Loving yourself is an easy task right?
NOPE! It can be very difficult. However, it is the key to changing the world you see. Especially if you grew up to believe that love has conditions. The truth is that loving yourself is a human necessity. It is how you take care of yourself and your happiness. It supports your physical, mental and spiritual growth. This can look different for every person bringing us back to the world you see. Making a conscious effort to love yourself allows for you to accept the things that are meant for you and cultivate the world around you. Which means once you really start loving yourself for who you are loving others for who they are comes easy. How you love yourself is projected into the world around you. Unfortunately, many of us have been programmed to believe if you love yourself that you are vain, selfish, conceited and egotistical (just to name a few).
I personally have had a hard time loving myself and discerning my emotions. Anytime I would do something for myself I tend to associate it with guilt. I had been programmed to always give to others because the more you give to others the more they will love you. That is bad programming. The truth is others will not love you for what you can give. It leaves things unbalanced. There has to be an equal give and take. You cannot constantly give to others and never give to yourself.
The idea of changing behavior seemed easy enough. Yeah right! Changing habits is the hardest thing to decide to take on. Especially when one of the habits to break was negative self-talk, body shaming and showing myself love. These things are deeply rooted in some of some of the deepest darkest parts of people. How are you supposed to love those parts? It is difficult. It takes being consistent and persistent. Loving yourself is an ongoing process. It’s not like you can just wake up one day and say I am going to love myself. I mean you can but I assure you there is more to the process. There is a whole world around you, obligations, responsibilities and other factors that come into play.
What you can do is wake up and make the choice to make an effort to show yourself love every day. One day turns into 2 days, 2 days turns into a week and weeks turn into years. Before you know it showing yourself love becomes second nature. You will also noticed by showing yourself love you are able to give and receive love easier. The next thing you know you are looking at your life in awe admiring the world around you.
Unfortunately, for me I had to get to a place where I felt like I was losing everything before I even realized that I had to start loving myself and filling my own emotional cup. The key words there are I felt. The reality was I still had everything things were just changing. Except my perception that wasn’t changing. My perception was my reality. I was unlovable because nobody cared about me. Nobody was choosing me. Nobody cared about what I was going through. These were all lies I was telling myself. I was so focused on what others were doing/not doing for me to show me they loved me that I failed to look at the once person that could change it all. ME!
Let me make this clear. It wasn’t easy. I decided I wanted to get back to the basics. I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. That I could consistently do and be persistent about it. I started reading. I continued to go to the gym. I started eating better. I was feeling better about myself and things around me. I was having a more positive outlook on life. Then the universe decide to turn my life upside down. The universe decided it was time for me to wake up (which I will explain later) as if I wasn’t already going through enough.
My spiritual awakening sent me into a state of confusion. Since I was already reading I decided to read more. In my reading I noticed a common theme throughout each book was loving yourself to unlock the world around you. This wasn’t just loving the things about myself I liked, it had to be the things I disliked too. There were tears, laughs and outburst just to name a few things. In hind sight I understand it all.
How did I start?
Every day I wake up I empower myself by allowing myself to choose (allowing for flexibility).
Every day I do one thing for myself that shows me that I love me. It can be as easy as doing my hair or make up or taking a bubble bath.
I set time for meditation (even if it is a small amount of time).
I use positive affirmations.
I make a conscious effort to talk to myself with kindness and compassion.
I forgive myself when I find myself being unkind to myself.
I started setting boundaries with myself and people.
I started journaling.
I started to listen to my intuition and identifying what I was passionate about.
I allowed for time outs.
I started to do things creative. (ex. Singing and writing)
I started taking classes to tune into my intuition more.
I named things I was grateful for to bring me into the present moment.
Showing yourself love will look different for everyone. I am going to be honest with you. Starting to focus inward is going to be a difficult task. It is one that does get easier the more you do it. The more you accept and the more you show yourself a little love and compassion. Before you know it you will notice as you begin to love yourself more loving others is easy.