To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. ~ Oscar Wilde
The story of becoming involves many processes and continues to require the shedding of skin. It’s not unlike the snake; they shed to allow for growth and do it rather frequently. It’s an interesting parallel to human growth … snakes shed by rubbing against something hard and rough, in a sense, so do humans as we rub against a life. They intuitively do this when new skin has formed beneath. Like humans, whether we’re aware of it or not, the issues that need to be settled surface when we have the resources to heal them … when we, like the snake, are ready for exposure to the outside world.
As I peel away the layers of my ego, I remember more clearly who I really am and step courageously into my authentic self. For me to truly embrace my dharma I’ve had to dig deep into dark corners and sort through years of memories both agonizing and tender. I’ve uncovered secrets long repressed and the myriad of ways I’d found to numb myself to them over the years. This process has brought me to a place where, with the help of the coaching program, I was ready to face them, embrace them, and heal them. The unfolding has surfaced a dichotomy of emotions and I’ve learned that at the heart of this progression is self-love.
Self-love, what does that really mean?
Ultimately, love is self-approval. ~ Sondra Ray
The way your treat yourself, the level of respect you show yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you. Love is no different. The love you have for yourself sets the standard for the love you receive from others. Learning to love yourself is a conscious decision, an intention to get happy and live a fulfilled life. It’s saying to the Universe, “I’m here and I’m ready to be, do, and have everything I came forth for!”
But how do you go about making that happen? How do you shift from years of negative self-talk to self-love? Below are a few ways that I’ve discovered, or re-discovered, in the unfolding of my story.
Fall in Love With Yourself!
What makes you so uniquely YOU? Like a spring garden needs attention and nurturing to flourish so do you. Learn to nurture yourself in every way. Learn to love the little things about you that you haven’t always paid attention to. Be gentle and accepting with your flaws and the fact that you are perfectly imperfect. Romance yourself! Whether you’re single or in a partnership, don’t wait for someone to do it for you. Buy yourself flowers or that bottle of perfume … do it for just for you and just because!
Crush Self Criticism
Do you often berate yourself for the littlest thing? Do you call yourself names and curse your mistakes? Do you often hear a voice in your head telling you you’re not worthy, enough, or some other BS line? That’s the voice of your inner critic, I call it the Monster. Learn to distinguish the voice of your monster from the voice of your Self. It’s like a small child that can be put in the corner. You are the grownup and you have superpowers … one of them is the ability to quiet the Self-Criticism Monster.
Acknowledge Your Efforts
Life isn’t about winning or losing, therefore keeping score is a waste of precious energy. So often we hear that it’s about the journey more than the destination … effort is much the same. Acknowledge that you have done your best even if the outcome isn’t what you expected or you didn’t produce tangible results. As I am fond of saying, baby steps are still forward progress. Your efforts have moved you forward into a new place or perspective.
Grant Yourself Permission
Too often in life, we unconsciously wait for someone to give us permission, to tell us “it’s okay,” to be or do or have our desire. Another superpower you have is the ability to grant yourself permission … to be flexible, to change your mind, to make mistakes, to give less than 100%, to promise small and deliver big, to relax, to do what feels good, to unapologetically be who you are!
Let go of Worry
Worry is praying for what you don’t want and is a burden on your soul. How helpful can you really be if you’re worried? Can it shift the problem or situation? Not on its own, only wise actions can. Instead of worrying spend time meditating on how you can help the situation. Ask yourself what part of it you have any control over or responsibility for. If it’s beyond your purview, make a request to the Universe for your desired outcome and release it.
Have faith in your abilities. Know that when you put your whole heart into something you have the power to shift the energy and make important changes in your life. You can support those changes by visualizing the outcome you desire and living as if it’s already happening. Try spending the last few minutes of each day dreaming of how it feels to live in that visualization.
Feel Your Healing Feelings
Be truthful with yourself about the emotions that come up … if you feel happy, feel happy; if you feel sad, feel sad. Your feelings are your guide to what thoughts are lurking beneath the surface and whether or not you are in alignment with Source or if something needs to be shifted or healed. They are neither right or wrong, good or bad … they’re feelings. Give yourself the time and space to feel them.
When you dedicate time to spiritual pursuits you become more peaceful, connected, mindful, and loving. You nurture a heart that grows more compassionate every day and loving yourself becomes a natural part of that process.
Cultivate an attitude of appreciation for who you are. Give thanks for the mistakes you’ve made that have brought you hear, for your strengths and gifts. Feel a sense of gratitude that you are who you are and cognizant of your ability to make a difference in your life.
Nurture Your Dreams
Why deny yourself the joy of living your dreams? They are the juicy goodness of life. What fun thing have you been putting off that you could take action on today? Dedicate 1% of your day to pursuing and nurturing your dreams.
Give yourself space for breaks every day. Sit. Breathe. Soak in the tub. Soak up the sun. Give your body and your mind the peace of the pause. Fill this time with silence, soothing music, visions of beauty; anything that inspires your soul.
Life is meant to be fun, don’t take it all and especially yourself so seriously. When you think of life this way you naturally slow down, relax, release the tension and worry over things that probably don’t really matter anyway!
Something inside you emerges … an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness.
It is the unconditioned; who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself. ~ Eckhart Tolle
What ways do you express your self-love? How have you incorporated more self-approval into your life? How are you at being with you? Tell me your story of becoming in a note below.