What is self-love and why do so many people seem to not have it?
We are taught how to love our family, our friends, our neighbors, our partners, but was there ever a time in our childhood where we were taught how to love ourselves? Self-love is as simple and as complex as it sounds…. loving yourself. But what does it mean to love? To love means to forgive, to accept, to honor, to celebrate. So, it goes back to the simple questions of when was the last time you forgave yourself, accepted yourself, honored yourself, and celebrated yourself? Self-esteem and Self-love are often times interchangeable, but if we look and feel deeper into each meaning, they have significant differences.
Self-esteem is often in correspondence with outside forces and circumstances like being athletic, a good student, good looking, ect. But self-love comes from a place where you have to do nothing but simply BE to be loved and accepted. Self-love requires no outside credentials, no medals, no peer approvals, it is simply (and not so simply) the foundation of your relationship with yourself, which is the key to your relationships with all other beings.
Our Self Love gurus of The Divinely Guided put together every-day practices to enhance and explore self-love by combining the mental, physical, and spiritual components of this important part of our highest existence.
Spend time with yourself:
We all know the rush of getting ready for a date with a new love interest. You feel like you’re on cloud nine, and hormones of love are pumping through your veins, expanding and igniting your aura. It’s a magical feeling. Now, how powerful would it be to experience that same rush of magic when taking yourself on a date. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (although eating alone at a fancy restaurant is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences) but taking yourself on a date and getting to know YOU, is something our culture has taught us is a sign of failure. We are taught that if you spend time alone, that means that you are lonely, and yet, how many times have you been in a filled room and yet felt totally alone? If we do not actively spend time with, and get to know our inner and truest selves, all other relationships will fall short of truly satisfying, for we are unable, from lack of knowledge, to show up fully as our true selves.
Practice: Once a week, take yourself on a date. Go to a museum, a hike, a bookstore, a movie, a dance class, a dinner, and revel in your own presence. Get to know what it feels like to be in the presence of your energy.
Eat with your heart:
When we were little children, we ate what felt good to us. If we wanted a grilled cheese, that’s exactly what we would have. Now we know the down sides of dairy and gluten, but there are healthy alternatives to our favorite foods. It is actually far less about what we are eating, and far more about why we are eating. Are we eating because we are hungry, because your body is craving it, or because it brings us joy? Or are we eating (or not eating) it to punish ourselves in some way.
Allow your body to speak to you and lovingly feed it what it wants. The more you listen to your body and feed it with love and intention, the better you will feel.
We are taught to forgive others. But we are never taught to forgive ourselves. To look at ourselves with compassion and release all expectations of perfection. We don’t expect others to be perfect, and yet we create unrealistic standards of perfection for ourselves. This anger and lack of acceptance only weighs us down and can lead to intense fatigue, heartache, and disease.
Practice: Write down 5 things you want to forgive yourself for. They can be small or huge. Getting them out onto paper will help to physically and energetically release that stored self-hatred. Thank these experiences for teaching you, and now release them as they no longer serve you. Burning them (in a safe way) is another great way to spiritually release these regrets.
Our thoughts create our realities. So, do our words. Each morning, start off the day with a mirror gazing exercise and say your affirmations to yourself.
I radiate love and respect.
I love me.
I am worthy of loving and being loved.
I feel fabulous.
Try this every day for 7 days and see how you fall in love with yourself deeper and deeper each day.