Last week, I wrote a little ditty about the importance of self-love.
If I had to capture the majority of responses and put them into one sentence, it would be:
Thanks for the reminder but it’s not easy is it?
We can love our friends, our partners and our children with our entire being but we find it a challenge to love ourselves?
We can shrug it off when our 5 year old spills a cup of juice for the third time in a row yet berate ourselves incessantly because we forgot to make one phone call.
We can tell a girlfriend how beautiful she is but refuse to accept compliments about ourselves…
What’s up with that?
If we are not able to be gentle to the one being we are closest to, how can we possibly expect to fully show up in our lives for everyone else?
It’s not self-indulgent to practice self-love. It’s crucial for your current mental health and future well-being. But it doesn’t usually come automatically. We have to create it, remember it and always practice it.
Honour yourself, your thoughts, feelings and the person you are becoming. Forgive yourself for your stuff-ups and get rid of perfection-poison!
Agreed -it’s not always easy.
True self-love requires acceptance of your thoughts and feelings, forgiving yourself (again and again) and being there for yourself when life throws you a bunch of curve-balls.
It’s about tackling the challenging sh*t in your life, not because you want to, but because you know it’s going to be better for you later on!
So where do we start?
By developing self awareness.
By learning to distinguish between our real selves and our inner mean girl or gremlin that comes out to taunt us.
By expressing love to yourself and replacing nasty self-talk with kindness.
By releasing self-judgement and self-lies of insufficiency.
By listening to our bodies and knowing when are at the point of exhaustion.
By looking at your life and asking how much time is being spent doing things for others and how much time is spent doing things YOU enjoy?
By eating what makes you feel good, inside and out and not just what tastes good.
By working on your fitness and moving your body! Whether it’s at the gym, dancing around the house in your undies or chasing the kids at the park – Don’t just move. Feel good about your choices.
By practicing mindfulness and meditation.
By learning to say No when you feel stretched and being ok about it.
By learning to say yes to new experiences and opportunities that present themselves without fear.
By knowing when it’s time to stop playing the victim. We all have a story of pain and suffering. Sharing can be healing but carrying that story around every day is not.
By being grateful for what you do have and who you are right now.
By letting go of all the external messages that are telling you how you should look, what size you should be and what car you should drive….
By questioning – is this right for me? Does it feel authentic? Am I being true to my innermost dreams and desires?
And if you still don’t know where to start?
Start by putting yourself first.