If we lack connection in the external world, we have the ability to create it in our internal worlds through compassionate practices.
Self-love is a popular term today that gets tossed around in normal conversation. “You have to love yourself more.” “Why don’t you love yourself?” “If you only loved yourself, this wouldn’t have happened to you.” “You can’t love another person until you love yourself first.” These are just a few of the self-love directives that we give or get to suggest a way to more living fulfillment. Self-love is important to living well. It influences whom you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life.
When you aspire to a higher kind of love, ego and neediness begins to count for much less. You feel that love can be a healing force that binds everyone. You can love someone else without needing anything from him or her. Such love begins to be less personal and attached. Your awareness expands, and you feel less insecure. Love becomes more mature and peaceful. Relationships involve mutual appreciation; there are fewer conflicts between two defensive personalities.
Most people don’t like to face their weaknesses and flaws because they judge against them. But you are only human, and you will find that your sense of insecurity and anxiety represents feelings from the past that can be healed. In fact, they want to be released if you will give them a chance. The first step in healing is to look inside and let the process of releasing begin. Healing can proceed along many avenues, from therapy and support groups to energy work, massage, mind-body programs and various Eastern medical approaches.
How can you go out there and have fun? Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life!
Open to learning about what your feelings are telling you.
Just as an actual child feels loved when you are compassionately interested in why he or she is hurting, your inner child will feel loved when you explore what your feelings are telling you. All feelings are informational. Just as physical pain alerts you to a problem that needs attention, so does emotional pain. Painful feelings are telling you that you are abandoning yourself, or that someone is being unloving to you, or to themselves, or to others, or that a situation is not good for you. Compassionately attending to your feelings, learning what they are telling you, and then taking action to remedy the situation, will make you feel loved.
Find work you love.
Since work takes up a big part of your day, finding or creating work that fulfills you is vitally important. If you continue to force yourself to stay at jobs you hate, the message to yourself is that you are not worth doing whatever it is you need to do, to create a fulfilling work life.
Celebrate your past.
I’ll be honest with you — this is one of the hardest ones. There are things about you just don’t want to celebrate. However, I think about it like this: everything that happened to me in the past made me the person I am today so I need to embrace and celebrate that past because, without it, I wouldn’t be me.
People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
Act on what you need rather than what you want.
You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
Practice good self-care.
You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People with high self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies, it describes so well the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.
We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsibility for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness, the fact that you are not perfect before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.
Appreciate your life.
Okay, so there are some things you want to change about yourself, about your body, about your relationships, about your life? That’s okay. We all want to change things. But what if you stopped focusing on the things you want to change and, instead, focused on the things you wanted to stay the same. Appreciating all that you have in your life is one of the very best ways to remember that you’re so very lucky to be YOU.
Embrace your future.
Sometimes you find yourself in a tough spot, unhappy with your life and ultimately unhappy with yourself. While I’m all about living in the present, I understand sometimes that the present can be pretty rotten. So cut yourself some slack and remember that you have a deliciously exciting future ahead of you. Focus on what’s to come and remind yourself that you can do anything.