Can you look yourself in the mirror, right in the eyes and say honestly, "I love you"? It may feel silly, but give it a try.
It took me a solid year of self work to be able to do this exercise and mean it.
I had too many conditions with my love and acceptance. It projected onto others, and I was just as stingy with my love and acceptance to them as I was myself. I was the canary in the coal mine in regards to how I was showing up for the world.
In my case, I showed up in a confrontational and skeptical manner.
Who was going to take advantage or abandon me today?
I grew to loathe myself, as I began to believe my Mom left me at age 7 because I was powerless and unloveable. Autoimmunity kicked in, and I battled those symptoms for decades, as the loathing grew stronger in me.
For all of us, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to lose sight of our own needs and forget to prioritize ourselves. We often find ourselves caught up in the expectations of others, societal pressures, and the constant pursuit of perfection. However, it is essential to remember that self-love is not selfish but rather a crucial component of leading a fulfilling and meaningful life. If you're feeling disconnected from self-love, fear not, for this blog will guide you on a transformative journey to rediscover and cultivate a deep sense of love and compassion for yourself. It's important to note the distinction between self love and self centered. Self love is the unconditional love and acceptance for who we are AND what our true potential is. Self centeredness is a byproduct of insecurity, and is a reflection of being absent in self love and support, constantly seeking to outcompete, or gain admiration from others. The difference can be seen in the authenticity in which we show up.
Embrace Self-Acceptance: The first step towards finding self-love is embracing self-acceptance. Acknowledge that you are a unique individual with strengths, weaknesses, and imperfections. Embrace your past experiences, learn from them, and let go of any lingering self-judgment or criticism. Recognize that you are deserving of love and respect, just as you are. Getting to know your base personality and it's tricks of shadow and sabotage will help greatly here. We can help you with that if you are in need.
Practice Self-Care: Engaging in regular self-care activities is essential for nurturing self-love. Make a conscious effort to prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Take time to engage in activities that bring you joy and peace, such as exercise, meditation, reading, or spending time in nature. Nurture your body, mind, and soul with kindness and compassion. Having the discipline to nurture your health is the ultimate expression of self love.
Challenge Negative Self-Talk: We often have a habit of engaging in negative self-talk, where we criticize ourselves and focus on our flaws. This self-destructive pattern hinders our ability to love ourselves fully. Begin by becoming aware of your inner dialogue and consciously replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would extend to a loved one. Please reach out if you need some self talk exercises to show how your self talk has a pattern and it points right at our subconscious and shadows.
Set Healthy Boundaries: Setting boundaries is a powerful act of self-love. Learn to say no to activities, commitments, or relationships that drain your energy or compromise your well-being. Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you, and distance yourself from those who undermine your self-worth. By establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries, you create a space for self-love to flourish. How often are you saying no to you in order to say yes to someone else's perceived needs? That doesn't mean we aren't a support beacon for others, we just can't sacrifice our needs for the perceptions of others, who may not be loving themselves well. This is an unhealthy attachment on the part of all parties involved.
Engage in Personal Growth: Personal growth is an ongoing process that allows us to evolve and discover our true potential. Invest in activities that foster personal development, such as reading self-help books, attending workshops, or seeking therapy. If necessary, hire a coach and explore your passions and interests, and engage in activities that align with your values and bring you a sense of fulfillment. The investment will have the most ROI you can imagine. As you grow and evolve, so does your capacity for self-love.
Practice Gratitude and Self-Reflection: Cultivating gratitude and self-reflection is an effective way to reconnect with self-love. Regularly express gratitude for the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small. Keep a gratitude journal and reflect on your accomplishments, strengths, and the lessons you've learned from challenges. By acknowledging and appreciating yourself, you foster a deep sense of self-love.
Celebrate Your Achievements: Celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small. Acknowledge your successes and give yourself credit for your efforts and progress. Treat yourself with rewards and indulge in activities that bring you joy when you reach significant milestones. Celebrating your accomplishments reinforces self-love and encourages further growth.
Here is a self love meditation centered around self love. Do this meditation for 12-60 minutes depending on your experience with meditation.
a. Take 21 deep belly breaths, and feel your body rhythms begin to align (chi flow).
b. ❤️Think of 1-3 people in your life that you love deeply and that you would do anything for.
c. 🙏 What do you dearly love and appreciate about each one? Think of 1-3 things that you are truly grateful for having that person in your life.
d. 📣 What is one thing you could say to them today, from the heart, that would make both of you smile warmly?
e. 🤔 Where were you on that list, and what did you have to say to you?
Conclusion: Rediscovering self-love is a transformative journey that requires patience, compassion, and a commitment to personal growth. Embrace self-acceptance, prioritize self-care, challenge negative self-talk, set healthy boundaries, engage in personal growth, practice gratitude and self-reflection, and celebrate your achievements. Remember that self-love is not a destination but a lifelong practice. By nourishing and loving yourself, you cultivate the confidence, and acceptance to live without fear, anxiety and regret.
Peace, Much Love, Live Well,