Self-love does not require you to ignore your faults, but rather to refuse to use them as an excuse to dislike yourself. –Dominee
You cannot love someone else if you do not first love yourself. Is this true?
I guess you technically can love others but can you give them your complete 100%? My answer…No. If you do not know how to love yourself, or maybe you have just forgotten, it is not easy to give your full love or person to others. Humans have so many distractions in their lives, worrying about self-love should not be one of those distractions.
Self-love should be a given like breathing air or going to the bathroom. Second nature to all of us! But all too often I see people forgetting to take care of themselves. At the end of the day, if you do not love yourself, it is hard to walk through life at anything other than a superficial level.
Can you learn or relearn to love yourself? Of course, you can, but you need to do the work for yourself and about yourself. Sounds selfish right? It is not!
I have been reading many self-help books lately to get a better understanding of how to help myself. One of my favorites is Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. Kamal has been speaking to famous people throughout the world about his “secret’ to loving himself, and that secret is repetition.
Repetition? Repeating the phrase “I love myself” in all of your free thinking time. It is just that easy. The brain can learn most anything we give it. Therefore, we need to arm ourselves with positivity and love. Kamal said when he first started repeating “I love myself” he did not believe the words but continued speaking them. Eventually, he grew to like himself, so he continued to repeat the words, be kind to himself and embrace his self until one day, he loved himself. No magic pill, no therapy, just words, practice and an immersion in positivity and a new mind-frame.
See, even if you forgot how to love yourself, you can relearn and practice just like anything else.
I am not writing to say you should be wholly self-centered and unempathetic. But you do need to take the time to do your own work. You deserve it! So many people think it is selfish to buy something, go on a vacation or even go to Therapy. It is not selfish to do things for yourself. Just as it is not selfish to like or even love yourself. If you repeat and retrain your brain you can think positively and lovingly just as easily as negatively. It is truly about what you believe, feel and perceive.
There is a wonderful and unnerving meditation to try in Kamal’s book about self-love that I have included.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Stand in front of a mirror, nose a few inches away. Relax. Breathe.
- Look into your eyes. Focus on one, don’t panic it’s only you. Breathe slowly until you develop a rhythm.
- Looking into one eye say “I love myself.” Whether you believe it or not isn’t important. What is important is you saying it to yourself, looking into your eyes with no escape from the truth.
- Repeat “I love myself” gently pausing to watch your eyes.
- After 5 minutes, smile. You have just communicated the truth to yourself in a way your mind cannot escape.
If anyone ever looked in your eyes, knowing you loved them, this is what they saw. Give yourself the same gift.
Self-love, whether the first time or relearning, is so important to humans. To fully live and love we must like and love ourselves. It is a daily struggle, but we must be kind. We owe it to ourselves, after all, we would be loving and supportive to others. So why not to ourselves also?
Remember…you are NOT alone. Until next time — Jenn