How to Love Yourself
How often do you take time out of your busy day to stop and ask yourself what you're thinking about yourself? When I was younger, it was rare, if ever.
But if I had known then, what I know now, I would have realized that my actions were always revealing my thoughts.
I didn’t make time for myself. I said very unkind things to and about myself.
I pushed and drove and strove to do more, to be more.
I didn’t feed myself healthy food or exercise.
I allowed others to treat me disrespectfully and abusively.
I said yes to things I did not want to do. I was a people pleaser.
I made myself sick physically and emotionally, trying to be lovable, acceptable, and enough.
I would go, go, go and then crash. Over and over again.
Now I know that pattern was all driven by my thoughts about myself.
The truth is our internal life always creates our external life.
I once heard someone say; your life isn’t happening to you; it's happening because of you.
That floored me, and it empowered me.
My life is my responsibility.
The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
It will dictate what you do and how you relate to everyone and everything else in the world.
It will create your life.
Our relationship with ourselves should be conscious, intentional, purposeful, and deliberate.
And yet it is often the one we pay the least attention to.
No one teaches us how to do this, and in fact, our society often discourages it by sending the message that thinking about ourselves is selfish.
I’m all for serving and loving others, and I’ll talk about that in another post, but I must make the case that we can serve and love so much better from a place of peace and love than from bitterness, resentment, and exhaustion.
Sure, we can take bubble baths and get pedicures to rejuvenate and refresh, but what if we took self-care to a whole new level?
A level where we learn to love ourselves so fiercely that we never get exhausted and burnout again.
A level where we begin to live a life that we love so much that we create energy with our minds, and thus we have so much more to give.
It starts with your relationship with yourself.
How you treat yourself is a reflection of your thoughts about you.
Having a great relationship with you is simply a commitment to think great thoughts about you.
It sounds easy, but it is so uncomfortable.
Remember, your brain is very good at being self-critical and self-judgmental.
It is hardwired to look for the negative.
It’s called negativity bias, a survival skill you have been practicing for a long time.
So here are a few ways to overcome the obstacle of negativity bias and retrain your brain so you can have a great relationship with yourself.
Don’t wait for someone else to convince you that you are lovable, acceptable, and enough. It’s not possible and, therefore, unfair to both of you.
Think of everything you wish someone else would do for you and do it for yourself.
Tell yourself what you love about yourself, your body, and your life - a lot.
Spend time with yourself. Connect. Ask questions like, what am I thinking? What am I feeling - why?
Always talk to yourself with kindness, curiosity, and compassion.
Put some thought into how you treat yourself physically- take time to eat well, dress well, exercise, and get enough sleep.
Allow yourself to enjoy life, do what you love, play, and rest.
Consider your needs and desires when making decisions.
It might take some self-discovery and practice, but If done honestly and authentically, your actions will lead to the result of you creating the life that you want.
This is a big deal.
We teach people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves.
Who better to do it? No mind-reading is required.