How to Get Better at Self-Love
Hello lovely you!
I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed each other last week during Valentine’s Day. Did you do anything special? Eat some healing dark chocolate? Perhaps it was all about you on Valentine’s Day and you did something special for yourself? Yay! Because showing yourself how much you love YOU is incredibly important, especially on your healing journey.
You do love yourself, don’t you? Did you just say, “Of course,” but then had to actually think about whether that was true or not? Why is it so hard to love ourselves? I don’t think many people really do love themselves. It’s incredibly sad.
When I was young I was brought up Catholic, and I learned early on that God wanted us to “Love thy neighbor as ourselves.” And I remember thinking, “Oh no, I really like our neighbors, but if I love them like I love myself, that wouldn’t be very nice!” Even little Prue recognized that she didn’t love herself very much.
It’s easy to love other people because we tend to show each other only the best of us. But we can’t hide from ourselves. We know all of our bad thoughts and deeds, our failures and flaws. We know our darkness and our ugliness. And when we add up all of this messy humanness, we come up with something that is entirely UNlovable.
What is Self-Love?
If you believe that self-love is a feeling you have for yourself, I would say that’s not quite right. You can FEEL bad about yourself Monday morning, then get a facial Monday afternoon and FEEL better about yourself by Monday evening. But by Tuesday afternoon you may FEEL crappy about yourself again. Nope, FEELINGS are transitory. They change like the weather. Self-love is something that is much more concrete than that.
Self-love comes from appreciating yourself and taking actions each day that support this appreciation. When we act in this manner, we begin to accept ourselves more and more, flaws and all. We foster a sense of compassion toward ourselves as human beings doing the best we can do on this crazy planet.
Why is Self-Love Important?
Every decision we make in life is based on how and what we think and feel about ourselves. What you decide to eat… who you fall in love with… the kind of friendships you create… how you cope with things… the career path you decide to take… whether or not you take care of yourself physically… all of this and more depends on whether we love ourselves or not. In other words, self-love or the lack of it shapes our lives. Knowing this, we understand that living well and being healthy is completely connected to how we feel about ourselves.
Learning to Love Yourself
Here’s how I began to learn to love myself. I stopped comparing myself to others. That’s where so much of our self-hatred comes from. We believe we don’t measure up to all of the other human beings we share the planet with. Everyone else is somehow smarter, more successful, better at parties, taller, better looking, more in shape, wealthier, funnier, not as awkward, better at small talk, better at business, better at math, better educated, and on and on and on.
But guess what? Everyone else is thinking the same thing. Most people, with few exceptions, are absolutely certain that they don’t measure up to others.
The beautiful thing about understanding this is, it creates a space inside of you to start loving yourself, flaws and all while at the same time helps you to have compassion for others and love them even better than before.
5 Tips on How to Start Practicing Self-Love
Now that you know what self-love actually is, why it’s important and how you can start to love yourself by stopping the constant comparisons to others, here are some things you can do on a daily basis to show yourself that you love yourself:
- Meditate– Spend quiet time each day going within. This will help you connect with the REAL you, the you that IS LOVE and nothing but LOVE. This is powerful!
- Pay More Attention to Your Needs– Children focus almost exclusively on what they want: to stay up late, to never bathe and to eat all of the sugar they can get their little hands on. It is the adults’ responsibility to give the child what they need: rest, cleanliness, and a balanced diet. You must love yourself like a parent loves a child and give yourself what you NEED to be well and not what you want in the moment.
- Set Healthy Boundaries– You practice self-love when you put your needs first. Start practicing saying no to others more. Setting healthy boundaries is not only your right, it is your responsibility.
- Forgive Yourself– Stop being so hard on yourself when you screw up. Focus more on the fact that you did your best. If you didn’t do your best, ask yourself why. Learn from failure, commit to doing better and move on!
- Be Grateful – Be grateful for all of the things you can do. If you are fully mobile, be grateful to your feet and legs for getting you around independently. If you can still work, be grateful for that. If you have a wonderful support system, be grateful for those people. The more gratitude you feel each day, the more you exist in feelings of love and appreciation, which begets more love and appreciation, and on and on.
I hope you will make loving yourself – REALLY loving yourself – a priority. Your life and health depend on it. Start by stopping – that is, stop comparing yourself to others. That has to be your first step. Spend the next couple of weeks focusing just on this. Every time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else say out loud or in your head STOP! I love YOU! This will help you break the negative mental habit and replace it with a good one, the idea that you are worthy of being loved.
Then move on to some of these actions I’ve just listed. You will be absolutely amazed and stunned how your life will start to change.
I am smiling so BIG right now for you, because I have been where you are. I went from not loving myself to loving myself, and my world, not to mention my health, completely changed.
Please let me know about the changes that start to happen in your life. I’m routing for ya! I’m waiting for you in the comments below. Let’s chat!