Often when we think of love we think of romantic love. Romantic love is beautiful. Yet the most significant and profound love is self-love. Self-love provides the foundation for all other love to truly exist. For some the notion of self-love is uncomfortable. Cultivating self-love requires the ability to recognize and accept yourself as special, a work in progress…. as someone worth loving. Loving oneself is healing, empowering, and life affirming.
Strategies for cultivating self-love:
Write down something you like, respect, admire about yourself. Add to it every day!
I like that I …. can laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously.
I respect that I … go to work and try my best to make a difference.
I admire my …. ability to remember those I love who are no longer here and live my life well in honor of them.
Reframe. Replace self criticism with positive/productive self talk. And remember perfection does not exist and you are not stuck if you are trying.
Replace, “I failed at my diet” with “I ate more fruit and vegetables today. Tomorrow I will try to drink more water”.
Replace, “My house is a disaster!” with “Today I cleaned the kitchen. Tomorrow I will tackle the laundry”.
How you talk to and about yourself will either strengthen and motivate or discourage and sabotage your sense of self. Positive/productive self talk goes a long way towards cultivating self-love. It is hard to love a bully so stop bullying yourself! Be accepting, patient, and kind with yourself. Laugh! Try not to take yourself so seriously. We are human, we are flawed, we are trying!
Filter in what you love! Filtering in what you love is a practice that can become your daily meditation. Give it a try:
I love how … blue the sky is.
I love my … first cup of coffee each morning.
I love when … the house is full of laughter or quiet, (depending on my mood) .
I love to …. read a good book.
I love this … song!
I love putting on … my sweats.
I love how I feel after … accomplishing my goals for the day.
I love and am grateful for … my family, friends, job, health, bathrobe, hot shower, car….
Self-love begins and ends with YOU! Smile while practicing these strategies and remember… “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” Lucille Ball