How To Start Loving Yourself When You Don’t Know How
Self-love is almost becoming a bit of a buzz word or catch phrase of late, and there are plenty of people giving advice on how to love yourself.
Perhaps you should tell yourself more often, take yourself on a date, or gift yourself a pedicure. How about running yourself a bath, or buying yourself a gift you have been eyeing off – that will help right? Probably not, no… Sure it is nice, and you deserve nice things, but personally I do not believe it is as easy as saying ‘I love you self’, or buying something special. Like any relationship, it needs to have substance and be genuine. So where do you start? The same place you do with anyone else!
Acceptance – be kind and forgive
Perhaps the most crucial step in loving yourself, is simply accepting yourself – quirks and all. If you can’t accept the person you are right now, and instead think you will like her better when she weighs less, has more money, is more accomplished, etc, let me ask you, who is going to get her there? The person you are right now, that’s who. She’s been through a lot, and no matter how you or others have treated her, she still shows up and does the best she can with what she has.
Accepting yourself as you are, right now, doesn’t mean you don’t want to change.
It doesn’t mean you have to stay the same as the person you are today. We all want to keep growing and learning and that is okay, but please remember who is going to do the work and accept her in all her current glory.
Afford yourself the same kindness you give others. If you can be so kind to forgive someone for a choice they once made, or a decision that perhaps doesn’t sit well in your soul, I pray you can do the same for yourself. And then when you do, and you make the same mistake or choice again in the future – forgive, again.
Don’t set your standards so high that you are constantly at battle with yourself.
You don’t need to be perfect every day. Hell, you don’t need to be perfect any day! Free yourself from that judgement and you will be well on your way! Just like your friend or neighbour, you too have challenges, pain, fears and doubts. You too need someone to accept those things, to be gentle, kind and forgiving. Why not be that person for yourself?
Honor thy self
There are so many ways to honor you, and it is a sure-fire way to ignite that love within!
Firstly, celebrate your awesome. Think about what you have done, what you have achieved and what you have overcome in your life. Make a list if you like! You did those things. You!
Focus on the qualities you have that you would admire in someone else – and admire them in you!
Embrace the woman you are. Your personality, strengths (and weaknesses), feelings, all of it! Take note of how you feel in your own company and how you talk to yourself. Maybe you don’t even know yourself well? What do you love? What makes you happy? You get to decide these answers and write your stories, no one else, so honor the feelings and thoughts that bubble up and indulge in those things that you desire. And have fun while doing it! Sure, if that means going to get that pedicure, if that is really what lights you up, go for it. But maybe it is putting pen to paper and seeing the magic that pours out of you. Maybe it is putting on some music and dancing until you are brought to your knees. There is no right or wrong, just honor you.
Honor your intuition. Trust yourself. You are amazing – you know exactly what you need, exactly what to do!
Remember that you don’t need to be the person that you are told you should be, or that you may ‘think’ you should be, as dictated by other people’s thoughts, expectations and opinions. It is okay to be quirky. It is okay to be a hot mess! It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be bloody fabulous too! Don’t shrink. Don’t hide, change or conform. Just be you.
Sure, there are plenty of tools you can utilise to cultivate self-love – positive affirmations, gratitude and meditation are just a few (which I recommend), but beyond those, love is a choice, just like everything else. And the more you love by accepting and honouring yourself, the more you will receive – your life will flow. Abundance, joy, compassion, it’s all there for the taking. When life is bleak, love yourself, gently. When life is amazing, love yourself, wildly. Regardless, self-love unconditionally.
Related: 6 Daily Practices For Self Love