Many people go through life with an array of misconceptions about self-love and, therefore, are unsure of how to love themselves, or even worse, simply don\’t love themselves.
They\’ve been conditioned to believe self-love is egotism, conceit, and selfishness. But it actually carries an incredibly positive definition that we at The Wellness Universe are here to share with you. Let’s take a look at what self-love is and three ways to love yourself.
It’s important that you understand the truth about self-love and what it really means to love yourself.
Self-love is selfish but in a positive way. It is the act of thinking of yourself and putting your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being before others, in a loving and supportive way. It’s the realization that you cannot help another until you first help yourself.
Those who give and give without receiving love in return, quickly find themselves feeling drained and empty, with nothing left to give to anyone. Those givers are the ones who must learn how to fill their own inner source of love and keep it full, so they can continue to serve. It’s the capacity for love that you hold for yourself that amplifies the amount of love you have to give others.
Here are 3 Ways to Love Yourself
- Forgive Yourself
You are doing the best you can with what you have to work with. Give yourself a break! You ARE enough! Whatever you’re holding against yourself, see how you can do better, learn from it, and let it go. Realize that whatever you did in the past was simply because you didn’t know any better at the time; and if you did, take ownership that you chose to act or think in the manner you did. It’s OKAY because we all have a thing called free will to exercise whenever and however we choose.
Life is a school and we’re all here to learn. If you mess up, learn how to do it better. If you get hurt, learn how to pick yourself up and continue forward. This ride called life is full of twists and turns and being unforgiving is only going to make things harder.
Realize you won\’t know everything in life, and that’s perfectly okay! Forgive yourself for past mistakes, for your current conditions, for talking negatively to yourself and others, for those hang-ups and character flaws you complain about, and whatever else you think is so bad about you or your life. It’s all a vital part of your path of growth and evolution; it’s all a part of the plan. It’s why we all came here.
When you learn to forgive yourself, it frees you from the heaviness you hold onto and allows you to see others in the same light too. Forgiveness is one of the highest forms of self-love,.
- Show Up for Yourself.
Nobody likes to be stood up, especially by one’s own self. Being in a time of need and not quite having the support you truly desire can leave you feeling disappointed and alone. Feelings of separation may emerge, and anxiety and depression may follow. What is needed most in those times is a HEALTHY DOSE of self-love.
Showing up for yourself means taking care of your priorities and responsibilities in a way that serves you rather than hurts or inhibits you. It means being there for yourself as a helpful friend, a confidant, or cheerleader when life knocks you around, rather than being your own worst critic and enemy.
Showing up for yourself means speaking your truth, being assertive with your desires, and setting personal boundaries. We often look to others to create the safety we crave, but it is really our own self who is the “hero” we long for. Be your own hero. The amount of self-love to be gained from that way of living is infinite. Never again will feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression creep up when self-love is a daily practice.
- Appreciate Yourself.
Gratitude is a way to bring in and experience all things wonderful about life. Having gratitude for yourself cultivates an inner world of happiness and peace, which then extends outward. It all begins within.
Here are a few self-love exercises to add to your routine. Pick the one(s) you most resonate with and do them as often as you feel guided.
- Write yourself a letter telling yourself all the things you appreciate about being you. Make it the nicest thing anyone could ever say about you. Be honest and say it; you need to hear it from yourself.
- Give yourself compliments on a job well done, a conflict handled with care, a major accomplishment, remaining responsive to a situation rather than reactive, and even for just being yourself.
- When faced with criticism or judgment, give yourself that pep talk and remind yourself of who you are; and if you’re not quite sure who you are yet, get to know yourself, your strengths, and your desires. Hold gratitude for knowing who you are inside, however that is for you, and let all other comments go.
With this new perspective of learning how to love yourself, it’s clear to see how healthy and nurturing it is for all of us to practice self-love on a regular basis.
As each person fills themselves with love, we all become sources of forgiveness, presence, and gratitude. Self-love is the solution to the change we seek. How can you love yourself more and create a positive impact on your world?
If this article interested you, meet people who can do even more for you right now. Connect with someone who can guide you to a happier, healthier, and whole life! Become a WU Friend today!
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– The Wellness Universe
*Originally published on August 14, 2018
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