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13 Ways to Love Yourself More

“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.” ~ Lucille Ball

My son recently had his heart broken for the first time.  The purity of his anguish has been difficult for me to witness, knowing full well the pain that accompanies this kind of experience – the first in many, I suppose.   His admission of not liking singlehood has put a limelight on my decision to be so for the time being.

Mine has been a conscious choice – understanding on a really deep level that the only way I can be in a relationship is to fully accept and love myself first so that I may not get side-tracked by forgetting who I am.  I don’t believe I am there, yet.  Although I can be proud to say I am much farther than I have ever been in my lifetime.

So today, this post is for you who are facing difficulty with knowing what to do in embracing yourself.

When I first began to be aware that self-love was essential to developing any meaningful relationships with others, I realized that I had no clue what that even looked like.  In my younger days, I thought love would be found in another.  I was wrong.  My external search for a “significant other” was meant to fill the void or emptiness I had inside.

Cultivating a good, loving, compassionate relationship with myself has been a tougher task than I had first anticipated.   Self-esteem and self-love are intricately woven – and if starting a diet of the latter feels challenging and unnatural, it may be because it may not have been ingrained in you.

Learning to love and accept yourself fully begins with a conscious decision, an intention to seek joy and lead a fulfilled life.

When you make a decision to put yourself first, you commit a courageous act of self-love. You are saying that you want to come ALIVE (It’s a Tweetable, yo!)

You accept that you are responsible for the outcomes that you experience and would like yourself to shine from living a fulfilling life.

Here are a few ways you can love yourself up some this February:

1. Fall in love.  Not with another but with yourself.  Begin to see yourself with the eyes of the Beloved – a woman of wonder, beauty, and depth.  When you gaze at yourself in the mirror, look at the totality of who you are.  So often we dissect and deconstruct,  brow beat ourselves for all the ways in which we don’t meet a certain standard.  Know you are enough.  Love yourself exactly where you are –

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

2. Eliminate Self Criticism. If you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing, if there a little voice inside your head that often tells you that you are no good, if you find that you judge yourself, make an effort to stop.  I know, this is easier said than done.  Say this instead: “I am so adorable” (for having made a mistake, for having rushed into a decision, for having made the choice to stay so long…) and accept this as your new truth.

3. Be Kind And Positive. This is the most difficult task for me – in thinking kindly and positively about yourself, the love just grows. Make it a habit to praise yourself everyday, to acknowledge that for which you are grateful, while in the front of the mirror, driving in the car, sipping your hot coffee…. After awhile you will find that, having practiced,  you will naturally begin to undertake empowering actions that support your development.

4. Acknowledge. In “The Four Agreements,” Don Miguel Ruiz invites us to always do our best, no more and no less.  Keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.  It is not always about winning or coming up tops in everything that you do.  Acknowledging that you have done your best, even if you have failed to produce the results you sought, allows you to let go of having a pre-conceived outcome be the ruler by which you measure your progress.

5. Let Go Of Worry.   Do you carry worry around like a well-worn carpet bag?  Not only does it drain you of precious life force, those worrisome thoughts (which ought to pay rent, if you ask me…) more often than not fail to manifest.  I have found myself in the car, my mind running amuck many a time.  When I catch myself, I say out loud, “What is the truth? What is really the truth, here?  The truth is this: woman in car, driving.”  Nothing more, nothing less.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus

6. Trust. Know that you are resourceful, creative and whole. Know that you have within you everything you need to make important changes, take the right action, say the things you desire for as long as you put your heart to it.  Call on your supports when you fall prey to doubt.  And above all, visualize your desired outcomes.  It will get the ball rolling in ways unexplained.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~Benjamin Spock

7. Forgive. It is easy to hold a grudge, lay blame, feel guilty.  Forgiving oneself takes discipline.  We all make mistakes; so there really is no need to beat yourself up over them. And, if you have been carrying around emotional pain baggage because of  childhood trauma, remember: none of it was your fault.  You were a child relying on the adults in your life to keep you safe.  Let go and forgive yourself.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes

8. Tell Yourself the Truth.  I cannot tell you how many times I bit my tongue, turned anger inward, for the sake of not wanting to hurt another.  Loving yourself requires you to be truthful about your own feelings while courageously sharing them with others, if necessary. When you are happy, fully feel the joy. When sad, fully feel the sorrow. Either way, acknowledge the emotion, give it a voice, do a round of tapping, do whatever it takes to tap into your truth, your feelings.  When you give yourself permission to be with the emotion, you give yourself permission to be truly alive.

9. Tap into Source. When you spend time growing spiritually, loving yourself becomes automatic. You become more peaceful, connected, kind, loving and compassionate. You nurture a mind that grows more beautiful by the day. You naturally love yourself in the process.

10. Express Gratitude. Do you take the time to say thank you throughout the day?  For the yummy sleep you got, the ease with which your children got ready for school, the luck at hitting all the green lights on the way to work, the piece of chocolate you were given by your friend, for the person that you are. Cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts and for each moment, moment to moment. Feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.

11. Nurture Your Dreams.  Living out your Soul’s Purpose is the reason you came forth.  Why deny yourself your dreams? When you nurture your dreams, you love the life that you are leading. Every moment that you live is a joy because you are expressing yourself fully and completely.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

13. Your Body is Your Temple.   When you practice self-love, body care is part of this – whether it comes in the form of nutrition, exercise, shaving or wearing your favorite perfume.  Your body responds in kind when you treat it with respect, love and admiration.  Your body is a thing of beauty, to be revered.  You are so worth it.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn

13. Learn To See Beauty. When you learn to see beauty in every thing, you will also see beauty in yourself.  For $3.99 I bought a bouquet of yellow roses at Trader Joe’s yesterday – just because I needed to see and smell flowers in the middle of winter.  It makes me feel special every time I pass my dining room table. There is beauty in everything.  Begin to pay attention.  That morning sunrise, a well laid dinner table, a tidy home, wearing your favorite jewelry….  All add to the beauty in this world.  Yourself included.

MONDAY CHALLENGE:  How do you practice self-love?  Where do you feel challenged?  Share with us.  And, of course, use the ideas from this week to cultivate and develop your self-love.



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