Do you love yourself as much as you love your kids?
My path to
unconditional self love
By Karen Braveheart
Me and my munchkins 2021 Rose Garden
Several years ago, I was asked a life changing question.
Do I love myself as much as I love my kids?.
I thought about each one of my munchkins and my love for them- I love them unconditionally. Infinitely.
I answered No, I don’t love myself as much as I love my kids.
It was an eye opening moment, and made me pause. I decided to make a new choice .
"I chose to love myself as much as I love my munchkins, Sophia, Ryan, and Justin"
In the next few weeks, I realized that subconsciously I was waiting for my mom (who died years earlier) to love me. I had to take 💯 responsibility for loving myself, and I wasn’t doing that. No one else was going to magically show up and do that for me.
That question was a gift and sparked my journey to learn how to love myself unconditionally.
Figuring out how to love myself as much as I love my munchkins
Food festival in Los Angeles. Munchkins enjoying their sugar free cotton candy
Questions flooded my mind
Why didn’t I love myself as much as I love my kids?
How could I teach my kids to love themselves as much as I loved them if I wasn’t myself unconditionally?
How do I love myself unconditionally?
What does that feel like?
What am I supposed to do?
Should I be taking more nurturing time for myself- more bubble baths?
It seemed foreign to me because I’ve always put everyone else first- taking care of my older parents since I was 14 and then my own kids. I was never taught how to unconditionally love myself.
Moms- can you relate to this? Drop a comment below.
I didn’t know where to start so I just went about my life until inspiration came to me. Then, one day, I had inspiration come to me- Do I love myself in all areas of my life like I do my munchkins. In all areas of my life- my relationship with myself, with my loved ones, friends, my career, home, money, etc..
I asked myself- Am I unconditionally loving myself in all these areas? Then, my lawyer analytical mind could compare/contrast it to my life and see what I needed to do to love myself unconditionally and match what I do for my kids. I looked at my relationship with love- with myself, my finances, my health, my family and friends, my career, my home, my kids’ schools, and my community.
I saw that I wasn’t putting myself first in all of these areas. For example, I was a workaholic teaching a full time college course load of 4 classes, being a fulltime mom, running the household including responsibility for the finances (I’m good at this!), and working every free second could to do what I loved most-bring the Adi plate invention to market. There were a lot of 2 am wakeups working on my dream.
I never took a day off. Honestly, I didn’t know what that looked or felt like until someone told me I needed a day off to relax.
This was hard to see and do, but I had to take an honest look at how I lived my life so I knew what to look at to change.
It revealed 2 important things to me
- I needed more support as a busy working mom.
- I repeated subconscious patterns of neglecting myself like my mom neglected me. It was through my mom that I developed a relationship with love itself- with how I love myself.
My mom taught me how to love myself.
This first step was eye opening. By looking at my subconscious patterns and heal them, I was learning how to love myself unconditionally. It’s a process that you need to experience and gain the realization from. It doesn’t come from logic.
I was determined to love myself more and make positive changes in my life.
I started journaling, and Inspiration came to me in the form of a list of 16 things that bring me joy
- Start my day with meditation like I did before I had kids
- Yoga- I stopped when I had kids
- Realize I deserve the love life of my dreams and was unhappy in my unsupportive marriage
- Spend time with family and friends where I feel cherished
- Take more bubble bath with roses
- Treat myself to a manicure
- Go thrifting and find some cute clothes for myself- not just buy for my kids
- Get more sleep
- Go to the dentist regularly every year
- I love to exercise- work out weight training
- Take a day off
- Eat healthier
- Quit my teaching jobs which I didn’t like and pursue my soul purpose only
- Go to my favorite beach
- Go on hikes
- Go for daily walks outside
I felt empowered with my new list because it was the first step toward loving myself unconditionally.
Revealing the next chapter on my journey of unconditional love
I looked at every physical item I owned. If I didn’t absolutely love it, I placed it in the donation pile. I started with my closet.
I wanted to surround myself only with things that made me feel really good. I don’t like clutter and feel my most creative when my environment is neat and clean.
The Virgo in me loves organization and the businesswoman in me loves efficiency!
However, organizing never made it in my to do list raising three young munchkins, work, and managing the household. I didn’t have the time to stay as organized as I enjoy. I was lucky if at the end of the day, I looked at the week’s mail and responded to all the wonderful invites my kids received for their friends’ Birthday parties.
It took me two weeks. After going through everything I owned, I was left with things that I absolutely loved. It brought me peace.
"It felt good to only be surrounded with things that I love"
I started seeing the results from my choice. The action steps I took to love myself unconditionally brought me more joy and happiness.
But, I still didn’t feel like I loved myself unconditionally, and I continued on my journey of self love. The words self love still seemed foreign to me.
I desired to connect more deeply within.
Self love comes from within
My favorite beach at sunset in November, near my home
I got on Pinterest and read blog after blog about self love. I wanted to find out exactly what they did to love themselves.
This process went on for about a year. I’d read a blog and start doing some of the tips they mentioned and then wait. I hoped to wake up one day and feel I loved myself as I do my munchkins.
Many of the blogs I read were too general. They would write flowery stuff that looked nice- like just love yourself. What does that really mean to embody? What does it feel like?
Other blogs I read talked about doing things that made you happy like taking bubble baths, going out with friends, eating a nice meal, and going to the spa. Doing these things is for sure self love, and I already started the 16 things on my list above.
I realized that doing the things which made me happy on my list is self care, which is self love. They made me feel peaceful. Unconditional love is peaceful.
Over the next few years, I started doing all of the 16 things on my list on a regular basis.
It transformed me in ways only love could. It made me a better person and a better mom. I felt like I could be a true role model for my kids with how I choose to live my life.
I built up my inner energy reserves again. I didn’t feel burnt out anymore because I created space in my daily life to love myself and take care of my body. It gave me more energy, and I felt more connected to love.
I wasn’t functioning from a place of stress anymore. My life became more peaceful- even when the stress came from my very busy life.
I learned that self love comes from within, not my logical mind. Yet, I still didn’t feel this huge unconditional love for myself like I did for my kids.
The blogs were well meaning and wonderful, but my soul yearned for a deeper connection with myself. I started to question whether the authors of the blogs really achieved this state of unconditional love for themselves they wrote about.
My soul continued its search.
What does it mean to fully embody that I loved myself unconditionally?
I yearned to embody it.
Turning within 100% is where I found unconditional love
I live for red roses- The Rose Garden
It wasn’t until two or three years later through my daily practice of healing my subconscious that I uncovered the answer.
"The question I was really seeking the answer to was who am I?"
My self care practices taught me how to embrace my divine feminine energy. By giving to myself with self care, it put me more in the energy of receiving.
I was in my masculine energy as a workaholic and giving to everyone else. I’m ambitious and was used to being in hustle mode.
What changed was how I flow in my femininity with my work. When I fill up my cup, it runs over and I now approach work from a place of peace. When I’m following my passions and nurturing and loving myself, it overflows and my work gets done effortlessly.
I still work very hard but the difference is that it comes from a place of peace not from a place that feels heavy like a burden on a very long to do list.
One day when I wasn’t expecting it, the most beautiful realization came. I was sitting at a desk in a hotel.
"I am love. I embody love itself."
I’m a walking body of love. I don't need anything or anyone outside myself to love me unconditionally. I am loved unconditionally already as I am love itself.
And you are too!
My search for the answer didn’t come from outside myself. The positive changes that I made in my life paved the path for this discovery.
I’m now learning how to give and receive love in harmony. It’s the receiving part that I’d been learning through my self love practices.
I had to learn to trust love to then be able to receive it.
The more love I give myself, the more I have to give others.
If you are on your own self love journey, my best advice is to first make the choice to love yourself like you love your kids. Then, follow your intuition. It knows the way to unconditional love.
Loving yourself unconditionally is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your children. You’re giving them the biggest gift- showing them they deserve to be loved in this way.
Today, I would answer yes! I love myself as much as I love my kids and it comes naturally to me.
- Gift yourself the same question I was gifted- do you love yourself as much as you love your kids? What’s your answer? What are you going to do with that answer?
- Using your intuition and ask yourself how can I nurture myself today? Then be silent and still and let the answer bubble up in your heart and mind. You can ask yourself this during a meditation practice or on a walk in nature
- Read the Prodigi Kids Parenting paradigm eBook FREE here. It contains a comprehensive roadmap on how to raise your kids with self worth aka self love from birth
- Shop our amazing top quality products from our loving moments collections- thoughtfully designed to connect you and your little one in more loving moments
- Want to learn how to turn the most stressful moments into a teachable, loving moments with your toddler? Say goodbye to the stress and Read our blogs here
- Want to learn how to discipline your child and raise them with self worth? Read our body of work here in the discipline section of our blog
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About the Author Karen Braveheart, CEO
Karen Braveheart is an attorney turned entrepreneur and mom of three who deeply cares about making the world a happier place by changing how we raise our children. Learn more