It’s Valentine’s Day.
Now, I admit, I am not a fan… for so many reasons but since it is a thing, here’s what I must say:
Of all the love you could experience today, here is what I wish for you:
It’s something we can easily overlook.
And for most of my life, I didn’t know that I didn’t love myself. It’s not conscious knowledge for most people but here are a few signs you are struggling to love yourself…
If you struggle with insecurity…
not being 100% honest with yourself or other people…
caring what other people think…
overachieving for the sake of acceptance or approval or validation…
If you struggle with any or all of the things, can I maybe shine the light on what’s really going on?
It’s a lack of self love.
For most, we didn't know know that self love is a journey. It is an actual practice.
I wish I had known this YEARS ago. Nobody told me it was a thing. Nobody told me I wasn’t alone in this. Nobody taught me how to love myself or why I should love myself.
The relationship we have with ourselves is the most profound relationship we can have in our lifetime.
The opinions we have about ourselves are also the most powerful opinion we can have.
I mean, sure, it sucks when other people don’t like us or think we’re not worthy or important but what’s even worse is when we feel that way towards ourselves. Often we hid behind accomplishments, people pleasing, over achieving, busy, busy, busy, go, go, go but subtly underneath it all, we need to confront our own levels of self love.
I didn't know I didn’t love myself and it wasn’t until well into my late 20’s that I was able to consciously recognize how much I didn’t like myself. It wasn’t until this realization that I could begin to change and enhance the relationship I had with myself.
Here's what I've learned in my own self love journey...
KEYS TO SELF LOVE:
To build self love, you have to first recognize there is a gap. You have to acknowledge the deficit. You have to own that you care more about what other people think than what you think. You have to own the fact that you are making decisions that are harmful to your body, mind and spirit. You have to look at the fact that your love for yourself is conditional.
Once you can do that, you free yourself to actually begin the process of healing… the process of forgiving yourself, the pattern interrupt to no longer view yourself through the lens of what someone else thinks or who you “should be” or “could’ve been” or “needed to be” for someone else. NONE and I mean NONE of that is applicable.
Once you begin that process and the healing starts, then you need to consciously refocus you attention. Take every thought captive (and I do mean EVERY). Maybe like me, you don’t have crazy negative thoughts about yourself but they also aren’t beneficial and uplifting. Quiet whatever thoughts hurt the relationship you’re building with yourself and lean into ONLY thoughts that build you up. Make sure they’re true. Make sure they’re honest but focus on them. Think thoughts such as:
I’m proud of who I am.
I ‘m proud of who I am becoming.
I accept myself.
I see myself for who I am.
I am safe and secure.
I trust myself.
I hear myself.
I see myself.
(and if you can muster it) I love myself!
All is well.
As mentioned in one of my last blogs, where you put your attention, you put your life. This is not a “woo woo” idea to make you feel good about yourself, this is a powerful tool of attention. If you think negative thoughts about yourself, guess what you’re going to get? Negative results! But if you begin to think positive, loving thoughts, guess what you’re going to get? Positive, loving results.
Once you refocus your attention and begin building that bond with yourself, then you can begin to embrace the WHOLE. You as the whole. Not “strength” and “weaknesses”, “right” or “wrong” but the whole dang package, accepting it all. Acceptance is huge. If there’s a piece of your personality that you don’t like, or something you want to do more of or less of (eating healthier or working out) instead of judging or shaming it, change it because you love yourself so much. Change from a place of love and acceptance, not shame or judgment. Embrace the WHOLE, straight up. Who you are. That person, underneath it all, is the one that is worthy of love because you’re human and you’re alive and you have breath and what you bring to this planet what no one else can.
Let love in! When YOU begin to recognize all of this first hand, and you begin to work on the relationship you have with yourself, everything changes. You don’t need to be anyone else other than YOU. You don’t need anyone else’s love more than you need your own. Cuz truth be told, once you fully receive your own love, you have so much more room to receive (and give) to and from others! And that’s a beautiful thing!! The more you love yourself, the more you will have to give.The judgment and critical nature will fall to the wayside and the guilt and shame, people pleasing and over achieving will also start to fall to the wayside.
Make space for SELF LOVE would ya?
Heal and forgive.
Refocus your attention.
Focus on the WHOLE of you.
Let love in.