To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~ Oscar Wilde
Why is it that you can love others but it is not always so easy to love yourself? Loving others comes very easily and naturally to many of you. Even those of you who have not experienced much love in your life, you can still find a way to show love and be loving with other people.
I was never taught about self-love. Were you? I believe our society use to have the mindset that if you thought about yourself first, you were either selfish or narcissist. It is now known that it is important to take care of yourself, first, so that you can be in a better place to help others.
In the world we live in, if we each took time to love ourselves, can you imagine what the world would be like? It is important to fill yourself up to overflowing and then allow that overflow to go out to others. When you love yourself, you form the foundation for all the other relationships in your life as mentioned in my last blog, Your #1 Relationship . . . YOU.
Let’s look at some practical ways to help you take that first step on the road of self-love. You can choose to do one of these self-love practices or several at one time. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just start doing something to love yourself and anchor that love within you.
Accept yourself . . . warts and all
Yes, you have read this before in an earlier blog but it is important to repeat here. Until you can accept you, all of you, it will be difficult to completely love you. Stop comparing yourself to others. You can never be someone else or even be completely like anyone else! You are unique and special in your own way and that is beautiful. Celebrate who you are!
Stop beating yourself up
Have you ever stopped to listen to what you tell yourself on a daily or even hourly basis? We are usually our worst critic. Stop saying negative things, out loud or in your mind, about yourself. Your body and mind are constantly listening to what you are saying. Soon all those negative things you have said about yourself will be programmed into you.
Become more aware of what you are thinking and saying about yourself. Would you say these same things to someone you love? Stop yourself every time you realize what you are saying is negative and turn it into something positive. “I am so fat” becomes “I am taking walks and eating better so I know I will lose weight and be healthier.”
Schedule time to do what brings you joy
I have worked with people who felt silly scheduling time for themselves and for most, it was the hardest thing for them to do. Everyone seems to be so busy with life. For this reason, I suggest they block out a time in their schedule to do something they enjoy.
Love to take walks, schedule 30 minutes at least 2-3 times a week to take a walk. Love to have coffee with a friend, set aside time in your schedule to meet your friend for coffee. Give yourself permission to take time for what makes you happy. Even if you only feel you can schedule time for you once a week, start there. As you see the benefits of taking time for you, you will find even more ways to schedule time for you.
Take time for self-care
Part of loving yourself is taking good care of you, all of you! Start by treating yourself as the precious spirit that you are. No matter what your resources are, you can find a way to nurture yourself. Consider healthy nutrition, getting enough sleep, exercise and time with family and friends. All of this may seem like a lot to do but it can be incorporated into your daily routine.
Look at your spirituality
Regardless of a religion or system you believe in, your spirituality comes from a different perspective. It comes from within you. It is your beliefs, feelings, emotions, those “inner knowings” that are your truths. It is looking at what is true for you . . . the truth within you.
Take time to sit and just be with yourself as you examine your truths. Allow this part of you to “speak” to you and guide you in the journey of self-love. For some of you, it is time to listen to the wise part of you that knows you better than anyone else!
We all desire to love and be loved. Why not start with yourself? You will find that as you take time to be loving with yourself, that love flows out to everyone around you. When you love yourself, it is a gift you give not only to yourself, but to everyone around you. Thank you for that gift!
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