Self-love is something that gets thrown around in our day-to-day lives. Hasn’t anyone ever said to you “you need to love yourself more”? Well, what is self-love? Is it something we can buy in Morrison’s? And if it is, which isle can I find it in?
The short answer is no. Self-love isn’t something which you can buy from a super market.
Self-love is something much more than that. Self-love is something we need to cultivate ourselves. It is a feeling of appreciation which we have for ourselves, the whole of us, the good, the bad, the shortcomings and everything else in between. Self-love is something that constantly grows and something we continue to develop throughout our lives. This growth stems from our actions, our thoughts and how we live our lives day to day.
A friend of mine and amazing poet, writer, yoga teacher and creator of The Heart Centre love school in the USA, Zach Beach says “While we have conquered and crossed the world with our intellect, we have yet to conquer the world with our love.” Zach is right when he says that progress has left the heart behind and love continues in its infancy; he talks about this in his book The Seven Lessons of Love.
So why do we need self-love?
By first loving ourselves, we can then transmit this to our relationships with others and to the world around us. Loving ourselves will allow our relationships to grow and develop. You might ask yourself “why do I need to love myself before I can find true love?”; but ask yourself this: how can you truly believe someone when they tell you that they love you if you yourself don’t think that you are capable of being loved?
Each of us beautiful human beings are unique and special in our own way. Loving yourself isn’t egotistical or vain; loving yourself is accepting yourself as you are, as the true and real you, as the person you see in the mirror every morning who deserves to be loved wholly including the flaws and imperfections which set ourselves apart from everyone else. I believe that we should strive to accept that each of us were created exactly as we are meant to be and that this is the person we are and we shouldn’t be scared to showcase this to the world.
So how can we cultivate self-love and learn to love ourselves?
Take good care of yourself. Take good care of your basic needs. Nourish yourself with healthy food, exercise, get enough sleep and do things you enjoy. Sometimes it’s simple things like having a nice bath and using a nice body lotion that nourishes your skin. It might seem superficial but if you look after yourself you can easily generate that feeling of self-love. When we were babies, our parents would look after us, now that we are adults we need to make sure we keep on looking after ourselves.
Try and be mindful. Live in the present moment, tune into what you think, feel and want. Practice doing the things you want rather than the things others want for you.
Set boundaries – Say no to the things that don’t serve you. For example, it’s fine to say no to arrangements or commitments that would take up too much of your personal time and to things that would emotionally drain you.
Bring the right people into your life and let go of those that harm you. Anyone who hinders your growth as a person and is not happy of your success in life and achievements is not a true friend. Surround yourself with people who bring you good energy.
Live your life with purpose. This doesn’t mean you need to know what your path is and what your purpose on this earth is, it simply means setting intentions and following through with them. These can be simple things like to live a healthy life. When you follow through with your personal intentions you will cultivate within yourself emotions of achievement and success that will empower your self-love and give you more inspiration to continue on this fruitful journey.
They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit so why not choose one of the five things in the above list and see if you can work on it for the next month. Then you can add another and another, slowly building and cultivating on that self-love which you and everyone on this earth deserve to feel!
With love Marisa