Self-love is a powerful practice that can ultimately support you, helping you to manage and to overcome any difficult life situation. What you may not know how to do, as a lot of people struggle with, is how to love yourself.
It should sound obvious – self-love should come with the territory, and yet its a difficult one for many people to get their head around. Where do you begin when it comes to self-love and feeling good? It should be self-explanatory. And yet, many of us are more lost and confused than ever.
Part of the reason for this is that we are not being guided – we live in a world of constant distractions, with perfect expectations of our own lives and others. When we give all of our energy towards trying to please other people, we have little time to focus upon ourselves.
For the truth is self-love doesn’t come from being validated by others. Its impossible for it to do so. Everyone has their own idea of what that means and if you don’t validate yourself first – then other people will simply treat you how they want.
Why Self Love Is Important
Self-love may sound all fancy, fluffy and light – but its actually about being brutally real with yourself. Maybe that’s why so many of us struggle with its concept. We are scared of what it will bring up in us.
What this reveals is that self-love practice is actually more about setting boundaries more with the external world – and understanding that your inner world is really the most important place you must nourish on a daily basis.
Whatever is happening externally, you need to awaken to the realisation that your outside world is a reflection of what’s going on inside.
Self Love – Where to Start
Mindfulness practice can help you to develop a better relationship with the present moment. By being in the present moment, you are at peace with your thoughts and emotions – exactly as they are. Self-love is really then, an emerge of being both present and loving who you are. Its about knowing your worth, your value – and without any kind of added story or misrepresentation.
Self-love means being true to yourself. Being genuine in your self and not giving up when all else feels hopeless. If you can understand your self, your stories – you are halfway there.
Understanding Your Self
Who you are, on a soul level – is permanent and never changing. Its actually the external world which is ever-changing. Your inner landscape does not really change. Yes, you may be affected by other people’s emotions, thoughts and feelings that come about that try and leave their impact on your consciousness.
When you understand your self, you do not become easily swayed by others. You stand your ground and have the firm understanding that everything you are going through is merely a temporary experience. Good or bad, we attach ourself to the experience and try to make sense or add meaning to it. Yet every individual may have a different experience – this is what forms your own self-story.
Understanding Your Stories
As we go through life, we form a series of beliefs based on the emotional stories that we create for ourselves. It might be we feel that we weren’t appreciated, were ignored, or not taken seriously.
Alternatively, you may have also felt that people placed too many expectations onto you – and you were always expected to be the one who was calm, cool and collected.
If you are an especially sensitive person, it might be that you struggle more to deal with people’s expectations, judgements and so on. You might take others’ opinions of you to heart, or even feel shortchanged by the cards you’ve been dealt with so far in life.
Perhaps you’ve created a story with emotional leverage that’s creating the law of attraction in your life. All of this has meant that certain types of people, events and situations have been magnetized to you based on this emotional pull.
When you understand your own stories, you can begin to unravel them. Truth be told, sometimes its easier not to unravel them as that means having to explore the thoughts and emotional territory again.
Instead of exploring the emotional territory of these feelings, its better to simply let them go and choose better feelings. Explore how it would feel to find a better feeling, one that actually feels good.
If letting go feels strange to you, it might be best to practice bringing in those opposite feelings. Self-acceptance and confidence can be brought in by focussing on these emotions.
Your ego may tell you to wait for validation from this or that person, but this is wrong. People’s opinions, thoughts and feelings are temperamental and always subject to change. You may wait an entire lifeline to get the validation you are seeking – and simply never receive it.
The good news is you can validate yourself right now. You don’t need anyone else to do it for you. Stop caring what other people think and start placing your own self-worth as the highest value possible.
Loving Yourself Anyway
By letting go of your stories you free yourself once more to be open to all new possibilities. In this regard, loving yourself can be seen as a revolutionary act.
As no one knows how to truly love themselves, the world has at times lost its sense of self-love. No one truly teaches you how to do this!
Start today by telling yourself that you will only accept the best behaviour from others. Once you start stating that you accept more – the Universe conspires to give you more of the same.
This is why self-love can be considered as selfish by some. It’s not that it is as such – its just that boundaries can help you to contain and create a wonderful life for yourself.
A good way to see this: Imagine a garden overrun with weeds. You wouldn’t be able to see the beautiful flowers as they’d be swamped. It’d be overbearing.
In a similar way, a beautiful bouquet of flowers look best when they are presented in a vase. When flowers are beautifully presented, they are contained – there is a state of belonging.
Belong To Yourself
If you are seeking validation, respect or appreciation from anything externally – you may find yourself being disappointed. This is why you must not give up on yourself.
Believe in yourself and your vision, to be your best self. To live in a brighter future. You are here in a physical body, so focus on reaching your true potential while you are in this reality, and while you still can.
People may come and go, everything is always in flux – and constantly subject to change. Your focus should always be upon giving yourself the permanent love and validation you may otherwise be seeking.
How Self Love Changed My Life
When I chose to prioritise my self, this was the beginning of a new life. Loving myself improved every area of my personal life including my friendship circle, relationships and more.
I became more self-assured, self-confident and willing to engage in creative projects once I removed myself from my cycle of negative thinking.
For while self-love is a process, it is also a kind of unravelling – the realisation and validation of your self.
The biggest part that people don’t mention when it comes to self-love is the control it gives you. It also means learning to let go of your painful stories, fears and expectations, to instead focus on:
- Whatever project or goal is working for you
- Those who make you feel loved and supported
- Creating a vision of a brighter future for yourself or your community
- Feeling inspired to create active change
Self Love Is A Process
Yes, it is a process. Self-love is a mindset that needs to be nourished daily by keeping your thoughts and emotions in a positive space.
It means seeing the beauty all around you, staying inspired, and being happy in yourself. Here are some excellent ways to ensure you continue to build your self-love:
- Meditate daily. Create your inner peace and make it so strong that you allow it to guide you along the way
- Create. Find something that you can focus your emotions on and focus on building in a positive direction
- Do something that challenges you every day. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the more you will build your self-confidence.
- Live each day as if it was your first and last. Die each and every day to the past. Its essential to live for today if you want to stay present and avoid the burden of emotional baggage building up over time.
- Be grateful for today and all of its many blessings. Find at least three things to be grateful for today.
By prioritising yourself, you focus on what’s working for you – and let go of what isn’t. Self love is all about learning to dance, even when it pours. To see the bright side – the silver lining in an otherwise obviously bad situation.
Self-love means forgiving yourself, while realising your worth is nothing this world can buy. Once you have this realisation, a consistent self-love practice can encourage you to stand strong in your power, every single day.