For too many years, the sting of self-loathing filled my heart when all I wanted was to be loved. Feeling like I was an outsider of life looking in hurt the most. A flawed person who, because she had felt so much pain, would never be understood, would never live a life that felt good.
I tried so hard to be someone I wasn’t to fit in. I felt that I couldn’t possibly be me and be accepted, yet I wasn’t accepted for the person I tried to be, either.
This left me feeling lost and alone, disconnected from myself and the world around me. Looking back, the pain of rejecting myself hurt worse than feeling rejected by others. But that’s the irony of not loving yourself.
When you don’t love yourself, you don’t value your own love.
You’d rather have the love of others, who you do value. If you don’t care about having your own love, this is where you begin. Set the intention to value yourself as a giver of love. As you set that intention, ask your higher self to show you how.
Allow this freshly ignited hope to illuminate all the ways you block your own love, whether that’s how you talk to yourself, treat yourself, or interact with the world.
As behaviors blocking this love become apparent, ask your higher self for ways to shift them. Know that loving yourself is a way of being, a way of relating to yourself.
Self-love is a way of life.
Many self-love recommendations focus on superficial experiences like taking bubble baths and buying flowers. These are the actions one who loves herself (or himself) may take. These actions don’t create love, but result from love. They’re ornaments on a beautiful, thriving tree and not the tree itself. They’re a temporary high, but not a foundational element.
Will ornaments beautify an already thriving tree? Sure. Will the ornaments fix a decaying tree? No.
Make your tree beautiful and thriving with a foundation of healthy habits, and the ornaments you select will only enhance your growing radiance.
What if your tree is sad, if it’s lost its luster?
Do you stop loving the tree? No, you give it water. You feed it nourishing food. You return to the foundational elements and love the tree even more because you know the tree is capable of growing big and glorious, shocking everyone in sight with its beauty. (Hint: You are the tree.)
And this is the gift of unconditional self-love. It’s easy to love yourself when you’re on top of life.
Can you love yourself when you’re feeling fat, sad, unaccomplished and stuck?
These states of being — which happen to everyone and are part of the ups and downs of life itself — are not the opposite of love. Instead, grow your love so deep, so wide, that you can simultaneously love yourself and feel fat, sad, unaccomplished or stuck.
Don’t set conditions for your love, like being happy, having friends, fitting into skinny jeans, or achieving success.
Make your love independent from outside circumstances, so that no matter how you feel or what mistakes you make, you always have the softness of your love to fall into.
Recognize that when you’re feeling sad or out of synch with life, it’s not because you’re flawed or necessarily need a radical change. But rather, something in your foundation is awry, most likely something that you can easily shift.
Instead of taking your self-love away, it’s time to love yourself even more.
Instead of judging yourself, tune in and ask yourself what you need. Do you need time off? Rest? Have you been eating healthy? Drinking enough water? Getting enough exercise?
These are the foundational elements of a life that feels good, one that’s filled with love and joy, but also has space for sadness and falling away, because those are necessary parts of life. Not things to be avoided, but navigated with strength and compassion.
Our times of trial forge us into great beings, transform us into the people we’re meant to be. How we respond to the times of trial influences the strength of our foundation. Navigating trials successfully increases the amount of joy we can feel when good times come.
Life is filled with annoying moments, bad days and frustrations. But when you have a strong foundation of healthy habits, these moments don’t bring you down.
Be sure to download the powerful meditation below that I use to connect to my heart and love myself unconditionally.
Comment below and share — what’s your favorite way to show yourself some love?