Fort Worth resident Joffre McClung is a spiritual author and an independent filmmaker. She faced an eight-year period of tremendous loss in her life and instead of allowing it to negatively impact her life, McClung used her 30 years of spiritual practice to delve deeper into her inner work, and heal her past hurts, negative beliefs and harmful behaviors.
She discovered that the amount of Self Love, we have for ourselves, not only determines how we see ourselves and the world but also dictates the kinds of experiences we create in our lives.
She has written a book called “The Heart of the Matter: A Workbook and Guide to Finding Your Way Back to Self-Love” and her goal is to help individuals raise their self-esteem, love themselves and enhance their overall well-being. Salonpas® sat down with this “Wellness Warrior” to learn more about her book and her advice on turning negativity into positivity:
How does learning how to say goodbye to loved ones help you learn how to live?
Learning to say goodbye refers to saying goodbye to old ways of living centered in ego, of letting go of old worn out beliefs and of allowing the past to be healed and released. It was the process of helping my mother and my best friend deal with cancer and their impending death that empowered me to make my final leap back to self-love and let go of all the barriers that had kept me separated from my power. There is nothing like death to wake you up and force you to make the changes necessary to add more love to your life. When you witness someone, who is nearing the end of their life, it is their regrets and lack of self-love as well as their feelings of being powerless throughout their life that haunts them. I was determined not to allow that to happen to me.
What does your spiritual practice consist of?
While it has evolved and changed over the years, I still meditate every day in one form or another depending on what my needs are. Sometimes I need a releasing meditation to let go of fear or other emotions. Sometimes I need to connect with the various parts of myself for better understanding and compassion. Other times I need to connect with my Higher Self to gain a higher perspective. All my meditations however always end with me surrounded and filled with love. It is all about love! I also do a set of affirmations every day to get my mind and heart on the same track. Lastly, I pay attention! Self-awareness is practiced moment by moment and is vital to any spiritual practice.
How are you able to help people raise their self-esteem via your new book?
“The Heart of the Matter: A Workbook and Guide to Finding Your Way Back to Self-Love”? I take the esoteric idea of self-love and make it accessible through discussions and by offering practical steps, exercises, and meditations so the reader can rediscover the love that has been inside them all along. Part of the journey back to self-love is understanding that you have been fully equipped for the journey before you. Nothing raises self-esteem quicker than realizing that you are more than capable because you have everything you need inside of you to make any and all changes. Once you know you are capable, then you can begin the process of reconnecting with the truth that you are lovable, loving, and loved. You always have been, and you always will be, and there is nothing you can do or say that will ever change that truth.
How do you define self-love?
Self-Love is the knowing in your heart that you’re very being is lovable, loving, and loved. These are three components necessary to the experience of self-love.
What does it mean to be lovable and should we all strive for this?
Being lovable means being worthy of love – period! There are no exemptions or exceptions. The point of self-love is to understand that you do not need to strive for anything. You are already worthy of love in the universe’s eyes. It is your natural state. All the work we do in the book is to remove the self-imposed obstacles and the lies we have picked up along the way so that we can return to our natural state of self-love. We are all worthy of love and it must start with loving ourselves.
Is practicing meditation essential to self-love?
Yes, but understand that I define meditation as simply focusing your attention. Most people have practiced meditating without even knowing it. If you have daydreamed, you have been in a meditative state. So yes, meditation is essential because without the ability to focus your attention, you will not be able to participate in the journey of self-discovery. You will not be able to expand your self-awareness. Moreover, you will not be able to empower yourself to heal and transform what separates you from self-love.
Why do you think it is important to revisit old wounds?
Your past, and the impact it has on your ability to love yourself formed your viewpoint not only about yourself but also on how the world works and how you believe the world will treat you. It formed your opinions about what love is, what love looks like, and most importantly, what love feels like for you. If you are carrying around an old hurt or wound from your past, it is impacting you. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a falsehood. People often, unwittingly, will react in the present with a reaction charged in the past. Our past will continue to affect us until it is healed.
Have you heard from anyone who read the book whose life has been positively affected? Can you share this?
I heard from a gentleman who had been struggling with self-loathing as well as carrying around a lot of anger from his childhood. He had read many books about love and self-love, but none of them had given him any concrete steps, only concepts or “a bunch of pretty words” as he called it. He also had tried many techniques to control his thinking believing that would end his pain. He said my book was the first to work not only with the mind but with the heart as well. He especially found the questions in each chapter eye-opening and the work with his inner orphans (wounded childhood parts of ourselves) heart -opening. I was very moved when this no-nonsense man said reading my book had changed his life. He no longer was carrying any anger because he had found forgiveness and freedom from his past and was now expanding his sense of self-love daily. He is the reason I wrote the book, so it felt good to know it had impacted him positively.