The Art of Self-Love
I’m talking about self-love today…one of the hardest but arguably most important things to work on in one’s life- for both women & men. You can’t buy it in clothes, makeup, car, a new relationship, or some inspirational book. Self love is not simply a state of feeling good but rather a state of appreciation oneself that grows from actions that support our physical and psychological growth. To be honest, I hadn’t practiced self love more than I did last year because I think most of you can agree that 2018 was…s***.
Let’s face it, the world doesn’t exactly make it easy for us. There are many narrow definitions of what we are “allowed” to be or look like. Trying to fit into one of these definitions is a recipe for negative self-talk and losing touch with who you really are. We are our own worst critics. We have such a hard time accepting ourselves that we don’t always project who we truly are. Instead, we crafted versions of ourselves, whether it’s online or in our own relationships. Versions that we hope other people will like.
We tend to criticize ourselves for the smallest of things in ways that we would never do to other people. As a result, it becomes inevitable that the constant internal dialogue of “I’m not good enough” wears us down. As a result, we seek external validation and proof that we are worthy.
I truly believe that self-love is an art, not a science. There isn’t a magical formula that get you to love yourself. It takes constant effort and sometimes it may feel impossible. When we reassure ourselves of our own worthiness-regardless of external opinions- this is when we thrive. Life becomes easier, our relationships flourish, and our positivity through…people will notice. It takes showing ourselves that we truly believe in our own capabilities.
So what are some ways we can practice the art of self-love?
Treat Yourself- as in practice good self-care. You will love yourself more when you take better care of yourself through daily healthy activities like good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep…etc. Take time to invest in yourself!
Learn to forgive yourself- as humans, we are not built to be perfect. We make mistakes. A lot of them. Be gentle with yourself and remember to take a mistake or failure as a learning experience that you can grow from. Don’t put pressure on yourself to always be perfect. Go for good enough. That doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to slack off.
Be mindful- Be aware of what you are thinking and feeling. Remind yourself what you want and how you want to feel - use this in your everyday choices. When you are more mindful of who you are, you will act on this knowledge.
Stop comparing- Pretty self explanatory. We all do, especially via social media. We all want to seem cool, fun, and successful to everyone else. Believe me, no one, not matter how perfect they are, how many places they have traveled to, or how many “friends” they may have, is perfect. Be content with where you are now and strive to be a better version of yourself.
One of my favorite exercises to help changing the narrative from self-criticism to self-love is writing a love letter to myself. It’s like getting a pep talk from your best friend, except it’s coming from your internal best friend. Yeah, I know…it’s cheesy AF. But you know what? Who cares…it’s for you and I guarantee it will make you feel better in moments of discouragement.
In case you wondering what the hell a self-love letter even looks like, here’s mine:
I hope you took something away today. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. Thanks for stopping by and have a self-love day ahead of you.