“Enabling self-love is like planting a tree. It takes time and patience to watch the seeds evolve from small entities to flourishing greens. Self-love requires the same type of determination and perseverance. Just like how a tree changes throughout the seasons, so do you. Remember to remain kind and patient with yourself along the way.”
Sometimes our experiences in life cause us to lose touch with who we truly are. We become our own enemy by criticizing and mishandling our mind, body, and soul. We fall into the trap of seeking validation from society, social media, the news, and those we surround ourselves with. We are constantly bombarded with barriers that cause us to question who we truly are and appeal to instant gratification from societal standards and external validations.
We face ourselves in the mirror almost every day and repeat the same self-depreciating lines to our reflection: “You are a failure”, “You will never be beautiful”, “You are so fat”, “My nose is too big”, “My lips are too small”, “My love handles are bulging”, “My arms are so thin”, “When will I ever be good enough?”.
With this mindset, we will almost never be good enough. If we continue to base ourself-worth off the way society has programmed us to feel and think, then we will never truly attain authentic self-love.
Self-love comes in all shapes and sizes. It does not limit nor put us under certain labels as humans. We are constantly evolving beings who deserve to flourish and grow every day. No matter the setbacks or obstacles along the way, we deserve unconditional love internally, so that our external reality shifts to the most abundant, blissful, and blessed life that we can exist in.
WHAT IS SELF-LOVE?
Self-love encompasses appreciating one’s own self by finding worth and value in the aspects that make up who you are. Enabling self-love can sometimes be challenging due to the habit of allowing negative thoughts, actions, and behaviors to override the love for oneself.
There is a key misrepresentation and illusion to what self-love truly is. It is often believed that self-love connotes to being selfish and self-conceited. However, self-love incorporates nurturing, trusting, and prioritizing oneself as well asserting healthy boundaries and creating a safe environment to flourish as an individual. This is completed through psychological, physical as well as spiritual thoughts and actions that enable self-love.
ESTABLISHING SELF-LOVE BY CONNECTING TO GOD
They say that when you put God first, you will never be last. I believe that when you center your life around the remembrance of God and being grateful for all that He has bestowed upon you, God will give you more of what you seek. When you are whole-heartedly grateful to God for blessing you with your unique mind, body, and soul, this creates a sense of peace inside of you which then extends and blossoms into self-love. Essentially, everything begins and manifests from the permission and guidance that God wills. True self-love is accessed through showing gratitude to God for all that He has given you and seeking guidance so that you may flourish with his divine power.
One way that would allow you to connect to God in order to establish self-love is by getting into a state of meditation, where you are able to quiet down the running thoughts inside of your mind. For some helpful meditations, browse through the Skylight App meditation exercises to help you shift into this state. Set five to ten minutes from your day aside to communicate with God. Start by thanking God for at least five things that you are grateful for from your day. Then ask God to guide you through your self-love journey by describing how you feel towards yourself, stemming from your body to your mind and finally to your soul. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of yourself, whilst connecting with God in a humbling and peaceful way.
CREATE A VISION BOARD
It is critical for you to have a clear understanding of what you wish to seek when starting your self-love journey. This can be attained by brainstorming ideas on a notepad or maintaining a list of all the aspects you wish to change or love about yourself. For example, you could write that you are grateful for having the ability to walk, run and sit using your legs. Then you may write that you currently do not like the way that your legs appear as they are larger than what you would prefer them to be. You may then follow this up by writing down what your ideal self would look like and do to achieve the desired goal.
Self-love means that you have the ability to accept yourself for who you are, but you can also take the necessary steps to ensure that you are looking after your health, wellness, mind and spirit. Neglecting yourself can further damage your sense of self-worth, which is why it is important to listen to your authentic self and healthily take the necessary steps to achieve your goals.
I have discovered that creating a vision board regarding the aspects of myself that I wish to change, attract, or become has extremely benefitted me. Not only did it help me understand what I lack, it also assisted me in making all the right decisions to acquire the highest sense of self-love for myself. I personally utilize Pinterest to create my vision boards, where I can select and edit these boards to the exact things that I intend to incorporate into my life so that I may tap into my ideal self.
WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR FUTURE SELF
One method that has extremely helped me on my self-love journey is the utilization of writing letters to my future self. Whenever I feel upset or begin to question my worth, I set aside a few minutes from my day to journal all these thoughts into letters addressed to the future version of myself that I seek to become.
In these letters, I write down all the things that I had thought about myself in that day or the current self-depreciating conversations in my mind. For instance, you could write, “Today, I was having anxious thoughts about my upcoming presentation in front my colleagues at work. I kept on second-guessing myself and my ability to successfully present. One thought that was constantly on repeat in my mind was that I am a so embarrassing and that I wouldn’t be good enough.”
After I recount my thoughts, I then progress to addressing my future self and what she would feel and do in this circumstance. For example, you could continue by stating, “I know that you are you self-confident and sure of yourself as well as your ability to perform effectively in all settings.”
I find that this method connects me with the version of myself that I seek to manifest, which grounds my negative thoughts and allows me to heal the aspects of myself that are hindering my self-love.
You could also add an aspect of spirituality by connecting your thoughts back to God in your letter. This can be completed by thanking God for helping you become the version of yourself that you seek to become, by shifting the timeline into your present reality. For instance, you may write, “From the bottom of my heart, I ask and thank you God for giving me the ability to be self-confident and self-assured in who I am.”
Affirmations refer to the positive comments, statements and thoughts that are used to overcome negative self-beliefs which limit and harmfully impact individuals. When repeated often, this then works to reprogram and rewire the mind, which then positively impacts several aspects of one’s life by helping them make wise decisions to prioritize themselves and promote their progressive growth and development.
Affirmations can be utilized for bettering almost all aspects of an individual’s life. Affirmations can also be used for manifesting self-love from specific to general characteristics.
Here are some helpful self-love affirmations that you could incorporate into your daily life:
o I am enough.
o I am successful, powerful, and limitless.
o I love myself, entirely, eternally, and unconditionally.
o I am patient, at ease and relaxed.
o I am worthy of all the types of love.
o I am confident in who I am and whoI am becoming.
o I deserve the best in life.
o My life is stress-free.
o I am powerful, whole, and complete.
o I am at peace with everything inside of me and around me.
o I have a positive mind, body, and soul.
o Today, I choose to be happy, calm, and free.
o My body is a sacred temple and I honor it every day.
o I release any negative experiences, struggles and regrets from my mind, body, and soul.
o I only attract positive energy.
o I am grateful for all the good things that are currently in my life and all the great things that I am attracting.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE
Sometimes the pressures and intense commitments of this world cause us to neglect ourselves and abandon the things that bring us happiness. When trying to achieve authentic self-love, it is critical to also look after yourself and discover ways to minimize stress, maintain a positive lifestyle as well as increase health and wellness. Self-care enables self-love when you choose to make yourself a priority. Not only does self-care remind us of our importance and worth, but it also connects us to God as by doing so, we are looking after His creation and treating our mind, body and soul as trusted entities that must be taken care of. This essentially creates a sense of gratitude inside of ourselves for the blessings that God has allowed us to have as we are able to honor and take care of them.
Self-care may not always look like a bath full of bubbles, or a vacation to Hawaii. Self-care is all about the little things that we incorporate into our day that are strictly set with the intention of looking after ourselves. Making a cup of tea, going for a walk out in nature, getting an extra two hours of sleep, buying a new piece of clothing, or even having a few minutes to allow yourself to regenerate and be at peace, are all examples of what self-care could look like for you. It is beneficial to have some downtime for yourself in order to improve your mental health, mood, and overall wellbeing. Self-care sets you onto the path of authentic self-love as you will finally be able to prioritize your own happiness and look after your neglected needs.
PATIENCE IS THE KEY TO ATTAINING AUTHENTIC SELF-LOVE
It can be often believed that self-love is a linear journey that can be easily achieved by following a set of tasks, tips, activities, and changes. However, attaining authentic self-love looks different for every individual as no two people are perfectly alike. The self-love journey is a non-linear process which requires consistent positive thoughts, actions, and habits, to maintain it and allow it to grow inside of us. Just like how a plant or a tree takes months and sometimes years to fully flourish, so does self-love. Therefore, it is extremely important to be patient with yourself along the way. Whether you encounter setbacks or struggles, make sure that are you are not hard on yourself and try to look for reassurance from within as well as being grateful to God for creating a beautiful mind, body, and soul like yours.
Remember that no human is perfect, so do not be harsh on yourself for any shortcomings. Instead, focus on your strengths and take every step at a time when bettering yourself. What may take a person one week to accomplish, may take another person months or years to do so, and that is the true beauty of being human. We are all so unique, beautiful, and special in our own way, and gratefully that does not make us any less worthy of who we are and what we seek to become.