Self-love is a regard for or love of one’s self. It is the instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being. It’s not selfish to love ourselves. To love yourself clears us so that we can love ourselves enough to love other people. Loving ourselves is having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves including our little individual nuances, things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities.
Self-love is dynamic and grows by actions that mature us through knowledge, experience and wisdom. It is a state of appreciation for oneself growing from actions that support our physical, emotional and spiritual growth. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we more readily accept our weaknesses, have compassion for ourselves as human beings, and become more centered in our life purpose and core values.
It is amazing how people’s lives get better when they start to love themselves more each and every day. They feel better, their relationships improve, they get the jobs they want and have the money they need. We all have the ability to change for the better by loving and taking care of ourselves.
Without Self-love we Suffer in Life
When we stop loving ourselves we suffer in all aspects of our life. Some of the warning signs of lack of self-love include becoming angry and blaming yourself when a mistake is made, when we put others before your own needs, when our plants and pets struggle from a lack of attention, where we are critical of our decisions, and also when we put off eating, urinating and other important needs. A chronic lack of self-love leads to much anxiety and depression.
When we don’t accept who we are, including our negative experiences and ‘dark side’, there’s a gap or divide that opens for us inside. Then we are very easily stuck in the murky waters of depression (living in the past), and anxiety (living in the future). Acceptance is living within your integrity and within your moral compass, honouring who you are to the core. Most importantly, it does not come without effort. Allowance is what happens when we’re accepting something without effort.
We will continually crave for deeper relationships but authentic, connected relationships with other people cannot happen if we’re not being honest and true to whom we are. Without connection, there’s loneliness and disconnection which is poisonous for our relationships. Also, we will not be able to show someone how much we care about them unless we love and care for ourselves first. Instead we see our own faults reflected in the distorted perception we have of others who do not live to our expectations. Without self-love you will never feel like you are good enough and it becomes very difficult to trust those who love you.
How Loving Yourself Sets us Free
Life is a grand voyage of self-discovery with its triumphs and disasters. Life is. In order to know who and what we really are by going within you will need to love yourself unconditionally first. To be present in self-love and connect with your highest self, set aside time for daily mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga.
We accept ourselves as we are with unconditional love but we often put conditions on our love. We are in charge of our lives so we can set today as the day you can love yourself totally with no excuses or expectations. Remember that love is something we can choose and we can choose love. It’s always a choice within us and we can choose to be grateful for what we have.
Self-love is becoming aware of and honoring our life story as spiritual beings having a human experience. It is about what we want, like, need, believe and crave. It is how we love, how we think, learn and what makes us feel whole and complete. Take a few deep breaths to quieten your mind, drop into your heart and sense within. Meditate on the feeling of loving yourself and feel gentle currents of love radiating from your heart.
Ways to Love Yourself
You can only love a person as much as you love yourself. Self-love promotes healthy relationships and you will start to attract the people and circumstances to you that support your well-being. The first step to self-love is to be mindful. People tend to know what they think, feel and want when they have more self-love. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge.
Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Nourish yourself daily through healthy nutrition, exercise, healthy activities, a good sleep and healthy social interactions.
Act on what you need rather than what you want. Stay focused on what you need and you turn away from automatic repeating behavior patterns and addictions that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, steal your energy and lessen self-love. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or boundaries and say no to work or activities that express poorly who you are and which deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Protect yourself and bring the right people into your life. You will love and respect yourself more.
We can be so hard on ourselves. Forgive yourself and accept the fact that you are not perfect (your humanity) before you can truly love yourself. Be less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Mistakes we have learnt and grown from are only lessons learned and not failures. Live intentionally and you will accept and love yourself more. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life you will make decisions that support this intention. You will love yourself more when you succeed in this purpose and seeing yourself accomplishing what you set out to do.
We completely and authentically give and receive real love when we are truly aligned with our own beautiful and unique spirit. When we love ourselves we know that we can give without becoming resentful, exhausted and depleted, and we can receive because we know we deserve it. Self-love is the foundation for complete immersion in the abundant flow of light and love in the universe around and within us.
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