Self-love. What is it? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds. Loving yourself at all times and under all circumstances. Sounds easy right? Then why don’t we do it?
It’s something that isn’t taught in schools, can’t be found in textbooks. The media, society and cultural traditions don’t support it. Its not usually encouraged by our parents and yet self-love vital for our own health, essential for overall wellness. There’s no use in looking for it externally because no one and nothing can give it to us. In theory it sounds so simple yet in practice, it’s challenging, messy and requires a moment-to-moment awareness. In my opinion, it’s the key to being happy and whole.
Which is precisely why I wrote this post. You are an extraordinary being whose birthright is joy, peace, love and freedom. You are special just because you are you. It’s as straightforward as that. And it is my intention to share with you lessons and ways I learned to love myself to serve as a helpful tool for your own journey to unconditional self-love.
So the first order of business….Stop looking outside yourself for love! We are all guilty of allowing our self-esteem to be dependent on others’ opinions, our awards and distinctions, the amount of money in our bank accounts. We judge ourselves based on how beautiful, skinny and fit we are. We love ourselves with condition: only when we lose five pounds, or get new clothes, quit that job or find a partner.
For years I did the same thing. I allowed my self-love to be filtered through external factors. I only loved myself if I trained for hours every day, only if I followed a restrictive diet, only if the boys I chased after liked me back. I only felt good about myself if I get straight A’s, if I won my boxing tournaments, if I was a top fitness trainer at my gym. And guess what? It didn’t work! Love dependent on my achievements, goals accomplished and checks off my to-do list was painful. And it’s exhausting! I grew so tired of trying so hard, pushing, pulling, struggling to love myself based only on what I do instead of who I am. It’s a recipe for disaster.
And so I had to make a shift. I started to focus on me, my inner game and confidence. I moved away from doing and just started being. More importantly, being me by honoring my own inner voice, wisdom and truth. The more I listened the better I felt and the more my love of self grew. Slowly, it didn’t matter what others thought or what actions I did, what mattered is what I felt.
To be honest, it’s not easy. I can very easily fall into the trap and start the whole cycle all over again. But the more I am aware of it, the easier it becomes to pull myself out before spiraling down into the land of negativity. Sometimes I take a short trip there, but I use it as a reminder that it is so much more fun and freeing to love myself.
So I am here to tell you in case you forgot….You are amazing! Not because you have Masters degrees or a six figure bank account. Not because you are thin and have perfect skin. It’s not because you have material possessions and money to spend. It’s because you are a gift of the universe, with a unique soul and a purpose for being here in the now. Forget about the size of your house or the kind of car you drive of how other people view you. The outer world changes; don’t allow your self-love to be dependent on that. Look inwardly instead. Focus on your light that shines just by being you. Share that with the world. Stop worrying about external validation and trust that you are enough. Because, you know what? You are ENOUGH. All you have to do is be yourself and live your truth. Once you begin doing that, you will begin to tap into the well of self-love that lives within.