The world is like a mirror. If you smile, it smiles at you. You frown and you’ll see it frowning back. You feel confident and the world will reflect that back to you. I am one of those people who does not believe in fate. I believe that YOU can create your own world and the first step in doing that is to love yourself. Truly, deeply and unconditionally, with all your faults and prejudices. I do not mean this in a selfish, narcissistic and self-obsessed way but loving yourself in a way that you complete yourself. It is about being comfortable in your own skin and looking for answers within. This is about empowering yourself to be whole.
I cannot stress about the importance of loving oneself. Often, when circumstances create an emotional wound, we close down and cut ourselves off from the very thing that could heal us. We not only block potential new opportunities and relationships, we also cut ourselves off from self-love by criticizing and despising ourselves. In other words, we do to ourselves what we fear others might do to us. This often results in blaming ourselves and the people who have done us harm. We then start craving for outside love and approval. The first step in healing comes from looking deep within ourselves, by loving ourselves and taking full responsibility for our own actions. As long as you blame the outside world for your pain, and as long as you seek others’ approval, you give away your power to heal and shine brighter. Your life is your own and only you have the right to create your life.
So, how can you start loving yourself?
1. You can start by feeling your emotions completely by not pushing them down or away. It is completely human to cry, to anger, to grieve, to be compassionate and to feel deeply. All your feelings are valid, so honor yourself and give permission to feel them all. We have been socially conditioned to believe that feeling our emotions makes us weak and it is usually termed as a ‘feminine’ quality. Embrace all the masculine and feminine qualities within you. The healing comes when you allow your emotions space to be experienced.
2. Place your creative, emotional and physical needs first. If your boss is draining your energy, be more assertive. If you find yourself constantly in giving mode and receiving less in general, reassess all your relationships. You deserve much better than that. Take that trip to the mountains you have always dreamed of. Do it now. Walk yourself out to new pastures, to fresh flower-scented air and green grass. To springs, lakes and seas. To a land of love and peace. Follow your heart and place your needs a priority. Do things that make you feel really good and happy about yourself.
3. Set clear boundaries on how you want to be treated. Express clearly and assert yourself lovingly. Never let anyone treat you like you are worth nothing, to ignore you or make you feel under-appreciated, to make you feel guilty for living and expressing your truth. You deserved to be loved and acknowledged. It is not possible to please others all the time. If at all you need to please somebody, it should be you. There is no need to be afraid to assert your identity and live according to your preferences.
4. Practice self-care regimen. Take care of yourself energetically by choosing to be around positive and uplifting people who accept you for who you are and those that encourage you to shine your light. Listen to your body and feelings. Rest when you need to rest. Eat healthy high vibrational foods that make you feel vibrant and energetic. Do some physical activity that makes you feel really good about yourself. Take up a spiritual practice like yoga or meditation which can help you balance your emotions and enable you to slow down and open your heart wider.
So love yourself unconditionally and suddenly someday you will find an explosion of light, beauty and ecstasy that will help you blossom into the light being you are supposed to be. Gradually, you will begin to see yourself as whole and complete. You will begin to seek your own approval. Any harsh judgements from the outside world will cease to affect you because you will begin to know your worth. You deserve to be nourished on all levels. You will definitely be more capable of giving love and all your relationships will begin to flourish. After all, how can you give something that you don’t have? As Gandhi once said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Love yourself: because you are worth it!