This blog is dedicated to my dear friend Marika Rosenthal Delan from www.bestillandstillmoving.com. If you saw your brilliance and worth as others do, you’d fall madly in love with you…every day of your life.
As we head into the recognized month of LOVE, it’s important to take a moment to reflect upon the person that we seem to have the hardest time loving in our lives…ourselves. We are constantly bombarded with messages and advertisements that remind us to do something nice for others, to show our love and appreciation for all they do (our spouses, partners, children, parents and friends) but very seldom are we encouraged to take a day to love and nurture ourselves. Ironically, the very relationship that provides the most fulfillment (this is the ONE person you are stuck with/committed to for the rest of your life)…is with yourself so learning to love the one looking back at you in the mirror, well, seems to be pretty damn important.
“The universe treats you the way you treat you.” Said another way, life reflects back to you the relationship you have with yourself.
There’s no escaping that truth and since our wild ride on this journey of life will always include little ol’ me, what are some ways to make peace with the love/hate relationship that most of us seem to have with our imperfections?
If you hold the same standard with others that you hold for yourself, you’d have a lot less friends and acquaintances! Why do you find it easier to give others the grace and latitude that you don’t give to yourself? (I know…that’s a really good question, isn’t it?)
Begin to practice a gentle dialogue with yourself and notice when you are speaking in a manner that would be intolerable to another. Is your dialogue full of critiques, put downs, and regrets or loving affirmations, encouragement and praise?
I know you take the time to point out the mistakes you make (Why’d you do that? What were you thinking?) but do you take the time to acknowledge when you do things right? Do you stop to congratulate yourself or is it a quick nod as you move on to the next ‘to do’ on your list? Giving yourself praise and congratulations goes a long way. If you can start to fill up your own tank, you will find it refreshing to not seek out others for approval, acknowledgement and praise.
Can you imagine the energetic shifts that would show up for you in life if you started treating yourself with loving acts of kindness? If I placed a baby, puppy or kitten in front of you right now (assuming you weren’t allergic to children or animals), how would the pure innocence and love radiating from this tiny soul move you? Would you be kind? Would your voice take a gentler tone? Would you soften a bit? You wouldn’t dare be harsh, demanding or unkind. In truth, you are just as lovable as that baby or kitten! It’s only your perspective that prevents you from engaging with yourself with the same level of kindness.
In time you will see that small changes in the practice of Self Love result in profound shifts within many areas of your life that include:
- Primary Relationships (it is impossible to expect others to give us what we cannot give ourselves).
- Your body: awareness about your ‘temple’ increases as you pay more attention to the foods you eat, the amount of exercise you engage in and rest you receive to rejuvenate each day.
- Your feelings: worthlessness gives way to peace, balance and joy.
- Your ability to receive: love, time, attention and money. When you are open to receiving and you honor yourself and your gifts, others compensate you with an equal energetic exchange.
- Gratitude: when we choose love energy versus fear, we start to pay attention to all the things we have to be thankful for. Fear has us focusing on all that we perceive to be wrong with the world and ourselves. We cannot simultaneously experience both states. Gratitude aligns us with abundance and further perpetuates the feedback loop of self love.
Practicing self love is not an easy journey. But it is so very worthwhile. Each step builds upon the last and before long you’ll find that you can’t imagine being any other way with the lovable, adorable YOU! Begin strengthening that muscle today with a question that a spiritual teacher I admire often asks herself throughout the day, “What would someone who loved themselves do?”
“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi