To love yourself right now just the way you are, is to give yourself heaven. - Alan Cohen
How much do you love yourself? Just a little? A lot? Do you love yourself only when you feel good or even when you feel bad? What if you could love yourself, really love yourself, all the time?
The term “self-love” means the love of oneself, the instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being. True self-love is not narcissistic or self-indulgent. It is an awareness of your inner power. A knowledge of who you really are. Without self-love, the soul can’t flourish. According to Marianne Williamson, our deepest fear is not the darkness that most frightens us, but the light. Are you hiding your light? Does your soul long to shine?
Self-love acknowledges who you are and what you like. By cultivating your gifts, you show your true passions to the world. Your light illuminates the way for others and allows them to shine as well. My love of words led me to reading, then writing, then editing, and eventually to a marriage of all three—being a writing coach and publisher and helping others to express themselves through writing.
So how do you start loving yourself? Here are five ways to begin the journey.
1) Address self-sabotage. Does the little voice in your head say you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, or you don’t have enough experience? Those negative thoughts and beliefs stem from past experience. Let them go. You can heal these thoughts through hypnotherapy, coaching, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, otherwise known as tapping), the Sedona Method, etc. Find a process that resonates with you and stick with it. By changing your beliefs, you allow the real you to emerge.
2) Use affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements that help pave the way for the subconscious mind. By using affirmations, you train your mind to develop new ways of thinking. If you want to lose weight, try, “I am at the perfect weight for my body.” To attract more clients, you could state, “I easily attract the perfect clients for my business.” Here are some self-love affirmations to get you started.
I love myself just the way I am.
I appreciate who I am right now.
I let go of my fears and go forward with confidence.
3) Appreciate yourself. Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? When was the last time you told yourself you’re beautiful? Maybe you’re not crazy about your wrinkles or your gray hair. Maybe you wish you were taller or shorter. Start with what you do like and really love that part of you. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to appreciate those parts you didn’t like before. And when you truly love yourself, others will too.
4) Be creative. What do you love to do? Write? Paint? Teach? Play in nature? Give yourself permission to follow that voice inside your head that says “can I, can I?” Play. Explore. Discover. Embracing your passions is a sure way to love yourself. You might even find a new career.
5) Practice forgiveness. Criticizing yourself or comparing yourself to others only hurts you. Sometimes it’s hard to remember you’re not perfect. But holding on to that resentment damages your health. Forgiveness is a way to heal and move forward with peace and love. The Hawaiians have a beautiful forgiveness prayer called Ho’oponopono.
Please forgive me
I love you
Saying these words, with feeling, can unlock those hurts and restore your self-love.
The more you love yourself, the more you step into your power. So today, be your own valentine. Let your light shine. Be the amazing person you can be.