“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”~ Buddha
I have a gripe with Thesaurus. When asked for synonyms for self-love, it comes up with terms like conceit, narcissism, and vanity. But that can’t be further from what self-love is about. When you love someone, you don’t overindulge them. On the other hand, love is an unconditional promise to be on the loved one’s side, come what may, without any judgment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be on our own side every day, and not fall into the trap of negative self-talk or berating choices we make for ourselves?
Love is also a verb, it is an action we have to take consciously and regularly so that it seeps into our subconscious that “yes, we are worthy of care as much as we lavish on others”. This holds true especially for us women as we tend to neglect our own needs in caring for others without realizing that if our inner self is happy and well-loved, we will be able to care for others better. So here are some tips to rekindle that love for yourself in everyday life:
Just as you make time to bathe, brush your teeth, and get dressed, schedule me-time as though your life depended on it. Be extremely protective of your me-time. This is a time for you to fill your cup so you can be the full wonderful you! Your me-time might be 30 minutes or 2 hours, that depends on you. You may want to take a nap or read a book during your me-time. That, also, depends on whatever fills your soul. Put the me-time in your calendar and practice it at least every couple of days if not every day. Remember, you deserve to be a full happy human being and me-time will help you focus on yourself so you can be there for others if you choose.
Minimize All Interactions with Toxic People
We all know people who have many negative things to say about things or others. The glass-half-empty people who find reasons to voice their disenchantment with their lives, family, job, neighbors, country, weather, their dog, you name it. Try your best to avoid interacting with these folks. Negativity is extremely contagious and before you know it, you feel down and depressed about your life, family, job, etc. Self-love means to give ourselves reasons to be happy, grateful, hopeful, and inspired. Toxic people will suck the positive energy out of you and leave you empty and hopeless. Avoid them to the greatest extent possible.
Practice Positive Affirmation
Each Monday, write a positive affirmation on a few sticky notes and place them on your bathroom mirror, on your computer screen, and on your refrigerator door. Write the statement in your journal and set up a pop-up reminder on your calendar with the affirmation. Repeat as often as you can every day during the week. Remind yourself that you are powerful, you are kind, you are capable, smart, and strong. Tell yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to. Before you know it, those positive thoughts will be carved into your mind and you will be viewing yourself with love and respect.
Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes
Making mistakes is a part of life and guess what, you are a human being. Every human being makes mistakes. Liberate yourself from the illusion that you have to be perfect and allow, no, expect yourself to make mistakes. Making mistakes helps you learn, grow and be a fuller human being. Did you forget to tip your Uber driver? Did you marry the wrong person? Did you say the wrong thing in a client presentation that might cost you the account? Sure, they all hurt but guess what?! You learned a valuable life-lesson and next time you will make a different decision. No judgment is needed; view making mistakes as an important part of life.
Think of When You Were Six Years Old
Maya Angelou knew what she was talking about when she said “The real difficulty is to change how you think about yourself”. But one of the very pillars of self-love is to challenge that. Think of when you were six years old……the moment you are about to be judgemental towards yourself, the minute you are about to tell yourself that you are less than, think of yourself as the little six-year-old you were. Would you tell her all that? No, you would not! And guess what? You are still that six-year-old. Yes, you are! Treat yourself with kindness and tenderness. The six-year-old is still in you and needs your love. Give that to her because she/you deserve it.