable. When your heart opens, you want to make sure that the people you are exposing this open heart to can receive that love and can keep it safe. You know they won’t destroy that fragile, beautiful, strong heart of yours. Fragile and strong. So it’s tender. You have tend to it, you have looked after your heart, and then you allow certain people to come near it.

When you do that, and when you figure out how to do that for yourself, you have a full Love Cup.

You walk into the world and you don’t expect anyone else to love you more than you are willing to love yourself.

And that is a place of fullness, a very empowered place to be.



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