“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Wow, I guess I didn’t even realize how little love I have for myself.” This is something I heard from a client this week and a place I think all of us find ourselves at some point on our journey. Most of us put so much effort into helping or lifting up those around us and then measure our value on how much we do for our loved ones or our community. We get our dopamine hits from being generous to others but then consider it selfish when we turn our generosity towards ourselves. Some of us even slip into lower levels of consciousness by feeling bummed out that we do so much for everyone else but no one is there when we’re in need.
So, you love you for everyone else because without self-love we put a lot of pressure on those around us to fill the void without even realizing it. When we love ourselves we also have deeper, more meaningful relationships with others because there is more space and energy available to make connections. When you are lovin’ yourself, others are lovin’ you too because that energy is magnetic! When you FEEL good, those around you feel good – why? Entrainment – what happens when you have a strong energetic frequency that entrains other people’s frequency to match yours. In other words, energy is contagious and how you make someone FEEL is more powerful than what you DO for them.
How to cultivate more self-love in no particular order
Ever been angry with your partner for not showing you the attention you need? Then decide they are turd buckets and you stay pissed. Anger is an emotional reaction, and almost always a byproduct of fear. Is it possible that the fear of being unloved or undesirable is what you’re really feeling? Being honest with yourself allows you to release some of the energy that is rooted in a place of lack or fear and then shows you where you can love yourself more.
Give yourself props – this is not narcissistic
Man, this is a tough one because I see it in almost EVERYONE. I worked with someone who was reluctant to praise himself for his great qualities in an effort to remain humble yet he would become consumed by his shortcomings or mistakes. He did not want to come across as hubris to God, others, or himself. Being proud of yourself or praising your good qualities does not make you self-righteous. Being confident in front of others does not make you self-aggrandizing. If other people think that of you, that is not your problem. Don’t deny yourself love and acceptance in an effort to control the opinions of others.
This leads me to Self-Acceptance.
Honor your uniqueness over your contributions or accomplishments. We often feel like we have to be the best or we aren’t good enough, we have to be super interesting or we are boring, we have to be martyrs to prove we aren’t selfish or greedy. I am here to tell you that no matter how basic or boring you feel, someone else admires you for something and it could easily be the thing you are rejecting yourself for.
Practice gratitude for your body
You are a soul, not a body. Your body is just the suit you wear on this leg of your journey. So take a few moments to thank your body for facilitating this life experience. Thank your feet and legs for all the walking you do, thank your hands and arms for their ability to do work and feed you. If parts of your body no longer work or exist, be grateful for the time you had and what you still have. Gratitude takes what we have and turns it into enough.
Self-Forgiveness & Growth Appreciation
So you didn’t know something or you had no idea what it was like for others or how you’ve contributed to someone’s painful experience – FORGIVE YOURSELF. Taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors doesn’t mean you deserve self-imposed punishment.
Understand the relationship between self-care and self-love
When we take care of ourselves we love ourselves for it and when we love ourselves we feel more inspired to take care of ourselves. Self-care does not mean spending money on mani-pedis, brunch, or a new outfit. There is no shame in doing those things for yourself, but taking care of yourself means feeding your body, mind, and spirit what you need. I can’t say this enough, give yourself a few minutes every day to calm your mind or meditate, move your body, get in nature, have some fun, and eat some damn plants. You could do all of these on a lunch break. You will love and thank yourself for it.
Recognize your enoughness
As humans, we will always desire – until the day we die. Do not mistake your desire to have more, do more, be more, as a sign that you aren’t already enough. You are enough and it’s totally okay that you want to be more enlightened, have more adventures, do more awesome things for yourself and your community. Balancing our desires with our values and visions for our lives is the key.
Does it feel like shit in a non-healing way? Then set a boundary. Boundaries aren’t just about determining what is okay to accept from others, it is also about determining what is okay to accept from ourselves. If the shitty committee between your ears decides to start kicking up destructive thoughts – set a boundary. Anyone can give you a shitty thought but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
This got longer than I anticipated but self-love seems to be so hard for a lot of us. Challenge yourself to love on you just a little bit more this week! Look in the mirror and say it to yourself, tell yourself what you love. Jot down of all the things you did in a day that feels good rather than just notating what you accomplished. I have a compliment journal and when I’m feeling down I jot down every kind thing someone says to me, now I get to review it AND add to it when I need a reminder of how lovable I am. Remember, loving yourself IS DOING something for everyone in your life because you are changing the energy of the world around you.