What Self-Love Really Means

Mindful editor-in-chief Heather Hurlock explores how calling in our communities both near and far is an essential part of deepening into self-love and gratitude.

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Every now and then, and less often than appropriate, I realize how grateful I am to help produce Mindful magazine. I’ve been on a healing journey most of my life. It’s been messy. And clarifying. And hard. I joke with my friends that I make the magazine that I need to read at the moment, but that’s not far from the truth.

It’s my privilege to humbly call in a community of big, wise hearts—who are out there in the world, illuminating the edges of where the practice of mindfulness meets the sharp points of broken systems and battered spirits—and ask them questions about what they’re learning right now, so we can all learn it, too.

Learning to Love Yourself

As the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation say, “Learning to love yourself is the work of a lifetime.” That’s not a call to pamper yourself as a distraction from the hard moments of your life. Self-love means learning how to meet the pain of the world with kindness and with healthy boundaries. It means standing in the fire of your own suffering, and of those you care about, with an open heart. It means calling in your community for support.

One of the most alchemical forces in the world that brings balance to our suffering is gratitude. Not the kind of gratitude that compares your suffering to someone else’s in order to feel better—like being grateful you have food on the table when others don’t. But the kind of gratitude that reminds you that you carry generations’ worth of wisdom inside—and when you remember, you help others remember, too. The kind of embodied gratitude that resounds from within, proclaiming: You are not separate from the suffering of others. The kind of gratitude that builds communities of authentic care, because, as bell hooks reminded us, “Healing is an act of communion.” And gratitude is the glue.

Self-Love and Gratitude

Mindful magazine made it through the pandemic, just like you. It’s still alive and being shared from hand to hand, thanks to the hearts and minds of our staff here at Mindful, thanks to our teachers who share their stories and wisdom, and thanks to our readers (that’s you).

It is with deep appreciation for you (and your healing journey) that I gently call on you to share your gifts, your unique wisdom, your beautifully imperfect aliveness, with those around you.

With love and gratitude,

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