Hello fellow breathers or aliens, nice for chance to bring you here 🙂
I have been meaning to write about this topic for awhile now. It is one that I hold dear to my heart and one that has made the greatest transformation in my life so far. Let´s talk about LOVE, Self-Love.
“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”
When I was growing up, I learnt that I should love my neighbour as I loved myself, yet I was seldom taught how to love myself, the focus often remained on the neighbour, on loving my brothers, parents and so on. It was not until I reflected on this, after leaving ‘religion’ that I could see the harm this did. The learning to love oneself through eagerly loving others first was something I thought would just magically happen one day if I loved others enough and believed that the creator loved me enough. Yet for me, that never quite happened, of course the situation proved to be more complex than that, but my religion didn´t not help much towards my journey of self-love. Simply because I felt I could only love myself once I was perfect, ideal, ‘a good child of god’.
Needless to state, if you really really know me, I no longer think like that 🙂 I think religion can be beautiful for some and it can work for some but I guess my love journey just had other plans for me.
I would now like to share with you, a few tips and practices that could bring you closer to self acceptance and self-love.
1) Know Yourself
Like really know or get to know yourself. Make effort to understand and to see yourself from all angles. This could be physical in the form of looking at yourself in the mirror and really looking to see and not to judge.
Just see yourself. Feel yourself, your skin, hair, corners, curves, whatever your body has blessed you with. As though you were foreign to your own existence, explore yourself, gently and with kindness.
Mentally, you must listen inwardly. Listen to the longings, to the fears, abandonments, joys, the wishes and scars. Listen, and again, with as much compassion and gentleness as you can master. Listen to yourself as though you were the love of your life and you were having an intimate conversation for the very first time. Embrace it all.When done, take all of this and build your foundation from there. Your new findings, appreciations and aspirations. At first it is always hard, but you need to be patient, you need to actively choose to practice this.
2) Be Cautious of Other People´s Energy
We are not always taught this, but I think it is quite important. Not everyone on this planet is made to be your friend or even worthy of your energy. We are to live as a humanity on this planet, to respect one another and do no harm but you are not required to be a martyr at your own expense either. Know your safe havens, know the people that bring out your authentic self, the ones that inspire you, help you grow, teach you and even support you. Feel inside when you are around certain people or situations and notice your own energy. Be always charitable with your life and energy but try to practice self-love by being aware when others do you more harm than good and practice the courage it takes to take a few steps back.
3) Move and Nourish Your Body
You body is your most important ‘possession’. It is your home and safe haven. Do not turn it into a place of chaos and discomfort. Know what your body needs to thrive and incorporate this knowledge into your everyday life. Move your body, water it and feed it food that is nourishing and regenerating. When you are good to your body, it will be good to you. Another thing I learnt was to engage in things that simply ‘love you back’ 🙂 For example; eating food that loves me back instead of the food I only have a one-way street relationship with aka abusive relationship. Sports or activities that leave you feeling glad you did, glad you came and glad you breathed through it, also help a lot.
4) Be Kind To Yourself
Kindness can go a very very long way and it should start with yourself. Don´t be mean,.. like, don´t. Don´t pinch your body because of some dude or some magazine or society. Don´t abuse yourself in secret because you find shame in being you. Don´t lie to yourself either. Some lies might seem believable but it seldom means that they are true, know the difference. Don´t neglect yourself when you need yourself the most, so stand up for yourself and your truths. Practice truth, practice self encouragement. See yourself in charge of taking care of a mini you, a child you and be loving and kind so you can grow into a radiant human being. When in doubt, ask yourself what you would do, feel or say, if you saw an adult treating a child the way you treat your inner you,.and take it from there. Practice.
5) Don´t be Afraid to Seek Help
I am a great believer in DIY, even with self-love, but if you can´t seem to get started or you have hit an old and stubborn wall, don´t hesitate to reach out to someone who you think can help. It can be a friend, sibling or even someone professional 🙂 You will know deep inside whether or not you can do it solo or if you need an extra pair of ears or shoulders. Whatever you need to break free from the lack of love and make way for new love to blossom inside.
6) Date Yourself
Like seriously,..go. Put on your favourite dress or pants, do your hair or don´t and pick a restaurant or place and go. Or even, surprise yourself 😛 Walk out with no plans but to enjoy yourself and let life lead the way. Look how spontaneous you are! We spend most of our lives waiting for someone to experience life with which is such a pity, because all that time, you were there, you were breathing and capable of enjoying those plans just well with your dear little self. To miss out on adventurous life with yourself.
7) Be Patient
Be very very patience. God, patience is such a struggle sometimes but I have learnt that sometimes it is all you need for things to work out. Rome was apparently not built in a day and unfortunately, your self-love package is not something you can buy and just install. But you know what? That is what makes it magical, because you get to see yourself transform right in front of your very eyes! Like a blooming flower 😀 Little by little, slow and steady wining your race 😉 So don´t rush it just determine to stay on the path to greater self-love and embracement and every now and then, take a look back to evaluate and I promise you, the progresses will be priceless.
I hope that all that helps bring you one step closer to a more self-loving you. Self-love is not selfish or narcissistic but it is vital for every human being. When you know how to be kind, loving and respectful to yourself, what would motivate you to act differently with others? Self-love does not only uplift the person who practices it, but the people around that person as well.
Best of regards and wishes