We cannot give what we do not have ourselves. In order to give love healthily and effectively you need to be able to love yourself healthily and effectively first. Without this as a foundation everything will eventually crumble.
What is it to love yourself?
Loving yourself is not about the superficial vein stuff we run into. It’s not about how good you look and how great shape your body is in right now. No this is the outer ‘I love myself ‘ pretence that people confuse with the real thing. Loving yourself also isn’t selfish, it’s one of the greatest gifts that you can give to yourself. Real inner love is a magical secret that you can feel, nurture and grow. This can be difficult given the media influence to idealise the ‘perfect’ body image and shame anything else. Remember it’s not your fault, it’s a huge profitable business to market body shame. Try filtering the type of media you tune into and stop participating in body shaming behaviours.
Just like a tiny seed of almost nothingness takes nourishment from the ground along with water, love and care it flourishes over time into an amazing and beautiful tree. To love yourself is to take care of yourself, your inner and outer needs. Are you ready to flourish and grow?
In order to begin to love yourself you will need to start a process… as it doesn’t just happen instantly or overnight. Think of this process as very similar to learning to drive a car, you can’t just get in the driver’s seat for the first time and take control of the vehicle perfectly without any instruction. Learning to love yourself is a little like driving, we do it one step at a time, fully supported, until you are confident to go it alone.
We begin this process with being aware of yourself. Before you can love yourself you need to be aware and connect with yourself rather than observing yourself as a disconnected body. Start by being aware of how you are feeling in this present moment, take a moment to take in your surroundings, any noises close by and in the distance, temperature, the way you are sitting etc. Make a note in your journal of how you are feeling and what is going on around you.
Pay attention to the details and spend a few minutes observing the things around you. Now pay attention your own body, choose to connect with it, touch your skin, really look at your hands without judgement and thank them for working as they do. Spend time getting to really know your own body.
Your thoughts can be big barriers to loving yourself. Practice being aware of your thoughts and replace any negative ones with positive ones. Commit to changing the way you talk about yourself, give yourself the same respect you would give to your best friend.
Journal about being aware of connecting to yourself, how it is to touch your skin and take time to get to know your body. Write down observations, not judgements, keep it objective, write down your feelings and note any changes that are occurring.
It is true you don’t need to love yourself and that’s fine if you want to stay the same as you already are, this could be – agitated, worried, angry and needy. By learning to love yourself you will feel a greater sense of inner peace and connection to yourself. All it takes is time, practice and awareness.
If you would like help to develop a practice of loving yourself please contact me here to book a discovery session or a package of midlife coaching sessions.
Love, light and happiness,