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Hello all! Let’s start this by imagining a mother and her little 2-year-old toddler. What are all the visuals that cross your mind?

  • The toddler walking, falling, tumbling.. and getting up again.
  • The toddler eating and making a complete mess.
  • The little one speaking gibberish.
  • The naughty baby throwing toys around.
  • The tantrums and shouting of the impatient little child.
  • A beautiful smile and a warm hug from the child.
  • A peaceful and content look when the toddler sleeps.

This and several other scenes may have crossed your mind. Through all of this, day in and day out, what do you think is the mother’s MAIN emotion towards the toddler?
 

While she may crib and complain about the tantrums and the mess, we all are sure that at the end of the day, she is COMPLETELY and UNCONDITIONALLY in LOVE with this baby. Can you connect with that feeling in your heart – a mother’s unconditional love? I am sure you can, as you do not need to be a mother or even a parent to feel it. It is one of the most natural emotions in the world! Now just close your eyes for a moment and feel that love within you!

Now imagine that the toddler is a grown-up person who is reading this right now - that is you! And continue feeling the same unconditional love for you, through you, right now!

What happened? Were you able to feel it? Or did thoughts immediately start crowding your mind?

  • How can I love myself like that? I am no longer a baby!
  • I was cute as a baby but have not grown up to be worthy enough for the same love now.
  • Only parents can give that love. No one else can love me like that.
  • I don’t deserve to be loved like that!
  • Now I am an adult – with the responsibility of other people and other things. All this love is meant only for children.
  • I have other ‘grown-up’ things to do.
  • … etc… etc.. etc.. (I would love to hear what you were thinking! )

Such thoughts are the most natural ones for almost all of us. Once I crossed the threshold of toddlerhood and started interacting with the world, I was constantly made aware by all around me (with best intentions at heart, of course!) about how I needed to improve, to do things better, how I was wrong at many places… so on and so forth. This ultimately made me believe that I am not perfect and cannot be loved ‘unconditionally’. I have to keep ‘earning’ the love, by following all ‘dos and don’ts’ laid out for me by others! Now let me share how life panned out for me from then on.

Of course, I am in NO WAY undermining the amazing family, friends, job experiences, material gifts and God’s blessings that I have received on this way! I am and continue to be in IMMENSE GRATITUDE for all that!

When I got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, I thought it was a hereditary thing, as my mother has it too, and started medication without even giving it a second thought! The 1st warning bell rang when I was told I could never donate blood due to hyperthyroidism; the 2nd bell rang when a friend gifted me Louise Hay’s book – You Can Heal Your Life – which said Thyroid issues are due to the inability to speak up, and the 3rd and 4th bell rang and shook my world when I attended 2 workshops of Who Am I and You Can Heal Your Life. That is when I started on this journey of self-awareness and realized that I was not listening to myself, my needs, my body. I was just in the race to ‘earn’ love through others – by doing or saying what they felt was right. One of the effects of this was that I was not able to express my innermost desires - and that is what led to my hyperthyroidism!

The journey since then has been about me LOVING and ACCEPTING myself with unconditional love and am happy to share that I have been off medication since last 3 years and my thyroid readings are absolutely normal.

Through the process of unconditionally loving and accepting myself, I have grown from a person who quit 6 jobs every 2 years - as I thought I did not have it me to work at a senior level – to having the faith and courage to start off as a Life Coach and Transformational Facilitator on my own. 

Apart from health and diseases, self-love also shifts something very core within us, our relationship with our closest ones. Now, I do have a very strong set of family and friends, who have always been by my side with complete love and faith in me. However, earlier I used to wonder why did they even like me, as I had nothing good in me! I thought I was dumber than my sisters, never as smart as my friends or peers or not even as good a parent as my husband. This caused me to be an insecure and jealous mess from the inside. On the outside, I was moody, throwing temper tantrums, bouts of weeping, either shouting or not speaking at all and running away – leaving many tasks incomplete. I always thought that my connections with family and friends were not genuine and they would stop liking me or leave me one day!. 

Till the practice of unconditional self-love and acceptance opened my eyes to all the good, warm and fun things that I indeed had to offer (and which I had been offering always), in making life a beautiful place for me as well as the others. Needless to say, I was able to see the beauty in others too and I started having loving and deep conversations with my sisters. I started connecting with my college friends and peers as an equal, without feeling jealous of their successes. I became a more secure, calm and friendly mother and thus a fun partner for my husband too. As the cliché goes, “Life has never been the same.”

If you are tugged to give a shot at this - I invite you to jot down a few things where you are not happy with yourself (could be your own thoughts or what someone else has told you) and then next to each write, “I am willing to release the resistance and love and accept myself just the way I am!”

Magic happens when we start loving ourselves unconditionally and accepting ourselves completely – the good and the not so good within us. The Universe then loves us back too and we are able to find hidden gifts, treasures and signs that propel us ahead in growth, in our journey towards abundance, joy and ease!

 

Best wishes and love always and forever,

Sharmishtha Ranade