Roadblocks to Self-Love and How to Navigate Them

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Do you ever feel simply unable to love yourself? You might have experienced:

  • being ashamed of something you have done

  • being unable to forgive yourself

  • outright hating yourself

  • not accepting your kind of beauty and personality

  • not knowing what makes your soul full and content

  • comparing yourself to others and measuring yourself to their definitions

I’ve been there. A miserable heartbreaking state. Searching for reasons to love myself. Finding promises outside of myself: in books or someone’s words. 

Feel better… for a moment. Face another challenge to my self-perception or my worldview. Lose all determination to love myself. Welcome back the doubts and the negative self-degrading thoughts. 

Over the years, I mapped about self-love in one form or another. Some maps were specifically about self-love... the one from the period in my life when I lost a relationship and a dream because of my own actions. Those actions confused even me, and because I couldn’t explain why I did something, my actions became the evidence that I wasn’t worthy of love. They drained my capacity to love myself. And Self-Love Maps were my effort to rebuild that capacity. 

...other maps were about confidence, or solitude, or some interest I was unsure if I was supposed to pursue. Only later, looking back and connecting all these maps, I was able to see the unbroken thread of search for love. 

Last summer, the following map came from a journey. I was sitting on the rocks, the raging sea before me, Nature surrounded me. The energies were teaching me about the purest form of love.


You can experience the most transformative form of Love. A way to true healing and power. Self-love expands your sense of self because it goes inward, into your deepest secrets. You stop being ashamed of anything. You radicalize your perceptions about yourself.

As your soul travels into discovering Love, you encounter three roadblocks. Use mapping to skillfully navigate them.



Not giving yourself enough space 

Our busy lives occupy the biggest space within our consciousness. From work to family obligations, many things require our attention. Sometimes we need to give ourselves time and space to slow down, breathe, listen and feel.

Self-love requires deep self knowing. Learning about your self requires being with the self, unconditionally, uninterrupted, unafraid. 

And what parts are the most difficult to be with? Our Shadows, as Carl Jung called them, the pieces we consider ugly and unlovable. We squeeze them into non-existence and suffocation.


The dynamic unfolding of your truth requires a moment by moment awareness. As soon as you become aware of a part of you that has been suffocated, ease around the edges and become kinder to that part of you. That's how you grow more space for yourself. 

Deep knowing of yourself will reveal the parts that need space. 

Who are you? What glues the pieces together? What flows your fires? What bursts your water into divine fountains? Are you feisty, intense, and erratic? Do you have a lot of fire that searches for an outlet? Or do you have a lot of earth energy, needing a slow unfolding? 

Don’t judge anything. Allow yourself to get to know your Self with kindness. Give yourself that penetrating gaze you have been longing for. As you are encountering your own deeper layers, imagine all of them crafting your path and weaving your personal magnificent tapestry.


Make a map for what you can absolutely NOT love. What is your biggest mistake, your ugliest truth? Map that!


Feeling small and taking it as evidence of …

… not being worthy of love and not being enough. 

What I call smallness is that space where we feel depression, fear, inadequacy, loneliness - less than and unlovable - lost and isolated. 

What will it take to sit with all those heavy feelings?

We have an image of how to be whole. When we are unable to love ourselves, we feel like something is missing. And until we get that mysterious, ever escaping SOMETHING (it’s always something, becoming more of something, doing more of something, doing less of something else) we can’t be fulfilled and, as a result -- can’t be loved. 

The true self-love can come after we fully accept our darkest shadows. 


Feeling small comes with many emotions which makes it difficult to spot, difficult to admit. To catch ourselves when we shrink and withdraw takes practice.

You might feel inadequate, or incomplete. There might be anxiety or doubt.

The trick with feeling small is to not push it away but feel it, embody it fully, and follow the feeling until it releases its wisdom to you.

Did you know that there are some wonderful benefits to being small? Benefits to being invisible. Some wisdom is available only to those small enough, humble enough, silent enough to perceive it. 

Do not force the change but allow the causing event lead you slowly through all it needs to communicate. For example, feeling inadequate in a social situation. Instead of assuming you need to be more outgoing, try listening to that feeling of awkwardness. What are the reasons? What needs do you have but neglect? What history led you to feel this? Explore it before you try to change it. 

I use the following questions for the mapping process.

1. When do you feel small?

2. Do you notice any pattern?

3. What is your reaction? Physical (drink, eat chocolate, cry and go to sleep) and Emotional (depression, anxiety, feeling not good enough).

The navigation process requires staying alert when Smallness comes. Becoming curious about it. Collecting information so you can piece together a pattern. It will be your own, unique and beautiful. 

Next, experiment with your reaction. After you become more aware of those moments and answering the three questions, you can start crafting new actions and new perceptions. When that begins to happen, the Smallness will no longer be an enemy. But a sweet friend.


Not integrating your Cosmic Essence 

The feeling of belonging and love comes from the knowing of our deeper roots, our ancestral heritage, and our Cosmic Self. Your Cosmic Self is the One connected to all that is, who lives beyond limitations, the Giant, the mystic, the Divine. 


Look for your essence in unusual places... 

...perhaps the flower that drew your attention on your walk around the neighborhood is reminding you of your flower essence. Fragrant, allowing to be seen, seductive and inviting. 

...the rock you were sitting on by the river. Did it whisper to you in your language? …about your essence of determination and foundation. How about the Sun, the Sky, the Milky Way… 

The more essences you find around you that call to you, that are you, the more Love channels you open. This process is important, especially to balance your work with Smallness.


Make a map that answers these questions: 

Do you ever feel like a giant with so much energy and force bursting forward? Like you were meant for something important? This is the Self that is expressed as you, in this individuated form.

The cosmic self feels like a breath of fresh air. When you feel open and loving towards yourself and others, confident and strong - integrate it into your conscious awareness. 

If you have any questions about these processes, don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Anya Savranskaya