The greatest love is the one you have for yourself. Without this form of love healed and expreienced within yourself first, you’re unlikely to experience deep, fulfilling and lasting love in any other form. You may have heard the saying, ‘you can’t give another what you don’t have yourself’? This is one of those instances where this definitely applies. You may have come across the term ‘self love’ in the past, but may not have a clear definition of it. This article will help you with that. Below are 6 steps to creating and maintaining a healthy form of self love, (in no particular order of importance).
Step 1: Go Easy on Yourself
Recognise that despite what you have or haven’t, should or shouldn’t have done, you ARE worthy of love. Recognising that you’re doing the best you can with what you know and so is everyone else (mostly). Regardless of what kind of love you got (or didn’t get) growing up, if you take the time to look deeply enough, there were many hidden blessing there, its just a matter of looking for them in the right way. Timing is everything and sometimes NOT getting what you think you need or want, is actually a blessing in disguise. So be patient with yourself and try to find your own personal balance between when to take action to make something happen and when to relax and let something happen. Feeling a sense of inner ease within yourself will help you find and experience an outer flow where life will start to seem like its happening FOR YOU not TO YOU.
Step 2: Take Time For Yourself
Do you make time for others but not for you? Making some time every day to connect with yourself is not wasted time, but an investment, not only for your own wellbeing, but for everyone around you. If you make time for yourself to unplug from time to time and do the things that you already know are nuturing for you, you’ll experience a better version of yourself more often around the people you love and work colleagues. After all, when pressure is applied to something from the outside, only whats inside will come out. If you squeeze an orange, orange juice is going to come out, not lemon or apple juice, because thats whats inside. Apply this analogy to you. Whats deep inside you? If you have ease, acceptance, love and appreciation inside, when pressure or stress is applied to you, that’s what will come out (in one form or another). If you have deeper feelings of tension, anger, frustration, impatience, unfulfillment etc, then this is what is going to come out when outer pressure or stress is applied to you. If you think you ‘don’t have time’ to make time for yourself, all this means is that you’re not recognising the VALUE of taking time. When you value it, it will go up your priority list. At the end of the day, we will ALWAYS make time for the things that are TRULY important to us.
Step 3: Set Boundaries
Do you often put the needs of others ahead of your own? Do you find it hard to say ‘no’ to others? Have you conditioned others to expect you to always ‘be there’ even if there is an emotional (or physical) ‘cost’ to you? Stop and ask yourself ‘What is it within me that makes me feel like I can’t say no some times?’ Is it a fear of being labeled as selfish? Is it to feel justified when you ask for a return favour? Sometimes people simply fail to set boundaries through a simple lack of assertiveness and communication skills. The ability to clearly, conscisely and mindfully express a desire, opinion, need, want or preference is an extremely valuable resource when setting boundaries. If you feel you need to develop the kind of communication skills which facilitates win wins more often, then become a student of good communication. Neuro Linguistic Programming (N.L.P) is one of the best ways i know of to develop your communication skills. Look to connect with resources, people, books, groups etc that you could learn from – trust me, it is probably the BEST investment of time you’ll ever make when it comes to relating to yourself or others
Step 4: Spend Time in Nature
There is something rejuvenating about spending time in nature. You don’t have to be a David Attenbourough or a Bear Grills to connect with nature in some way. It could be as simple as spending some quiet time in your backyard, at a park, by a river or pond, a walk by the beach, a gentle bush walk. Watching a National Geographic documentary doesn’t count by the way. Despite human kind’s many attempts that might seem the contrary, the fact is, we are part of nature not separate from it. Perhaps experiencing all the many different ways nature can heal us is less about controlling it and more about understanding how nature works, how it’s connected to all life so we can better understand our place within it. You may have heard the idea that if all insects were to disappear from the earth, life would end in 50 years but if all humans were to disappear, all life would thrive. Its clear that there is something about nature that just ‘works’ and spending time to regularly connect with it in a purposeful way may have more benefits than you may know.
Step 5: Get Crystal Clear About Your Values
Getting clear on the things that are really truly and deeply important to you will help you align with who you are, what you’re about, what you’re here to do and how to go about it. Self love will naturally happen when this clarity emerges. If you know what questions to ask yourself, you’ll see that your life, as it is right now, is demonstrating to you what is truly important in your life. Values are the single biggest drivers in our lives and getting clarity here can help facilitate a deep love and appreciation for your unique combination of gifts and talents that only you have to offer this world. Dr John Demartini is the best teacher i know of when it comes to getting clarity on values and his website can help you get that clarity by doing a free and quick values determination process, just CLICK HERE to access it now.
Step 6: Meditate
Having been a meditator and taught meditation for many years now to groups and individuals, i can’t imagine my life without it and because of that, i will always recommend it whenever i met someone who wants to heal themselves or understand more about themselves. Sure, it may take a little effort at the start, like all things worthwhile, but it’s worth it. If you currently meditate you’re probably familiar with the benefits already. If you don’t, but ‘tried a few times’ and gave up, consider this; if you wanted to lose weight and get healthy, you wouldn’t eat one salad, go to the gym once and wonder why you haven’t lost 10 kgs right? Of course not. The same goes for meditation. The beauty is that it doesn’t have to take long or be complicated to get massive benefits. You could start by just lighting a candle and staring at the flame while sitting still and focussing on your breath. You could listen to a bunch of free guided meditations or music on Youtube, attend free classes etc. Taking a few minutes a day to disconnect from the daily grind, quieten your mind, and focus on your breathing will without a doubt help you get in touch with powerful guidance, answers and resources within yourself. The challenge is to persist, be patient and release any and all expectations. Easier said than done right? Since we get good at what we practice, it’s just a matter of practice.