It’s pretty crazy out there and that means you have to love yourself hard. Really hard. Because the world isn’t gonna go easy on you. So that means a lot more self-love to get you through it. Seriously. We all have our moments of thinking we look nice, or complimenting ourselves on something. Maybe being proud of a recipe you made, or a workout you completed. Whatever. And that’s awesome, but really, it’s not enough.
I’m talking about the days you feel like crap, you didn’t lose that 5 pounds you wanted to, you’re feeling anxious, or you’re just having a bad day overall. Those days. How good are you to yourself those days? And I’m not talking about doing the usual feel-better things like stuffing your face, drinking or spending money (or whatever your vice is). I’m talking about really loving yourself. Not patching things up with other things.
You need to be gentle with yourself. Kind to yourself. Downright loving with yourself. When things happen to you that make you feel kind of miserable – talk yourself through it in a loving way – like someone would who deeply loved you and supported you. Tell yourself you are beautiful, tell yourself you are awesome, tell yourself that you are enough, and don’t guilt or punish yourself. There is enough of that crap coming from the outside world. We don’t need to do it to ourselves.
Perfect as You are
Really the bottom line is that everyone is trying to be some level of perfect in this world. Or at least accepted by society, or whomever you are looking for acceptance from. But the one thing we don’t realize in all of this is that love is always there. You don’t need acceptance, and you really don’t need perfection. Love is unconditional. Or it isn’t love. That goes for self-love too. It must be unconditional.
You CAN get there too. For many this can feel impossible or unachievable; but it is possible. You do it for other people, or even your pets, don’t you? Loving them despite all their ‘faults’. You overlook so much and care so deeply. Why can’t you do that for yourself? Must you always be punishing yourself and putting yourself down? Why would you hold yourself to a different standard? Would you do that to the people you love? I would hope not. So, stop doing it to yourself already!
So how do you love yourself hard? It takes time. It also takes a level of not caring what others think. You can’t. Because once you start caring what others think, you start beating yourself up again. You move out of self-love. Self-love is about loving yourself as you are. It’s about being who you are. Wearing what you like. Saying what you think. It’s being authentic and embracing that. And it’s certainly not about worrying what your friends will think, or what people say on social media. Who cares.
You have to find where you are, who you are, and what makes you happy. And you have to embrace all that marvelousness. Because you really are fabulous – and that will become apparent to you when you step fully into that and really love yourself. We all see it, but YOU need to see it. You will get there. You are amazing. As you are. Believe it.
Love Yo Self
What are some things you can do to start to love yourself deeply?
- Create loving rituals in your life. Whether that is time spent before bed reading with soft music on, writing in your journal over a cup of coffee in the morning, or a mid-day meditation break – find a beautiful self-care ritual that you love and makes you feel good, and do it every day. I love to take a long walk in a quiet area with my dogs at some point every day. No cell phone, no distractions – just the fresh air, me and my pups enjoying the day.
- Take time for yourself. While this might be doing your rituals (above), it’s always good to have “me time” in your life. No matter how many people or responsibilities you have, make sure you have a little time to yourself. Even if that’s a few minutes of meditation sitting on the bathmat, locked in the bathroom…find the time. This can even be done at your desk in an office, but take a few minutes to sit up in your chair, close your eyes and just be in the moment. This can also be helpful when you are feeling stressed. Breathe deep. Find the calm.
- Find the things that make you happy. There are people that feel better turning on some fun music and cooking or even cleaning. Others find joy in a long walk with their dogs on a pretty trail. And some may find happiness in a long, sweaty run. Find the things that bring you joy and do more of that whenever you can. Take the time. Make the time. Smile while you’re doing it. You probably will anyway.
- Find people who you can be yourself with.There is no greater joy than finding people in your life that you don’t have to put on any sort of front, or mask. You can be authentic, honest, vulnerable and raw. And of course laugh with – a lot! People that make your soul happy and who you enjoy time with. If this isn’t how you’d describe the people closest to you, keep looking. They are out there.
- Let yourself off the hook. I’ve found that a huge part of self-love is cutting yourself some slack. You may have a weight loss goal, or some big goals for yourself in your career or in your life. Perhaps you’ve been thrown a few curve balls. Life got in the way. Things didn’t happen as you hoped. You didn’t lose the weight. You didn’t achieve what you had hoped to. The relationship ended. It might suck right now, but it’s usually not as bad or as big a deal as we make it out to be. It will be fine. Things happen for a reason. Examine what’s happened and figure out why. Not to blame yourself or anyone else, but to look for the lessons and to move forward on your path. I know for me, I feel that the scale stopped going down for me on my weight loss journey because I needed to learn to love myself first. As I am. And to stop trying to achieve the perfect body. So I let myself off the hook, and I’m a lot happier staying this weight right now – instead of constantly beating myself up for not being able to lose more.
- See things with a big picture perspective.In other words, try and look at the whole situation and not get too caught up in your head. We tend to get in our head about things – get emotional – and not really be able to see what is really happening. For example, when my ex-husband and I were going through a divorce, he used to act as-if he was going to take the dogs away from me. I would get frantic, panicked and a little crazy, as that was my worst fear. However, if I had calmed down (I did later), and stepped ‘outside myself’ and looked at things – I would have seen that he was just using that tactic to manipulate me and to get me to agree to give him more stuff, more money – anything he could get out of me by using the dogs as his negotiating power. I would have realized he had no desire to take our dogs from me. He just wanted to use that fear he saw in me to twist my arm. Once I finally saw that more clearly, I found my calm. But the sooner you can step back and observe and really see what is going on without getting caught up in it, the better off you will be. It will help you also get more clear in seeing people’s issues and motives, and that really, when people lash out at us, manipulate us, or do things that hurt us – it’s usually their own issues and not ours.
You Beautiful Soul You
These are just a few ideas for you, and good places to start. But once you start treating yourself in a loving, gentle and compassionate way, it’s amazing how much happier you will be. It will also help you to be more resilient to the hurtful world out there. And in doing so, you will get clearer about how much the world is hurting, and see that if we can lift ourselves up, we will also lift up the world. You are amazing and beautiful too. Don’t forget that.
Something you might like is Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude: Gratitude Journal