How to be gentle with self love even when it’s challenging

I’m off on a holiday retreat, a sacred month-long journey, and a writing break.

Propelled and inspired by the energy of the recent Cardinal Grand Cross and eclipse season, I am taking the crazy audacious step of an entire month away from work. I know I will be coming back spiritually recharged and ready for inspired action. Are you interested in getting help with your business, with defining and manifesting your passion, mission and purpose in everything you do? Are you feeling called to find out more about Astrology for Your Business? Send me an email, or fill out the form on the Share Your Magic page here on the website, and I will get back to you the last week in May.

By the magic of technology, I get to schedule these guest posts for you, one each week that I’m gone. Enjoy!

This is a guest post, by my friend Caroline Kirk. I am always inspired by and grateful for her wisdom. (Another overseas writer; I’ve left her spelling and punctuation untouched.)


selfloveDon’t allow all you’ve learned to become yet another stick to beat yourself with during times when it’s challenging to put those lessons in action.

I’ve been lost for a while. From loving what I was doing, what I was building, the connections I was making with amazing women all over the world, I suddenly, or so it seemed,  lost belief in myself, in all I was creating. 

who am I to be writing about spirituality, self love and owning our purpose when I am yet again back in a place of limited self belief, of fears & doubts? Who am I?

You’d think that after decades of learning about Divine connection, universal energy, how thoughts create our experiences and how we get to choose how we feel in each moment I’d know how to shut off that voice, to snap out of the feelings of doubt and despair when I start sinking into the old patterns of thinking and lose sight of the passion I feel about life, about writing, about making a difference in the lives of us women, about creating a business I love and believe in.

You’d think!

The thoughts circled….

  • I should know better.
  • I should just make an internal switch.
  • I shouldn’t be back here yet again.
  • I should just give up on all this because I’ll never ‘get there’.
  • I should have it all sussed out by now.
  • I shouldn’t be saying ‘I should’

I was drowning in a sea of should and shouldn’ts.

I realized I was using all that I had learned previously, all the wisdom I’d been blessed to encounter as an added stick to beat myself with. 

Each day I’d set goals and each evening I’d feel  a failure as yet again, nothing was achieved.  I stopped setting the goals as I couldn’t bear adding insult to injury.

Underneath all this ego-fuelled turmoil ,I became aware of my inner knowing……my silent observer of all that is…..the part  of me that has an unyielding acceptance of life, as it is in any moment, all unfolding perfectly.

Whispering without words… Accept. Embrace. Trust. Let it pass.

It was the lifeline I needed, no amount of striving was inspiring positive change.

I decided to

  • accept this is how I feel; to stop forcing myself to feel different
  • accept I don’t have to do anything
  • trust ‘this too shall pass’
  • honour myself in the process; to believe there was something deeper at work here
  • Let go of the guilt that surrounded my current need to opt out of life as I knew it for a while.
  • love myself regardless during this period of diminished creativity, of diminished motivation, of diminished self belief
  •  trust in Divine timing and know even if I never returned to writing or building my business, that all is still well
  • give gratitude for all the life blessings I hadn’t been acknowledging while stuck in this negative cycle

Yes, this too shall pass and I love myself regardless of my perceived faults & failings.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”  Eckhart Tolle

Quite quickly after that, I realised I was beginning to feel better. I picked up a spiritual book again, I replied to some emails. I accepted an invitation to get out and about.  I began to read the wise words from the many wonderful women I’ve come to know since I began this journey into writing & teaching about us amazing feminine creatures J, of self empowerment, spirituality and self love.

I began to feel like me again. Connected to Divine Source.  Perfectly Imperfect.

I received an email from Sue reminding me of our agreement to swop blog posts.  It was the push from the Universe that I needed.  It felt daunting, it brought up the fears again but it was ok. I was ok. I can do this. (Thanks Sue xo)

We will sometimes lose our way. We will sometimes not feel as positive as we once did. We will have periods of self doubt and fears will arise. We will feel despair.

Over and over. Such is the ebb and flow of life.

The key is not to beat ourselves up for these natural aspects of living, of building a business, of putting ourselves out there, of being a woman, of being human.

The key to getting through these times of uncertainty and despair is acceptance; of self, of life.

Acceptance that life is always unfolding exactly as we need it to and we are always doing the very best we can in each moment. Even when it doesn’t feel as if we are. Especially when we feel we’re not.

Acceptance that sometimes we will feel on top of the world and at others as if that same world is crushing our very existence.  And that “this too shall pass”

Acceptance that no matter what we decide or don’t, we are worthy of love, including and most especially, our own.

It is this love that will see us through life’s storms; that will move our perceived mountains and carry us on the winds of change to the new us… more weathered, more wise, more in touch with who we are.

Pure Love.

Perfectly Imperfect.

Here to experience all the dips and highs of the rollercoaster that is Life.

You can download my two free eBooks here if it resonates; “Self Love Rocks” & “Lessons in Self Love” A collaboration of women’s stories around the world who are changing their world by finding their worth.  With love from me to you. Namaste.

How do you gently love yourself through the storms? Please leave a comment and let me know how it is for you.


headshotI’m Caroline Kirk, and I guide women towards self love, soul connection & freedom, to happy & healthy harmony of mind, body & spirit, which I believe provides a platform for deep inner growth, positive authentic living & the courage to pursue our greatest passions and way of being.

Life Coach, Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant, NLP & Reiki Practioner, Personal Trainer, Personal Development Trainer.

Happiness, Freedom & Self Acceptance are innately yours, let’s rediscover it.  

You can find me on my blog or on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

I invite you to join me and amazing women in a private Facebook group, women supporting women on our journey to self love.

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One small step for today, one giant leap into the rest of your life!



I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Honoured to be here in your sacred space Sue and wonderful to be able to say, all is well in my world since I wrote this one month ago, as always there is sunshine after the clouds. Once we set the seed to feel good about ourselves, about life and nurture it through acceptance, self love and trust in the Universe, it grows and grows until we look back and wonder how we ever doubted 🙂 <3

  2. Caroline, thankyou for sharing your self in this post. It’s true that acceptance and selflove (even through the ‘tough’ times of failure and being human) are the gifts that we can embrace to honour our real selves, and lift us beyond the ‘shoulds’ and ‘have to’s’ – a place where we are still safe, no matter what rages within us or outside of us. A place of stillness and peace. YES! Thankyou for sharing this. All blessings to you! 🙂

    • Thank you Ann, it has been really comforting and liberating to know despite the chaos and ego chatter, I remained aware of this and instead of striving to change, i leaned into acceptance 🙂 Many blessings to you in all you do <3

  3. Caroline, it seems to me that a lot of us have experienced this lately.  Everywhere I turn, I read of women who have needed to “opt out” for a while to replenish, to re-evaluate, to re-align themselves with their truths and their calling in this world.  Thank you for putting what I, personally, have been feeling into words as I’ve been through a similar time.  I love the term “perfectly imperfect” and have come to recognise that these cycles are usually a period of learning and growth, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  Life afterwards generally seems more empowered and I’m able to step back into my power more easily and confidently once they’re over.  I’d like to think they get fewer and further between as we evolve, but I’ve yet to see proof 🙂  Much love to you and thank you for your honesty, Shân xxx

    • Thanks so much Shan.. yes i agree, I’m feeling so empowered, connected and alive right now and grateful for it.. With those positive feelings, we attract further positive stuff (just as we do when lost in the negative for a spell)

      LOL Shan, I’ve yet to see proof of that too, I feel some books speak of finding enlightenment and we’re saved from being human but I find in truth we can feel “enlightened” and then not again and so on, the cycle of life.  Initially I felt a failure for not being able to remain in that place, and thought that it was me, not everyone.. but its cos I’m human.. probably cos I’m a woman also 🙂 

      The real difference I notice is that I don’t get fully lost in the negativity, I know its a phase, it’ll pass and its part of being human and I’ll honour myself regardless. That is a gift. 

      Self acceptance is paramount during these times and the awareness that we are here to feel all the opposing diversities of life, the good the bad, the ugly and the downright beautiful 🙂 Once we really accept this, even the ‘unwelcome’ times can be embraced as welcome learning experiences. 

      Ask me that when I’m in one of those times though 🙂 

      Much love, many blessings Shan <3

  4. This is exactly what I needed right now. I’m going through a bunch of yuck and seriously been looking for a way to crawl my way back out. Trusting that “this too will pass” is super hard, I get caught up in it and forget to slow down. Thank you for this <3  

    • Thanks for stopping by Sierra, It sure can be hard.. more so if we’re striving to make it pass, sometimes just using these times to stop striving and pushing can actually speed up the process, hope that yuck passes and reveals a hidden treasure 🙂 xo

  5. Oh Caroline, I’m going through the same damn thing.  This explains it perfectly: “Acceptance that sometimes we will feel on top of the world and at others as if that same world is crushing our very existence.”   I’ve felt on top of the world and underneath in on and off this month and wondered what the heck was wrong with me.  I decided to just say screw it and go easy on myself.  Reduce my to-do list and live a little.  When I have the motivattion and energy I’m all in.  Otherwise I rest. 

    • Good for you Billie, i do think these times are telling us just that in addition to showing us our human-ness and revealing some healing that needs to be allowed happen. .Like you i had a whole month of that also.. we do come out the other side feeling a whole lot better.. Love that you decided to just live a little 🙂 We can forget the fun side of life at times, which i feel will be our only regret, if we don’t ensure we live life to the full now, that we havent done so, Thanks for stopping by <3

  6. It is wonderful that you write of these times Caroline. I think we can feel so isolated during those moments, and it is healing when we know we are not alone in it. The face we are shown by others is often polished and perfect and it can feed feelings on inadequacy in all of us. It is important that we report our struggles as well as our sucesses. We are all in this human experience together!thank you.

    • Thank you Michelle, for me I have always felt comforted & inspried by those who are honest in their struggles and vowed to be the same when i started writing. As you say, we can feel inadequate and that it is ‘just me’ when reading of the polished perfection sometimes displayed in writing. We’re women, we’re real, we have ups and downs and we come out fighting, lets honour these processes not deny them 🙂 Much love <3

  7. Wonderful words Caroline, in times like this i have learnt not to go against the desire to step back, as you say ‘this too shall pass’ Jung says whatever we resist persists… there have been so many of us taking a step back its as if its the next stage of the shift is upon us and we need to recharge our energy to carry on sharing and shining the light x

    • Thanks so much Sam, once I shared this phase with others, I’ve had so many responses of the same happening and that that phase is closing, we’ll be on fire this coming month 🙂 Looking foward to hearing Sue’s next astrology post..x

  8. Reading this couldn’t be better timed for me! A great re-enforcement for me to trust where I’m at just now while I “love myself regardless during this period of diminished creativity, of diminished motivation, of diminished self belief “

    • Thanks so much for your honesty Bernie, I hope that diminished has turned to heightened essenses of creativity, self belief &  motivation by now.. as the tide always turns and we return to our full glory.. much, much love <3

  9. Oh Caroline,

    know those feelings only so well, especially when we have done all the “work” to move beyond the anguish of what if this or maybe that……

    Thank you for sharing your heart


    Suzie xxoo

    • I know Susie, we can tend to think we’re ‘there’ when ‘here’ is all there is and the beauty of doing the ‘work’ is that we know acceptance is key and loving ourselves, regardless, is vital 🙂 thanks so much for stopping by, Namaste Suzie xo

  10. I have truly enjoyed reading your post. I too have been having challenges in my life that have had me question my purpose but somehow I managed to get through by accepting the fact that I can’t change everything. Accepting myself and loving myself has made me stronger and has me push forward to my success. Thanks for inspiring others do the same.

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