“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first”
Recently I had the opportunity to return home for a short vacation. A chance to escape from the existence of the insignificant town I currently inhabit. I spent time with family and friends, sleeping in, visiting the beach and devouring as much sushi as my stomach would allow. I even purchased a few trinkets that I’ve been eyeing up for a while.
I was really taking the time to treat myself.
Something that I had not done for a long while.
Now I could offer the excuse that I have not been treating myself because I have money to waste. I don’t NEED these things. I have better things to spend my money on. I should be considerate of others before myself.
However, this is usually due to the constant belief that I do not deserve to be treated. Almost as though I need to first prove my worth before I can deserve a treat.
But these thoughts are not as superficial as not deserving material things. It’s a shame to admit that this feeling of undeserving extends to showings of affections, kindness and even love. Things that I, and everyone else loves to experience.
A further extension of this leads to a lack of self-care. No attempts to improve myself through learning and exercise on a regular basis. A simple ‘what’s the point’ attitude overpowers me whenever the notion enters my mind. Instead I simply find ways to distract myself with entertainment when in reality I am simply rejecting myself and my own thoughts and needs.
This is due to a lack of self-love.
The container I possess for self-love is rather small and the reliance of love from others is quite significant. However, most of their love simply gets cast aside as I cannot fathom the possibility of another human seeing something ‘special’ inside me.
My own eyes cannot see it in the mirror and yet others are able to acknowledge it and not have it be a part of a conspiracy.
I have not taken the time to get to know myself. I am constantly distracted by trivial things. Things to distract me from my thoughts. Because I know the thoughts I send out to myself may not be too loving. They may cause me to require sincere amounts of efforts which I am simply not interested in.
But it does not have to be this way. I can CHOOSE to love myself. I know in my heart that despite my past mistakes and the bad things that has happened to me I still have a lot of good qualities. GREAT qualities if I may toot my own horn.
Perhaps self-love is not about finding reasons to love yourself but instead destroying the barriers that make you think you don’t deserve love.
I am glad to say the barriers are falling.
It all begins with a simple decision to love yourself more. To recognize that your worth in the world has already been established for you. It was established the day you were born and continues everyday when you wake up in the morning. Because the very notion that you woke up today means you have worth, otherwise you would not have woken up at all. The universe has plans for you and you need to embrace that FACT.
You do not need to prove to anyone, including yourself that you have self-worth and more than deserving than self-love.
Self-love is not only important because it allows us to realize our worth. It allows us to have a belief in ourselves that will push us to try for more in life. It will allow us to not be hung up on failures and mistakes of the past because we know that we are capable of achieving and are deserving more good things that will inevitably will find its way to us. And when it does come your way you will receive it with graciousness and not wonder if you truly deserve it. It will grant you access to better relationships and helps to understand who is worth keeping around and who isn’t. It will demonstrate to the world how you want to be treated.
Here are some of my tips on how to increase the amount self-love in your life:
- Let your thoughts serve youTake some time of your busy schedule to sit and listen to your thoughts. As terrifying as this may be, it can be the most beneficial endeavour we can do for ourselves because WE have the power to CHANGE them if they are not serving us.Identify negative thoughts and stop them in their tracks. Recognize when negative or self- defeating thoughts arise and take a deep breath to stop them, simply say ‘no’ to yourself in order to stop your thoughts or even envision them as leaving your body (no really, envision them and then allow them to get smaller and smaller as they fly away from you), do this exercise and you’ll actually feel a little lighter as you do it (How very Zen).Replace your negative with positive well- meaning thoughts. Imagine talking to yourself as you would someone you love with kindness and affection. Build yourself up with positive thoughts and praises. Talk to yourself like you would your husband or wife or your Playstation or Xbox one.
- Get to know yourself and LOVE yourself Consider yourself for a few moments.Think of all your good qualities and don’t be modest about them (DAMN good writer comes to mind for myself). EMBRACE your good qualities and ACCEPT your weaknesses.Don’t let the mistakes of the past haunt you either. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings. Even good people like yourself is capable of making mistakes. Hell even Stephen Hawkings cheated on his wife. It does not make you a bad person, it makes you human.
Leave the past where it belongs, in the dirt behind you. Everyday is a new day and can be a new life if you let it.
“You can’t go back and make a brand new beginning but you can start now and make a brand new ending.”
Nobody’s perfect, we all have short comings but they are not a reason to scorn ourselves but rather an opportunity to more forward and improve ourselves. Learn to do those things you’ve always wanted to and don’t be afraid, you can’t go wrong with improving yourself which is the perfect segue to…
- Improve yourself and be curious about the world around youI am under the belief that if you possess self-love as a quality in your heart you would always want to improve yourself.A man/woman/*whatever gender you identify with*, would always want to improve themselves. Not because they view themselves as ‘not good enough’ or because they want to impress others but because they want themselves to be better and tend to have natural curiosity of the world around them. They want to learn more, they want to know more and be more than they were yesterday (True nobility I’d say).You realize that learning never stops and just as you would want a loved one to always get ahead in life, the same feeling would be directed towards yourself. You’re driven to improve because you know in your heart you’re not ‘lacking’ but instead you want to increase your abundance.
Push yourself to achieve more. Push yourself into the world and become more inquisitive on everything. Read more, learn a new language, learn to cook some new things, learn to make things, learn to fight, learn to hack, learn how to kick a ball, learn how the stock markets work, learn how to eat with chopsticks, learn to write better etc. I could go on and on. There is a multitude of spheres you can explore to expand your knowledge.
“Live as if you’d die tomorrow, but learn as if you’d live forever”.
- Forget the rest and focus on YOUSelf-love focuses on the SELF.I believe a perfect sign of lack of self-love is a constant desire to a part of others’ lives and not our own. We spend more time living for others than we do for ourselves. We do things for them that we wouldn’t do for ourselves and we whittle ourselves away to make others happy until we are nothing more than a shadow of what we once were.A person engaged in self-love does not let the opinions of others sway their self-love and neither do they waste their life away living for others.
Do not allow other people to have that kind of control over you. You are a complete human being on your own right who has needs and wants that deserve to be fulfilled. You do not need to take care of others before yourself nor do you require the approval of others to remind you of your worth.
Take the time to end all toxic relationships with people who bring you down. They don’t deserve a spot in your life. You can do better and you deserve better.
NOBODY should be allowed to bring you down to a point where you question your self-worth and cannot decide whether you are worthy of love or not. You ALWAYS ARE!!
By allowing others opinions to affect you are essentially placing them above yourself. What have they done to earn that position?
“What is man other than a collection of biochemicals and the illusion of grandeur?”
Don’t forget that people are just people, nothing more and nothing less. The less you care about the opinions of others, the more you can care about yourself and the happier you’ll be because of it.
- Remember your worth If you’re unsure of your worth then take the time read my article on self-worth.Keep in mind that your worth on the earth has already been established and you need not prove anything to anyone that you deserve love and respect. Don’t EVER forget your worth and use that to push you to achieve more in your life and treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve.
Trust in yourself and your abilities and do NOT compare yourself to others. You are your own person walking your own path. Nobody on earth has experienced the same things you have which lead to you being the way you are today. The only person you should compare yourself with is the person you were yesterday. It’s the only worthy competitor after all.Listen to your intuition and be honest with yourself. You truly are all you need sometimes so praise and support yourself in all your endeavours. Feed the faith you have in yourself and your self-doubts will starve to death.
- Take care of your body
Until science can transfer our consciousness into androids or Apple devices, you have only your current body to rely on.TAKE CARE OF IT!!Put on sunscreen and drink more water than you currently do. Eat healthily (more fruits and vegetables and sugary cereals for dinner) and allow for some time to exercise. The endorphin release is enough to get you into a good mood.Do not forget to take some time to relax doing whatever it is that helps you to unwind, be it reading a book or throwing eggs at mean people, whatever helps you to unwind, just do it when you need to.
Sometimes you have only yourself to take care of yourself, so be the best damn carer you can possibly be, besides….this is YOU we’re talking about after all, you deserve the best
- Act the partEnvision yourself as a person whom you might love entirely and then start to act that way.Imagine yourself as Batman or James Bond or some other badass character and imagine if they have problems with self-love?I don’t recall 007 ever questioning whether he is good enough or not….or whether he deserves all those women.
Think about how that person might act, think, speak or walk and begin to act that manner. Not in a hectic fashion, don’t actually go out and shoot people and requesting all your drinks to be shaken and not stirred, but simply portray the character that YOU want to be.
Have a walk that shows your own the ground you’re walking on, speak in a confident manner as if everything you say is pure gold and go and do awesome stuff because you know you’re up for and capable anything.
‘Fake it till you make it’ is a thought that comes to mind. But in reality is can actually work.
Change your actions and your thoughts will follow.
- Do more things for yourself I saved this point for last because I don’t believe that this point in its exclusivity is sufficient to cultivate self-love. However these are good ways to treat yourself.Self-love begins with the mind. Once you’ve decided to love yourself…all of these things you do for yourself will be amplified to the extent that you are not simply fulfilling an obligation but instead you are doing this because you love yourself and want to enjoy life because of it.So try and do something everyday that makes you happy and don’t be afraid to try new things.
The magic happens once you step out the comfort zone.
So to show yourself some love, here are some of my suggestions:
Go for a walk outside and breathe in deeeeeeeeeply. Acknowledge the world around you, be in awe with the abundance around you. The trees, the sun, the earth beneath you. You are standing on a rock hurtling through time and space feeling the warmth of a star millions of miles away. You are a walking in your own acres of diamonds. NOTICE IT.
Read a good book. A thriller, love story or even a children’s book it doesn’t matter. Charlie and Chocolate Factory is frikken awesome. Just a few moments to escape into a different world and gain some valuable perspectives.
Go to the beach and just relax on the sand with your eyes closed. Don’t fall asleep but appreciate the beauty of it. In a world where everything is changing constantly, the ocean will always come and meet shore. Always, no matter what. The one place where there is always peace amidst the chaos.
Meet up with a good friend and talk about anything and everything. Let them hear your stories and frustrations and listen to theirs to gain some perspective.
Indulge in some silly movies to make you laugh. I recommend an old classic like Superstar or Rat Race. It’ll make you laugh and forget everything and give you that awesome feeling inside.
Write in a journal and let your thoughts out. Paper has more patience than people after all. Write out your worries, fears and troubles. You may find them to be almost trivial after writing and reading them to yourself.
It’s my personal favourite way to gain some clarity on troubles I currently face.
Treat yourself to a massage or spa day. Not something I normally indulge in but I’ve been told it’s an incredible experience to simply lay back and be pampered. Go for it if you can.
The list is endless. But if there is anything you can think of that may treat yourself. Something you can do JUST for you. Then go for it. Don’t make excuses for yourself.
Self-love is the most important quality that a person can possess. With it…the things you can achieve in this world is endless.
Take some time to take care of yourself. Treat yourself with love and kindness…Don’t wait another moment. You deserve it NOW.
The only thing standing in your way is you…..