The Secret to Loving Yourself
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s a necessity.” ~ Mandy Hale
If I could tell you just one thing it would be to love yourself –truly, deeply, and with your whole heart.
You’re probably familiar with self-help books and social media accounts that tell you to love yourself, but you may be wondering how to go about that. While your relationship with yourself is the most important connection in your life, it’s not always an easy relationship and it’s easy to forget about nurturing it.
And if you have never heard about self-love it can be a hard concept to grasp.
I can recall my first conversation about self-love. It was after my marriage had abruptly ended. Two of my girlfriends took me to lunch to have a conversation about learning to love myself. l had no clue what they were talking about! I thought pedicures, bubble baths and wine with friends was self-love. Sure that is part it, but that focus is more on self-care. Learning to love yourself means learning to treat yourself with kindness, establishing boundaries with people in your life, speaking up for what you need, and putting yourself first instead of depleting yourself serving others.
It wasn’t an easy journey. Years of abusive relationships had eroded my self-worth. However, self-love is where transforming your life begins. When you are truly and deeply in love with yourself, the world rises up to love you back!
Here are a few steps to start you on the path to self-love.
1. Accept yourself. Know that you are worthy of your own love and respect. You do not need to do more or be more to be loveable. You are perfect and enough just as you are. To love yourself completely you need to embrace all of yourself- both your strengths and weaknesses. These qualities are what make you one of a kind!
2. Clarify your purpose. Invent your own definition of success. Ask yourself if you loved yourself what would you do in this moment?
3. Talk yourself up. How do you speak to yourself? Do you choose words that are encouraging and uplifting? Use your internal dialogue to build your confidence. When I started on this journey I felt a real disconnection between the words I spoke about loving myself and how I felt inside- you might too. It doesn’t matter. Keep repeating, “I love myself” until you believe it. Every time you repeat these words you are building new neural pathways in your brain.
4. Offer yourself forgiveness. Let go of the past so that you can move on. Take any decisions that you regret and turn them into opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world around you.
5. Think positive. Looking on the bright side and being able to laugh at yourself makes you even more loveable. It also helps you to manage stress and deal with difficult circumstances. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel anger, sadness or disappointment. It just means you don’t let yourself dwell in the negative.
Changing the Way You Treat Yourself
Try these techniques to show yourself more love.
1. Practice self-care. Develop habits that keep your mind and body fit and strong. Go to bed early and exercise each day. Eat a balanced diet with whole nourishing foods. Buy yourself flowers. Give yourself a high-five every time you walk past a mirror.
2. Surround yourself with family and friends who encourage and support you. Cultivate close relationships with others who make you feel loved and cared for. Engage in deep soulful conversations where you can share your feelings and connect with other loving souls.
3. Pursue your passions. Make time to particpate in the activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Block out time each day for something you love, whether it’s a task related to your job or something you do in your free time. Following your passions is the equivalent to setting your heart on fire with joy!
4. Establish boundaries. Know your limits of what you will allow in your life so you can define what behaviors you consider unacceptable. That may include physical boundaries such as needing your own space and psychological boundaries such as being entitled to your own feelings and opinions.
5. Advocate for yourself. Ask for what you need. Speak up for yourself even when you’re scared. You are worthy of your desires!
Loving yourself is the path to creating your dreams. When you truly and deeply love and accept yourself you enjoy more happiness, overcome challenges eaiser, and build healthier relationships with others. Make it a habit to treat yourself with love and kindness and watch your life become filled with magic.