You know what they say about the importance of self-love. That it solves so many of your problems and even contributes to other peoples well-being? I’ve heard that, SO many times. And actually, it took me a long time to really believe it when it came to myself.
I said “yes”, but my heart still rejected the thought of self-love.
I’ve experienced that advice has to be given in the right moment. Firstly, I have to do work on myself, basically prepare the ground for them – and suddenly the exact same words heard again can have a deeper meaning. Words that were once rejected.
If you haven’t yet decided that you want to practice self-love, give it time. Give it thought.
Why is it so hard in the first place?
One factor is the idea that only by proving ourselves, do we become worthy. Worthy to be happy and to be loved. We would benefit by countering the effect of our societal reward system, by appreciating our loved ones more often just for who they are (and ultimately also ourselves). We must understand that love for others is usually something we’ve experienced and learnt continuously whilst growing up. But, when have we been shown how to love ourselves?
Self-love also means accepting who you are. Both the positive and the negative. All the insecurities, flaws and our dark sides. And not only accepting, but even loving the total package. It is not so hard when it come to others: It’s totally understandable that they are sometimes egotistic or make bad decisions. We can completely understand that. Rationalise it. Even love it. But being so forgiving to ourselves is nigh on impossible, right? Bullshit.
Changing a mindset requires not only to understand the change you want, but to bring those words into your daily practice.
How to practice self-love
…when you have no clue what it is.
I started by doing one thing a day, which is just for myself. It could be something I would have done anyway, but the intention is different. The purpose of taking that action is my for my own happiness, which totally changes the experience.
And of course, self-love is more than just doing something good for ourselves: our mindset has to be addressed. Therefor, as often as you can, be more aware of how you relate to your own feelings and thoughts, if you find it’s negative, then try to counter this with kindness and acceptance. A great tool for doing this, is practicing self-love meditation. Yes! Brain-wash yourself to happiness.