Updated: Jun 21, 2021
For a long time, it's been a part of my personal inner journey to choose intention over perfection. Intentionally choosing healthy habits over bad ones. Intentionally becoming closer to the BEST version of myself.
Mastering the art of self love is key to becoming the best version of oneself.
What do you think about when you think of self-love? Going for a massage or pedi? Taking more time for relaxing bubble baths? Saying “no” to things you know are stretching your limit? The truth is that self-love and self-care are two different things.
Self - care can look like relaxing baths, getting to bed early, eating clean and pure, drinking plenty of water, or even using essential oils to calm your nerves or focus your mind.
Self - love looks like forgiving yourself when you make mistakes, doing the hard thing because it's the best thing, choosing to nourish your body with wholesome food (especially if you don't feel like it), believing in yourself and cheering yourself on when others don't see your vision, intentionally shifting your thought patterns towards thoughts of compassion instead of shame and guilt.
Thus, self-care and self-love are two different things. Someone could potentially completely loathe themselves and also enjoy a nice pedicure. Oftentimes, though if someone has mastered self-love, then their self-care routine takes priority too. Let's take a look at _____________ key components to learning to love yourself so that you can become closer to that best version of YOURself too!
Secrets to Love Yourself Better + Become the BEST you:
1. It's not selfish or wrong to love yourself. Simply, yet significantly put: it's your human right. Every single human on the planet has a right and opportunity to love themselves simply for... being! And only you know the best way to love and care for yourself.
2. Mastering the art of self-love is just that... an art. Any expression of art requires dedication, creativity, surrender to failing, and willingness to start again. In other words, it takes being vulnerable, in the most humble way possible. Through this vulnerable humility, we are fully available and open to create... to create the best ways to love yourself and become the best you.
3. As in any art, the act of expression is meant to be enjoyed. It’s not meant to be full of punishment, guilt, pain or self-loathing.
Perhaps you have thoughts running through your head about not being smart enough, skinny enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, ____________ enough. OR you think: "no one loves me, why should I love myself".
Perhaps you're healing from some form of physical or emotional abuse, and you find the thought of loving yourself to be unbearable, confusing and brings up old wounds. (If this is the case, working with a counselor can be quite helpful but keep in mind, not always necessary to heal.)
4. You get to decide how to (and how well ) to love yourself.
Choosing to love yourself in the way YOU have always needed to be loved can be very therapeutic. You have the power and the inner - knowing to love yourself in the unique ways that only YOU know you need.
If others love you, but you perhaps do not love yourself, can you fully accept the love they offer?
Sure, you have family and friends that adore the heck outta you. GREAT! That’s the way it should be. But… let’s be honest. They let you down from time to time. It's a normal part of the human experience.
Here's the thing: You can’t control how someone else loves you. The only one you have control over is YOU. (Read that again if you need to.) YOU get to decide how to love yourself. Take a deep breath and feel the amazing freedom about that. You have the power within you to love yourself fully and completely.
And if you're carrying around negative thought patterns, beliefs or old hurt you're carrying around, know this:
"If you have feelings of self-unworthiness or self guilt... Remember: it's only a thought and a thought can be changed." - Louise Hay
Louise Hay, an incredibly influential author of self-help books overcame years of childhood trauma and abuse by the belief of changing her thoughts would change her life. She explains that what we think becomes what we believe and our lives follow suit to our beliefs. She spent years un-learning old belief patterns that did not serve her well and learned how to truly love herself. In this process, she wrote books, led seminars and founded Hay House Publishing Company to help millions of others learn how to love themselves too, myself included. Louise Hay's gift she gave the worlds holds a special place in my heart.
5. By learning to love yourself, you can help change the world!
If you love yourself in the best possible way, specific to you, you’ll become more of the best version of yourself. And when you are the BEST version of you that you can be, how do you think that impacts those around you? AWESOMELY. That’s how. All those loved ones who dearly love you will feel your positive, loving vibes. You’ll put off this glow, this light into the world. Those positive vibes will spread like your daughter’s pink glitter, and then those positively affected by you will be inspired and they’ll pass on their own positive energy.
If we learn how to love ourselves, this love will manifest itself into loving others as well.
So BASICALLY, if you love yourself, you can change the world! Sounds like a lofty statement, I know. But, think about it. Envision a world where EVERYONE loved themself!!! Jaw drop. Imagine a worlds where everyone thought kind thoughts and not negative ones, who believed the best about themselves, who didn’t shame themselves or call themselves stupid, who understood what’s truly important in life - and that’s you and everyone around you.
6. Practice the qualities that are KEY to self-love:
Compassion, forgiveness, positive mind-talk, self awareness, & grace are KEY.
Compassion is NECESSARY towards healing the body as well as the heart and soul. Absolutely necessary.
Without forgiveness, you'll get stuck in resentment. Unconditional love cannot love in a space of resentment.
How you talk to yourself matters. You have the power to choose what you think and how you talk to yourself. It might take time, but with dedication and practice, you can shift your thinking. Then, just watch the magic that unfolds in your life. You'll be grateful you shifted your thoughts.
In order to shift those thoughts, you'll need to first practice self-awareness. Just notice (without judgement) the thoughts you think, the beliefs you carry. Just notice. Do those thoughts and beliefs serve you well? Certainly not. THEN start practicing to shift your thoughts.
The last key quality to mastering the art of self-love is grace. A very dear friend of mine told me that the original Latin meaning of grace means ‘power’. Embracing the meaning of grace in this sense, invites a beautiful self-empowerment. Again, you have the power to love yourself. (It might just take through working through the uncomfortable muck first, but I PROMISE it's worth it.) I'm living proof. More on that in a future post. ;)
Ok, so you’re the only person you’ll spend everyday of your entire life with. Choose to be your best friend, because I’m going to break it to you: you’ll be with yourself the rest of your life. Choose to enjoy it. Choose to not get in your own way (tip: pick up a book a the library on un-learning self sabotage) and be gentle with yourself.
To quote myself when I was three years old, I piped up, riding along in the car with my mom:
“I’m glad I have myself, ‘cuz if I didn’t have myself, I wouldn’t have myself.”
I’ve always been grateful for who I am, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the area of self-love. For me, that includes, (but is not limited to): positive affirmations, recognizing and setting my boundaries with others, telling myself “I love you” in the mirror as a daily reminder to whole-heartedly believe it, being aware of my inner thoughts and the words I speak to change the negative beliefs I’ve cultivated about myself over time, forgiving myself when I make mistakes (and I'm a recovering perfectionist, so this has taken a lot of practice), empowering myself with a whole lotta' grace, and pouring plenty of compassion onto my spirit like warm honey dripping on a hot day. Plentiful and sweet.
I'll care for myself by bringing in more fresh air, laughter, and movement to my body, by nourishing my body with healthy foods and of course… tea. Herbal tea from my beloved apothecary that nourishes my body and comforts my soul.
Have a beautiful day! 🌿♥️