Looking in the Mirror: A Journey to Self-Love|SWIHA Student Blog Series

Posted by Aatiyah Mcneill on 5/5/22 4:00 PM


"Keep taking time for yourself until you are you again." -Lalah Delia

A Look into our Self Love Journey:

The fact is that it is a "YOU VS YOU "battle in this life. So get it in your head that no one is coming to SAVE US EXCEPT US.

During my journey, I'm learning that the most critical part is to stop being a people pleaser and living life like everyone else matters except you because you do matter. Knowing that taking care of your needs first is essential, knowing that your feelings matter.

Why Self Love?

From my understanding, Self-love is being able to pour into yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is about doing all the things that need to be done for yourself and your higher purpose. It's important because you are teaching others how to love you; when we love ourselves, were showing others how to love us.

My Experiences

In my experience, once we start rediscovering ourselves, we no longer have that empty feeling that we feel when we're alone or even with people. If you are a people pleaser like me, it's easy to put everyone above yourself. During this journey, I've realized that getting up on a day I don't want to and getting dressed helps bring joy and makes me feel mentally and physically refreshed by getting up, brushing my teeth, washing my face, and getting ready. I continued doing the things that filled my cup. Instead of pouring it into everybody else’s cup, I felt much lighter. All of a sudden, I just wanted to do those things, and looking back, if I wasn't able to fill my cup then nothing was going to get done, and I would have still had this heavy weight on my shoulder.

I'm learning now that we are the only ones responsible for making our daily choices. Suppose we can attend to our physical and emotional needs to the best of our ability and awareness of self. In that case, we're already a step ahead in our journey.

I wanted to share six important steps that I am using and will continue to use on my journey that has helped me along the way; I hope if this resonates, you can start your journey too.

Six Steps into My Journey:

Step 1) Taking Accountability

When people think about taking accountability, it's acknowledging the part you played. It's also about really reevaluating everything in your life. Being able to mirror and admit that “There are things inside of me that need to heal, pain that I've held on to, I've caused pain to others."

Give yourself permission to feel your emotions and let them go.

Over the years, I held onto years and years of pain. Without knowing it, I was reflecting and projecting my pain onto others and then blaming them for only doing what I was doing to them. At the time, I didn't want to accept that I was in the wrong; I was the victim in my head, and I felt as if everyone around me was starting to become the villain. I had to isolate myself from everyone to pause and see who I was becoming when I looked in the mirror. At that very moment, I realized that I didn't want to be that person anymore. I didn't want to be that person who caused pain or be the reason for other people's pain. I knew that I came to this earth to heal others and help many people. Then, it hit me that everything wasn't going in my favor because I still had bottled up hurt that needed to be released. Two, I was living for other people and not myself. As I started taking accountability and reflecting and doing the work that needed to be done, I gave myself permission to forgive and be free.

Step 2) Discovering Self

So we all know everything changes, people, things, and places. Everything changes over time, so when I say I am rediscovering myself, I mean being re-introduced to myself again. I know that there are things that I'm just not into anymore or things that I used to do that I don't do anymore. It's not bad, it's just because we're all evolving, and when things aren't aligning with your purpose, you start wanting to do the things that do. So I figured if I wanted better for myself, I needed to be CLEAR, VOCAL, and honest with what I wanted because I already know what I don't want. During my discovery, I realized that setting consistent boundaries was an issue for me; I just did what people wanted with the fear of them getting upset with me. Even though it was crossing my limits, I still cared more about what the other person was feeling other than myself. I would completely shut out how it would make me think and be more concerned about how it affected the other person instead. Being aware of my boundaries being crossed and still continuing, I was being selfish to myself. Once I really sat with that thought, "I'm blocking my own blessing, choosing to be stuck," choosing to continually disrespect myself to please others. When that thought sat in my brain, that's when it finally clicked. I don't have to deal with anything I deal with, yet I deal with them because that's how hard I love, and sometimes we just need to give ourselves that same amount of love we are so willing to give out.

Step 3) Coming Out of My Comfort Zone

Doing the things that make you uncomfortable is still something that I struggle with. This is the hardest step because my ego can get in the way and start bringing me back to that fixed mindset that tells me I shouldn't. I have moments of fear that sometimes can hold me back, and for me, what that would look like would be self-sabotaging something that may or may not be beneficial to me. As time passes, I am now learning that people fear the unknown because it's the unknown. Still, people fear it because it might seem challenging or impossible to overcome. Change scares a lot of people; it even scares me at times. It's like you get comfortable doing something or living somewhere. Then suddenly, something happens, and it puts you in a position where you can either let it eat you up or rise above it.

What's the point of life if we aren't living? Isn't that the reason why we are alive? The living is for the living; the dead are for the dead.

We have to step outside the box and start taking the risk and do the things that make us uncomfortable so we can get comfortable when the time comes; we are the ones in control of our lives.

Step 4) Showing up for Myself

Showing up for myself, I never realized how much of me I needed. I was so used to doing everything for everyone that I didn't know I did such little for myself when I stopped. When I stopped doing everything for everyone and being everything for everyone, I realized that my entire day goes to someone else. And I really never did anything for myself. So I started to show up for myself, listen to my body's needs, and be aware of my burnout. Doing things that fill my cup, and even if I feel that my cup is empty, I do the things needed to sit back and restart.

Step 5) Setting Intentions

When I think about setting intentions, I think about being conscious of everything you do. In my experience, starting small and keeping it simple makes it easier to achieve something when you're only focusing on that thing. And when you are putting all your energy towards the action that's needed.

Setting intentions should come from a place of positive; when you focus on the good, the energy around you is more precise.

Step 6) Speaking Life into Myself

Suppose you are one of those people who can name five negative things about themselves super quickly and overlook all the positives. In that case, you are not alone; I could look in the mirror and name everything that needed to be fixed or could be better. However, I realized that doing that had a massive effect on my life. It made me feel a little insecure about going places because, in my head, I'm like, if I'm pointing these little things out, then what are others seeing and saying about me as well. So I am learning that when a negative thought comes to mind and we become aware of it, replace it with a positive one and not worry about what others say or think.


This is your life. You have to be the one who takes control of it. Ask yourself how much you are willing to continue to give to receive nothing in return. This life is about making yourself a priority, being kind, and remembering your purpose here. Once you accomplish those things, what you desire will be drawn to you.

Become a Healing Arts Practitioner

Topics: self love, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, holistic practitioner, holistic entrepreneur, SWIHA, Self-care, entrepreneur, healing, Intuition, Arizona, healing arts, Tempe, intuitve guide, integrative healing arts practitioner, IHAP, Self-Love Journey, People-Pleasing, Intuitive Coach, Spiritual Growth

About the Author Aatiyah Mcneill

Aatiyah Mcneill is 23 years old and a proud mother of a 2 going on 3-year-old daughter. Aatiyah is a current student at SWIHA, enrolled in the Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner online program. Aatiyah started this journey because she felt she needed some type of structure and started to not feel like herself. To gain personal and spiritual growth, as well as help others, she enrolled at SWIHA. Aatiyah is an Intuitive Coach, helping others find themselves again. After graduation, she wants to expand her business and help more people! A fun fact about Aatiyah is that she loves to write! At the beginning of her journey, she experienced major writer's block, and ever since she started at SWIHA, she has been able to let go more and has started to experience a love for writing again and feeling like herself again. Through this breakthrough, Aatiyah is able to get her message about her experiences across in a good way where it can be beneficial to others.

Aatiyah Mcneill

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