I know what you are thinking, what is self-love and where do I even begin.
If you Google self-love there will be many articles and blogs that will help you on this topic. I have read every single one of them, ok maybe not every single one, and now I am a self proclaimed expert on the topic.
We read it, we hear about it and everyone says it...you can’t experience true love and vulnerability until you love yourself. On the outside so many of us appear to be happy and love ourselves. However, deep down we struggle with anxiety, we lack a sense of purpose, maybe even suffer from a bit of sadness. As a result a number of us look to outside sources for comfort or validation. We live our lives through our children, we focus on our husbands and our families, we over-eat, drink too much, exercise too much, work too much, or we do just the opposite and can’t get out of or own way.
Outside perceptions are not always our reality. I know in my life, looking in the window from the front porch everything appeared “pretty”. Reality is, that was so far from the truth. We all have our story and we all know our “truths”.
Self-love for me came after an extremely traumatic event. Everyone consoling me would say “you have to take care of yourself” or “you need to love yourself” and I had no idea what any of this meant. Once I discovered the true meaning of self-love I couldn’t believe how I was living in my previous life. I would say I was functioning but not living.
Self-love takes work. It is beyond getting your hair done, a nice pedicure and good clothes. It is beyond what you post on Facebook (GET OFF FACEBOOK if you want to be truly happy). Self-love is truly getting to know yourself, discovering who you are, honoring that person and always putting that person first above all else, yes even your husband and children. If you are not living as your highest self, what good are you to those who need and love you.
I encourage you to read some of my older blogs that will give you ideas on how to create a morning or an evening ritual which is such an important catalyst to self-love and living your as your Highest Self.
Below are some tips on how to start loving yourself, today!
Start by honoring who you are today and where you are at this moment.
Maybe you have anxiety, are suffering from depression, are unhappy at your job, have family life stressors, aren’t happy with your appearance or your marriage. Wherever you are in your life right now….honor it knowing that with each and every day you have the opportunity to make a change. Buddha says “every day we are born again”. What a beautiful concept.
Evaluate where you find your worth and where you look for validation.
Do you look to external sources – do you thrive off the attention you receive from other people? – does your productivity or your accomplishments define you? – are you a people pleaser? Self-love comes from validating and pleasing yourself. If you are always looking for someone else to validate you, you will be continuously spinning on a wheel seeking validation and will feel empty until you receive it. That love, that feeling of accomplishment, the ability to soothe yourself during a tough time, comes from you.
Know, right now, no matter what you are going through, that you are enough!
You have everything in you to be enough!
Be kind to yourself, your body and your soul!
Watch the words you use when you talk to yourself or about yourself.
Exercise: grab your journal and describe yourself as if you were describing a friend of yours. Don’t focus or plan what to write, just grab your journal and a pen and start writing and see what comes out. Are you mostly positive or negative? Remember how you view yourself is what you are putting out into the Universe. You will find from this exercise what you need to change with regard to your own beliefs about yourself.
Practice things that bring out your inner calm.
Gardening, yoga, journaling, blogging, cooking, crafting, singing, meditation. Your mind and soul need a break from our every day circus. Soothe yourself with a calming activity.
Allow yourself to heal.
We all have a story and unfortunately its not always a pretty one. If you have dealt with any sort of trauma (death, divorce, illness, family dysfunction, childhood “stuff”) and have never really dealt with it. I encourage you to allow yourself to heal and to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you. There is nothing more freeing than letting go of the bond that ties you to your trauma.
Let it go.
Whatever you are holding on to that is no longer serving you, let it go.
My strongest advice is to start a morning/evening self-care ritual.
See How do you start your day? for ideas.
Commit to self-love and your life with start to change. Keystone Habits are also a must and we will talk about this in my next blog.
Grab your Journal, put todays date on it and enjoy your Journey to self-love.