It is relatively easy, isn’t it, to love and appreciate the enlightened aspects of you? To love your ability to help people, your kind heart and generosity, your talents, and the wisdom you have acquired.

But what about your unenlightened parts? It seems to be more challenging to love the parts of yourself that are jealous, selfish, controlling, condescending, timid or addicted.

If you have had a journey at all like mine, you’ve probably spent some time trying to ignore those less than enlightened aspects of yourself. You may have attempted to overcome them, ignore them, or erase them from your consciousness and behaviors. The challenge is that they don’t just go away because we want them to, do they?

Yet, these less than desirable qualities exist for reasons. They are part of the whole of who you are, and they are a part of you because of the experiences you have had. They can’t just get up and walk away, and they can’t be ignored, fixed or trumped by more enlightened thoughts.

About the time, you think you have trumped an unenlightened aspect of yourself with a more awakened thought, those feelings of regret, resentment, righteousness, or anger come sneaking in, and there you are experiencing the pulls of your more unenlightened ways of behaving.

The unenlightened parts of yourself exist because they are aspects of you needing to be loved. Your deepest wounds and desires are screaming for your undivided attention. They don’t want to be fixed any more than you do. They don’t want to be ignored any more than you. And like you, they certainly don’t want to be treated as though they will feel better if they just act like everything is okay.

They are the wounded and desiring parts of you that want to be heard, recognized, understood and loved as you are in the moment. Unenlightened parts of ourselves become enlightened when they are met with love and grace. They become enlightened when they are understood as they are, from the very core of our being.

So what are we really saying here? The unenlightened aspects of you become enlightened when you are willing to love those aspects of yourself with the same regard with which you love the more enlightened aspects of yourself. They call you to love yourself, completely, without limits or judgment.

You might be asking yourself how you get to that kind of loving regard for yourself, when you just don’t feel it. (I remember how frustrated I was when I was first learning how to be self-compassionate.) You might find it helpful to read this article that I wrote for those of us that can feel stuck or numb about loving ourselves, When You Are Not Feeling Compassionate, What Do You Do?

Some of you may be reading this thinking, “I even have trouble loving the more enlightened aspects of myself. What do I do?” I think you will find the same article above to be helpful. It is a respectful way to lead your heart and mind to greater self-love and self-healing.

Imagine for a moment, how your life might open up, if you found even a little bit more love for you—the parts of you that are awakening and the parts of you that are still sleeping.

Think about a young child that you enjoy. Isn’t it wonderful to watch them run, play and thoroughly enjoy life? Isn’t it equally wonderful to watch them sleep, unaware of what is really happening around them?

That’s how it is in a spiritual journey. You are the observer of your life—the one who most sees and understands the uniqueness of you. You have an amazing opportunity to fall deeply in love with the parts of you that are awake and the parts of you that are asleep.

I use the term “falling in love” with clear intention. It is one thing to learn how to like yourself, and that might be perfect for where you are in your life right now. It is yet another step in spiritual awareness to love yourself, and yet another to fall in love with yourself.

This is not selfish or self-absorbed. Because you are the eyes, ears, heart and arms of the Divine here on earth, this is about seeing yourself as the Divine sees you. It is the grand gift you came here to earth to give yourself.

During the month of October, I will have the privilege of sitting in circle with women that have decided to explore the essence of the Sacred Feminine with me and with each other. The ability to hold oneself in love—all of oneself—the enlightened and the unenlightened aspects—is the very nature of the Sacred Feminine.

In this unconditional, accepting love, we discover who we really are. Another way we say this is that we shed our limited bodies to become our limitless selves, for in love, we are limitless.

You are invited to join us, and you can learn more about the Path of the Sacred Feminine Women’s Retreat here: