Self-love is a term synonymous with personal development. Self-love is the key to unlocking the doors to beautiful relationships, endless abundance, and a beautiful career, we’re told. And we’re taught that if only we love ourselves, our problems will dissolve.
The journey towards truly loving yourself is a little more real. It’s gritty. It’s a daily commitment. It’s acknowledging all the parts of you that you haven’t wanted to look at, let alone accept. It’s shadow work. And, it’s not all bubble baths and manicures. Yes, you may feel called to give yourself a nourishing salt bath, or do your nails as an act of self-care. Absolutely. But, those acts alone will not make you love yourself. You can sit in a bath and feel terrible. You can paint your nails and still dislike yourself. It’s deeper than this. And, deep-down, we all suspect there’s more to it than we’ve been told.
There are many roads to truly loving ourselves. Here are three of the most effective.
Understand the blocks
In the wise words of Rumi, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Similarly, we have barriers to self-love, too. We weren’t born doubting how loveable we are. We learn it. We pick it up from those around us, from adverse experiences and, in some instances, from traumatic life events. The key is to uncover what these blocks are and what they made you believe about yourself. When you heal that core wound – through coaching, therapy, or somatic healing – you are then free to write a new story. What will your new story be? If you’re looking for a place to start, begin with, “I am loved, I am loving, and I am loveable.” To take it a step further, try on “I am loved, cherished and adored.” Say these out loud in front of a mirror. Write them down. Record them in your voice notes and listen to them daily. Do this until these new beliefs become anchored in.
Create a routine that you love
One way to love ourselves fully is to give ourselves what we need, and to do so repeatedly. With the busyness of life – and the unpredictability this year has brought us – it’s easy to fall off the wagon with your routine. So, create one now. What makes you feel good? What feeds your body? Your mind? Your spirit? Choose three actions. Perhaps it’s yoga, journaling and meditation. Maybe it’s ice baths, breath work and HIIT training. Or a combination of these. Practice your routine daily. The morning is an ideal time, where we generally have less distractions. But if evening works best for you, do it then. The key is consistency. Showing up for yourself and giving yourself this level of devotion will impact how you feel about yourself in a noticeable, tangible way. And, Pro Tip: Give yourself permission to switch it up. If it’s been a month or two, and you want to add or remove an item, do it. Trust yourself. Give yourself what you need. Give yourself the loving care you so readily give to others.
Heal your relationship patterns
This one may seem counterintuitive. We’re focusing on our relationship with ourselves, right? So why focus on our relationships with others? Because the relationship we have with ourselves is the foundation all other relationships are built upon. We can reverse engineer this wisdom by starting with our relationship with others. What are your patterns? Do you over-give? Struggle to ask for help? Enmesh with other people and lose yourself in a relationship? Get curious about what these patterns say about your relationship to yourself. For example, if you lose yourself in a relationship perhaps it’s a cue to build up a strong sense of self. In other words, know who you are and what you love. What are your patterns? What can you give yourself to heal and nourish yourself?
By applying these practical steps, we develop true self love. We show a devotion to ourselves which is then reflected in the world around us. We love ourselves. And others love us, too.
I would love to hear which steps helped you the most. Reach out to me on the socials and let me know what landed for you.