Do you love you? I mean really full to the brim with self-love and acceptance? We live in a crazy world that puts very little value in self love. More often than not many people associate giving love to yourself as arrogance or being self-centered. When in fact it is just the opposite. Loving yourself is not selfish, it is selfless. If you don’t love yourself, or you’ve forgotten how, or you could stand to be more self-accepting keep reading to find out why you should and how to do it.
Without Self Love
So you’re worried about becoming selfish if you love yourself? Lets look at what happens when you don’t. Without self-love you feel un-lovable, unimportant and lacking and this feeling of ‘lack’ results in neediness. You become someone who ‘needs’ to fill what you think is missing – love. Because you feel that it is selfish to fill the need to be loved by yourself you become needy, expecting others to fulfill you. Some people fill this with shopping (thank you consumerism), some with food or substances like alcohol or cigarettes. The feeling of being unsatisfied and needy makes you place expectations on others. I expect him or her to love me, to prove that they love me. You put expectations on everyone and everything and as you are judging yourself for not being good enough, you judge others too. When you don’t love yourself you become focused on making other people happy in order to feel worthy, otherwise known as a people-pleaser. You downplay who you are and not wanting others to feel lesser, you apologize for your very self and every good thing you are.
Without self-love you say ‘no’ to you and your dreams. I know too many wonderful women and men who want to try new things with their fashion or apply for a promotion or want to go dancing but won’t because they feel that they aren’t worthy. Sometimes not being worthy in their eyes equates to not being smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough or confident enough. They are limiting their own possibilities and opportunities for growth because they don’t love themselves.
Instead of being filled with all the passion and purpose that enables us to offer our best to the world, we empty ourselves in an effort to silence our critics. Oprah
Without self-love many people believe that the only way for one person to win is for another to lose; when in fact those that are filled with self-love realize that instead of competing we can collaborate, working together for everyone to shine. It seems to me that some of the most creative, inspiring, joy-filled and content people are those that are FULL of love for themselves.
With Self Love
When you love yourself you become aware that you are indeed worthy of love. You become ‘full’ of yourself, accepting and appreciating your strengths and weaknesses alike giving love to both equally. You no longer require anyone’s ‘approval’ of you. There is nothing that is lacking within you and that hole inside is filled with your love. When you love yourself first, it becomes easier to extend that love to others. You cannot give what you don’t have, but if you are filled with love for yourself you have so much more to give to others. Self-love brings with it kindness to yourself. No longer reprimanding yourself with thoughts such as ‘I shouldn’t have done that, I’m such a loser, I’m too unattractive to do that’. Your self talk becomes kind because you cherish yourself, it sounds more like ‘I’ve got this’, ‘I am learning and growing’, ‘I love me’, ‘I have support everywhere’ and that’s a lot easier on your heart and head. You don’t put yourself down or wish you were better. You’re no longer a critic of yourself, but you’re own friend.
When I’m being love, I don’t get drained, and I don’t need people to behave a certain way in order to feel cared for or to share my magnificence with them. They’re automatically getting my love as a result of me being my true self. And when I am nonjudgmental of myself, I feel that way toward others. ― Anita Moorjani
By loving yourself unconditionally you raise your standards, you won’t put yourself in harms way which extends to emotional harm, so no more becoming the doormat for another or making yourself small so someone else can feel comfortable. You embrace your potential and your dreams and in doing so you become the inspiration for others to do the same, no more apologizing for being you. By raising your standards you recognize the importance of self-care and not over-committing. You make time in your schedule for your needs which are as important as the commitments you make to others. Loving yourself means taking yourself out of draining relationships when they no longer support you. This level of self-love comes with a lot of self-respect and when you raise your personal standards for how you treat yourself you raise it for how others treat you.
When you have self-love you also have respect, and acceptance, you embrace everything you are and use that to power you forward. You are not ‘less’ so you no longer need the excuses, you are powerful and magnificent. Be full of yourself, love yourself completely. You don’t need to make yourself small so that others can feel big. You will see life as a win-win the more you love yourself, the more you will attract loving situations into your life.
How To Begin Loving You
When you start out it feels like it goes against everything you have been taught about selfishness until you understand the value of it. When loving you becomes one of your essential values it is easier to implement each day.
Watch Your Thoughts – Be aware that these are just thoughts and you don’t have to believe every negative thought about yourself or your abilities. Let them go gently or stand up to them by saying ‘hell no I am way too beautiful to believe that [insert problem] can define me today’.
Secondly, help your inner thoughts onto the path of self-love by talking to yourself and about yourself with complete kindness. You don’t talk to someone you love cruelly or put them down focusing only on their flaws, and yet you do this to yourself? Radical self-love starts inside with something as powerful as how you talk to yourself. If you have a self-deprecating thought forgive yourself and then follow it with a thought that is true, empowering and filled with love.
Unconditional self-love expands energy enormously and the universe acts in kind. – Anita Moorjani
Practice Self-Care – What is that one thing that when you do you feel brand new, refreshed, relaxed or joyful? There are so many ways you can practice self-care, some of my favourites are meditating, dancing, swimming, taking an hour to sit down distraction-free with my favourite book and a cup of tea (this one makes me feel inspired and very lucky). This process is personal for you and self-care doesn’t always mean face-masks and the day off work. Sometimes it means raising your personal standards, or setting boundaries for others; it can even mean getting 8 hours of sleep a night. Here is a little list that includes many types of self-care:
- Eat nourishing foods (no junk) even that chocolate needs to be excellent quality so you feel great when you enjoy it.
- Find a form of movement that brings you joy; do you like hitting the weights and building muscle or do prefer a long walk with some great tunes? Exercise should be fun and make you feel good.
- Nourish your mind with great books, magazines or films that make you grow.
- Get creative with a hobby or interesting project.
- Paint, colour or draw.
- A long, hot bath. Is there anything better?
- Sing, either alone or with your nearest and dearest.
- Go dancing with your partner or friends or dance at home.
- Spend time outdoors in nature, whether surfing, a walk in your local park or taking a trip to the mountains, nature will rejuvenate.
- Journal your feelings, experiences and what you’re grateful for.
- Meet up with your best mate, talk and connect. Sharing with another can make your problems feel halved.
- Take charge of stressors that are hanging over your head. If you’re finances are regularly overwhelming you or you have been meaning to organize insurance but just keep putting it off, take care of yourself, minimize that reoccurring anxiety by making time to sit down and get your finances (or other stressor) done and dusted.
Make You Time Non-negotiable – If there is something that is important for you and your well-being it must become non-negotiable. I like to schedule in self-care so that it cannot be missed and so there is time in the day dedicated to it. It’s not that you can’t find an extra 10 minutes to meditate or the time needed to read a little from your favourite book each day everyone has the same 24 hours; but when you make time for it suddenly your self-care become just as important as replying to all your emails, that big meeting or helping out at your local community group. No one ever questions the importance of showering daily and no matter how busy we become with commitments we still bathe, in the same way if there is a form of self-care that would really make you feel your best then it needs to have a non-negotiable status in your schedule. No one can take better care of you than you can.