No matter what spiritual topic I write about in this blog, without self-love, everything else is more challenging. Not impossible, but more challenging. This has been a difficult concept for me for many years, but I feel I am on my way to loving myself more than I ever have. Anxiety, lack of confidence, and poor self-esteem were all a result of my opinion of myself. It has been amazing to see how my life has changed as these have decreased.
There are different variations of the spiritual laws of the universe, which we will explore in other posts, but they all have the same themes. One is self-love. We cannot truly and deeply love others in the magnificent way possible if we do not love ourselves. Lets face it. Most of us don’t to the level we could. But we can.
I’m not talking about arrogance. There is a big difference between loving who we are and making positive choices for ourselves, and going around promoting ourselves in a way that makes others uncomfortable. That is actually a result of low self-esteem. It took me a long time to realize the difference. I was so afraid of coming across as arrogant that I hid myself from the world. I still tend to check myself as a result of this fear. We are all unique, wonderful people who have something to share with the world. It does not have to be glamorous. It can be as simple as being kind.
So how do we love ourselves in order to have the best life experience (and not be seen as arrogant?) Great question! It is a process. Don’t be fooled into thinking your feeling about yourself will change overnight. It takes time. And that is okay! The very first step is to be kind to yourself and tell yourself that it is okay to be where you are. One of the messages in my book, 365 Morning Messages from the Angels, states, “Even when struggling, love yourself. You are doing the best you can.” We are all doing the best we can with what we have. Everyone is a soul living a human experience. We are having this experience to learn and grow. Stop beating yourself up when you think you have messed up. Stop the negative self-talk. Unconditional love is not just for others. It begins with unconditionally loving ourselves. We have all heard “It’s the journey.” Well, it is and we are going to have experiences that may not feel that good. It’s all about our reaction. We have the ability to react in a loving way, which begins with accepting ourselves for who we are and consciously making the changes where we need and want to.
All that being said, how do we get there? How do we stop judging ourselves and begin the process of loving ourselves? Here are just some ideas;
- Self-care. Make time for yourself. Do things you love. Take care of your body, mind, and spirit. It is a balancing act, I know! Start small. It is so important.
- Affirmations. These are statements that may not be true as you say them, but you say them as if they are. Feel what it would feel like if they were true and say them in the present tense as if they are your reality now. I started by taping affirmations to my bathroom mirror so I would say them daily (they are still there). One is, “I love and approve of myself. I trust the process of life. I am safe.” I took this one from Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal your Life, which I highly recommend on the self-love journey.
- Think about what negative statements you often say to yourself. Start making a list. Don’t beat yourself up that you have them, but rather ask yourself how you can change them to be positive.
- Catch yourself in the moment when you have a negative thought. Again, be kind to yourself by being proud that you caught it and then think of how you will change it.
- Don’t allow others to make you feel bad. If another person becomes angry with you or says something unkind, it is a result of their personal struggle, not yours. Don’t let others define you. You have the choice how to react. You can learn from the situation if you could have done something better or you can realize that it has nothing to do with you because it’s their stuff. Either way, it is not a reason to knock yourself down. It’s an experience from which to take something away.
- Read books like Louise Hay’s. Another author is Nancy Levin. There are so many books, articles, blogs…that can help guide you to change your thinking, to love yourself. Science is now beginning to get on board, too. Read about that, if it interests you.
As mentioned in my last post, we are works in progress. It has taken our whole lives to get where we are today, so it will take time to continue our growth in a more positive way. Loving ourselves is the first step to shaping our lives into what we want. We are all deserving. You are deserving!
With love and light,