What do you see when you look in the mirror?
So, an interesting question to ask yourself. Do you love yourself? I’ll admit that on a good day I like myself, I’m a nice person and a good mum, partner and friend. But I wouldn’t be able to say I love myself every day. I’d go as far to say that I have had years of self-loathing. I’ve gradually warmed from self-loathing to liking who I am. That’s progress, right?!
Can you love yourself?
Seems like I’m not alone. I believe many of the people suffer this depth of feeling in some form, on occasions if not always. For some, it is a daily occurrence and for others, like me, it comes during periods of lows.
I recently hit a severe period of illness as my diagnosis of peri-menopausal stepped up a pace as blood tests came back at a record high. During this period I continuously tormented myself with thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve it” or “I hate myself”. I wanted to take myself away from everyone and everything.
So what does “self-love” really mean?
It has taken me years to fully understand it. However, I’ll hold my hands up to say I still struggle at times.
Self-love is one of these concepts that you just get. You don’t logically understand it. You feel it.
In my case I read about it, I’ve seen practitioners over many years to learn about it, and I practised what was suggested in books, articles and sessions. As a result, I learnt an awful lot over my adult life to date and became very knowledgeable and a typical “do what I say, not as I do” preacher!
It’s down to YOU to change your mindset. No-one else can do this for you. This takes work. Before you say you don’t have time. Remember, you are your number one cheerleader!
Practice makes perfect
Being able to love ourselves requires a lot of practice. Overcoming years of negative reinforcement from society, self-talk and information blasted from media, this is tough to do. However, once you can successfully say you can love yourself, nobody can take it away from you.
Learn. Read. Discover. Keep searching, and learning. Then one day you will just get it.
It’s like yoga. You practice for a long time trying to get into that one pose. It seems very tough. And then one day you do. And you realise how easy it is once you get it. You’re in perfect balance. And from that moment, you remember how to do this pose. Occasionally you might lose your balance, but you know what it feels like to be in the pose – and you can go back.
A Good Test
If you put on a few pounds, would you still look in the mirror with love and appreciation? Do you like yourself even when your hair is messy and you got a few pimples on your face?
If you we do something right, we reward ourselves with love. But when we do something bad, we punish ourselves by taking that love away. We become the harshest critic in our lives.
Treat yourself as kindly as you would your loved ones.
True love in an unconditional feeling of love, appreciation and acceptance for yourself. What does unconditional mean? That no matter what you do, you always love yourself with the same strength.
Now I know it might make sense when you read it, but you might be wondering – how do you get to that point? How can you “get” it?
I found these steps to be helpful in my journey towards self-love:
1. Give yourself the same loving care, attention, and sound advice you give to others, using self-talk. Keep self-talks positive, encouraging, and fact-based. Not only will this help you to focus on the positive but it will also enable you to help others better.
2. We tend to expect more from ourselves than we do from others. Forgive yourself just as you forgive others who make mistakes. Acknowledge, accept, and forgive.
Let it go!
3. Let go of feelings, situations, and people that do not support your best interests. Ridding your life of these makes room for more positive, goal-supporting influences.
4. Make self-care time a top priority. You make time to meet others’ needs and wants. Do the same for yourself. Your needs and wants are just as important, maybe even more so. If your needs go unmet, you can’t effectively help others.
5. Practice little acts of self-love throughout the day. Take extra time to care for yourself. Congratulate yourself on a job done well. Do things you enjoy. These little gifts reinforce your self-worth, confidence, self-esteem, and more.
6. Never confuse self-love with selfishness. Showing respect for your personal wants and needs isn’t selfish. When you don’t love and respect yourself, it’s difficult to give and accept those things from others. Do everyone a favour. Learn how to respect and love yourself.
7. Love yourself the same way you love other people. Make time for yourself. Forgive your mistakes. Set boundaries. Respect your limitations. Make your expectations realistic. Acknowledge achievements. Work on goals.
8. Beating yourself up never helps. In fact, continuing to chastise yourself can lead to a bad habit of being overly critical of yourself and others. Consider mistakes a learning opportunity. Practice and share the lessons you learn.
9. Accept and love yourself, just as you are. You are a work in progress. Nobody, not even you, should expect perfection. Instead, work towards improvement.
10. While the term, self-love, might seem like a no-brainer, many people don’t know how to accept, respect, and love themselves. This is essential to maintaining peace, happiness, and a balanced life.
11. When you begin to love yourself, you also start to feel worthy. This comes across to others. You may find that more people feel drawn to you. Build healthy connections and relationships for a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Let’s Get Honest
First of all, be honest with yourself. Denying a truth just because it’s not what you want is a form of self-disrespect. Show your self-respect by trusting that you will accept the facts with grace and make the best of things. Life is too short to torture ourselves with untruths. Take time to work on yourself and make the most of every moment you’ve been blessed with!
We all know it’s a struggle, but focus on the good and put yourself higher on the priorities list!
Do you have any helpful tips you would like to share? I’d love to hear them.
P.S. And don’t forget to join my FB Page and say hello!
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