15 Oct Ho to love myself?
We do know now very well that we do need to love ourselves to attain the true sense of wellbeing, yet when I got introduced to the concept of self-love I had no idea how to do it. Sad but true. I knew how to love others but myself?
I started looking into it and learned that it shouldn’t be so difficult thing to do, it takes a practice of course to cultivate an on-going love for the self which is a question of prioritising the time and effort.
Self-love comes in many shapes and the basic premise is that to the extent you love yourself, you will have a more loving and joyful approach to life. The opposite of self-love, self- criticism or even self-hatred make you feel inadequate and not loved or accepted by others. It might make you feel rejected and all alone. The more you love yourself, the easier you make it for others to love you. When you respect and nurture yourself, it is more likely that others will do the same as you will be showing them the way.
Self-love has nothing to do with narcissism, self-love is about self-care, self- nurturing, self-forgiveness, gentleness with oneself and self-respect.
Putting one’s needs first is not selfish, it is necessary. If you are not nurtured, content and happy, how can you be of good value to others? The greatest gift you can give others is your positive energy and the ability to be fully present with the people you encounter. You can only be fully present with others when you are fully present with yourself.
We have been trained to take care of other people’s needs first and that habit must change if greater wellbeing is desired. New habits are only integrated when we consciously put an effort into the integration process. Starting gently and not forcing it is the best approach as our brain rejects any drastically introduced ideas.
SO WHAT TO DO?
You could start with being gentle towards yourself every time you catch yourself in criticising yourself or speaking harshly to yourself.
Giving yourself time to relax, meditating, having a nap, eating well, creating space for a creative time of your preference (painting, sculpting, dancing, singing etc): all these are expressions of self-love.
Let your dominant intent be to feel good which could mean being playful, having fun, laughing often, looking for reasons to appreciate and practising the art of appreciation. And as you practice it, you will be given constant opportunities to express it. In this way, your life just gets better and better and better.
Love and accept who you are not and who you wish to be or should be. If you love yourself for who you are, you are living in the present time which is the gateway to greater wellbeing and personal power. If you love only who you might become, then you are living in a future you cannot see. You might be in a constant search for love.
Waiting for an external force to awaken love to ourselves s is precisely what keeps us lacking it. Love is a choice we make at every moment in time and we must continue to make that choice repeatedly.
Remember, practice makes perfect. The more often you put yourself in the self-loving mood, the more you will feel better and better about yourself.
- Relax and take a few deep breaths. Put your hand on your heart and sense your heartbeat.
- Now, send quiet messages to your heart such as: ‘Everything is ok, it is good enough, you are good enough and there is no need to do anything special, just to be and to be kind to yourself.’ Tell yourself that you are ok, you are enough and actually you are pretty amazing.
- Imagine yourself as a little child in need of love; give your child that love. Give your child what it needs at this moment.
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Author: Emilie Janda