7 steps to self-love – a necessity
What does it mean to love myself? How does self-love feel like? I don’t know…
Is it something innate or do I need to learn it? Do I learn it from my family, friends? Or through suffering and struggles?
It’s incredible how life send me tests every time I write an article… it’s like it challenges me: “let’s see, Diana, do you practice what you preach?” or “first prove it and then share from your own experience”.
And it’s even more interesting how 3 different people told me today: “put yourself first”. I didn’t ask for this specific advice, but it came. Three-fold. Why? Why? Why?
I’ll, as always, authentic: I find it hard many times to love myself. It’s because of the perfectionism, of my up-bringing, of the fact that it still matters what other think, wish expect. But I’m getting better, I feel like I’m recovering from an illness, when you restore your strengths, little by little and you know you’ll be stronger than before.
It’s so freeing to ask yourself the question: “OK, but if no one and nothing would influence me, what would I choose?” or “what do I want?”.
You know, I’m not an expert in self-love, but I can recognize it, I can feel what it does for me and, being a non-expert, I’ve studied it closely. This helps me articulate ideas about self-love for other non-experts, better than maybe those who have this already in them.
That being said, I dedicate this article to you, self-love non-expert and lastly, I dedicate it to me. And I apologize for my somewhat sad vibe, but today I lost my joyfulness and humor behind the closet and I don’t have the strength right now to get them out of there.
But, you know what? I love myself and that’s why I won’t force myself to put on a fake smile, to squeeze out a joke, but rather I will just share what, how and how much I feel. You should do the same. It’s freeing and I am grateful that you allow me to put my thoughts in writing as they come. I love you. Do you love you?
I have written about the power of self-love in an article and about the signs that you don’t love yourself enough in another article. Let’s talk now about what to do to feel good and show yourself you love yourself. I believe that we can fake it, until we become it, until everything comes naturally and you get to feel so good, that this will become part of you (you know how passionate I am about habits and our ability to change).
1. Listen to your intuition: what does your internal GPS say?
This might sound common sense, but I can tell you from experience, that every time I I didn’t listen to my “gut feeling”, things didn’t turn out well. I used to take action mostly out of reason, ignoring, actually brutally silencing, the feeling in my gut, which was sending my warnings and alarms, that I should choose differently.
Trust your internal GPS, it’s been put there and we all have it. It takes care of you and it taps into more knowledge and information than your brain could ever handle. The internal GPS is a treasure and I don’t even question it, I gave up trying to understand it. I just trust it and feel powerful to have it.
2. Know your values: what do you stand for?
When you have no values, you might say ‘yes’ to things that don’t represent you. It shows self-love to respect your values. Your feel a lot better in your own skin, when you prove integrity, when you stay true to your values, when your behavior is a mere reflection of the things you believe in and represent you, no matter what they are: fairness, hard work, compassion, respect, family, community, love, etc.
3. Have clarity: what do you really want?
I cannot stress this enough. It seems a simple question, easy to answer, but a lot of us don’t know what the answer is. When you have clarity over your wishes, no matter weird this may sound, the Universe will work to fulfill your wish. When your wishes are unclear, you won’t know what decision to make or you will make contradictory decisions. Do yourself a favor and clarify what your desires are and what makes you happy and go for it.
4. Communicate your needs
The ones around you are not mind readers, not even your partner. You are the only person in direct contact with your needs, so express them from a place of relaxation and love, as opposed to rigidity and resentment, and wait. It is going to feel hard at the beginning to “ask” or to “open yourself”, but once you do, you’ll see you how your needs will start to be satisfied. Try things like: “I would love to…”, “I would need…”, “it would be wonderful if…”.
5. Understand that you are worthy of love
I’ve said it before: you are a perfect being. The perceived ‘defects’ or ‘thing to improve’ are only labels that cover the beautiful luminous being you are on the inside. Get rd of those onion layers and shine your light into the world at maximum power.
Only by the fact that you are able to give so much love around you, makes you worthy of love. i mean it! understand that you have all the reasons to receive love, but can only truly do that, when you love yourself unconditionally. And there;s no reason why not to.
6. Accept and integrate compliments
Take compliments as they come, don’t feel the need to reply with another compliment, don’t try to excuse yourself, don’t try to diminish your contribution or merit. a gracious “thank you” is perfect. I’ll never forget when a teacher called my dad to tell him what a good student I am, how all my colleagues love me, etc. and my dad replied calmly “I know”. My jaw dropped on the floor… but I loved the peace, self-confidence and love behind his answer. Can you accept a compliment like that?
7. Take care of yourself
Allocate time for what is good for you, no matter what that is. Even schedule time, if necessary. Even 15 minutes is more than nothing. Do what your heart whispers you to do: a hot bath, a walk in the park, read a magazine, smell a flower, watch a movie, call a friend… anything anything anything. Because remember: what is good for you is good for the world and you cannot give from an empty cup, so make sure you fill your cup. The way you want to. Every day.
I found these 12 suggestions on a poster, they don;t belong to me, but I though I’d share, because they seem valuable to me.
- I fit doesn’t feel right, don;t do it
- express exactly how you feel
- Stop trying to please everybody
- Never say bad things about yourself
- Never give up on your dreams
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’
- Be kind to yourself
- Let go of everything that you can’t control
- Avoid drama and negativity
Well that’s it. Honestly, when you love yourself, no burden is too heavy, no worry is too worrisome, no suffering is too bothering. Self-love is an island of safety, which not only you deserve, but it’s already present, it just needs to be uncovered. Did you uncover it?