“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
– Oscar Wilde
You hear about it everywhere nowadays.
“You have to love yourself, only then you can love somebody else/
somebody else can love you”.
Isn’t that the standard sentence we get in troubled times?
But what does self-love mean? And what does it do to us, really?
What Is Self-Love?
Self-Love is a healing process. It is acceptance. It is growth. It is courage.
But in simple words it is the regard for one’s well-being and happiness.
Because who else will truly do that if not ourselves, and when should it
happen if not – now?
“If you had asked me before if I loved myself, I’d say yes. I liked myself, I thought I’m quite pretty, smart and interesting.
But when I lied in my bed in a severe depression continuously tormenting myself with thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve it” or “I hate myself” – I realised that I was far from truly loving myself.”
True self-love comes from the depths of your being. True self-love is an unconditional feeling of love and acceptance for yourself.
It can sound very simple and understandable when you read it. But in practice self-love can be very misleading. I will share with you a few tips how to get to the depths of your heart and start loving yourself more one step at the time.
How To: Self-Love
Step 1: Listen To Your Inner Voice
You may think, hey Im pretty cool, smart, beautiful… I guess I like myself?!
But then at night you lay awake and think that you messed up again at work/school.
Or you look in the mirror and tell yourself that you should lose some weight because you look fat again.
Listen to you inner voice, what does it really say in uncomfortable situations.
Listen to yourself when:
- when somebody hurts your feeling
- when you messed up something important
- when you gained some weight
- when you look in the mirror and you see more pimples on your face
- when you skip your workout
- when you are lazy
Step 2: Fight It With Love
You cannot beat Fire with Fire.
You cannot beat Hate with Hate. Beat it with Love.
There are many ways of taking control of this inner voice.
You can catch yourself in those critical moments and turn them around by talking good to yourself. There is also another way, which I personally prefer.
Write yourself a (love-) letter and read it every morning.
It should go something like this…
I love you (insert your name here)
(info: use your own name, it feels like you are really talking to yourself then.)
I love you unconditionally.
I love you when you are happy.
I love you when you are sad.
I love you when you are crying.
I love you when you are laughing.
I love you when you are lazy.
I love you when you can’t stand up.
I love you when you don’t have the power.
I love you when you wear pretty clothes.
I love you when you have beautiful make-up.
I love you unconditionally Nata (your name).
I love you when you are depressed.
I love you when you cannot move.
I love you without make-up.
I love you when you gain weight,
And I love you when you lose weight.
I love you when you rise,
And I love you when you fall.
I love you just the way you are.
I love you unconditionally, the way you are.
You can write whatever you want and whatever feels right and good for you.
Read it to yourself when you wake up. You will feel the love flowing through you.
Step 3: Be There For Yourself
You know how you help your closest friends when they are hurting? How you do everything for them to feel better? You never lack the power to help them. You will always do more when needed.
You should care for yourself in the same way.
As if you are your best friend. – because you are.
Care for yourself with the same love and compassion as you care for your friends and family.
And of course don’t forget to treat yourself.
Self-Love is not just happening on a spiritual level.
So do something good to yourself today. Show yourself some love.
I’ll give you a few ideas…
- go to the cinema
- buy yourself a nice book
- go out with yourself
- buy yourself a nice dinner
- drinks nice smoothie
- eat exotic fruits
- play with animals
- go to a park
- work out
- do nothing/ lay down/ breathe
- buy a new piece of clothing
- read your favorite book
- take some alone time
- visit a yoga/dance/boxing/or whatever workshop
But of course self-love will look different to each and everyone of us…
So think for yourself – what will make you happy today?
A Few Last Words
The more you practice self-love, the stronger you will feel the message that “you deserve it”. The more you practice – the more you will love.
This blog post is going to be the first in the Self-Love series.
In the future posts I will share with you why self-love is important and how you can transform your mind and your life by doing acts of love ad kindness to yourself.
Illustration by Marcela Sabià