Loving Yourself is vital to living a life you love. Last week I spoke about how you treat others reflects how you feel inside.
This week I’m expanding on loving yourself by sharing with you an article I posted in February 2013. During my first several months of writing my blogs, I also invited other people to share some of their thoughts and expertise. One of them, I’m sharing again below.
This article is written by a friend of mine from Southern California, Ivana Siska.
The 5 tips she shares with you here will give you more tools to move in the direction of loving yourself. You can connect with Ivana through her Facebook page:
“We are all divine Beings of light and love, capable of incredible caring, emotion, compassion, understanding, affection and acceptance. We display these characteristics on a daily basis, often giving of ourselves in this way, even more deeply than we could have ever even imagined.
Remember how radically powerful it felt when you first fell in love, or how intensely you love your child, your partner, your best friend, or even your pet. Could your pet or baby ever do anything so terrible that you would stop loving them? I think not.
What about you? Do you have that kind of love for yourself? Can you love yourself no matter what? Do you have strict rules about who you must be and how you have to show up in order to be loved? Have you forgotten about you?
If you have neglected yourself a little bit (or a lot), you are certainly not alone. Most of us have been taught that self-love is a sign of narcissism, selfishness, and basically not a positive character trait that a “good” person displays.
Depending on our religious upbringing and cultural backgrounds, we may also be taught to care about the feelings of others before our own. To compromise, to sacrifice, not to indulge in any self-indulgent pursuits or comforts, and to never ever put ourselves first. It’s a pretty unnatural dogma to try to live by.
The lack of self-love in your life will result in a world of hurt, not just for you, but also for the people you care about most. How can you do for another something you cannot do for you?
Without self-love, you will encounter a hunger for external comfort and love that will always fall short and you will never be able to attain the type of deep, loving and healthy connection with another human being that you long for. In some people, a lack of self-love will spiral into real debilitating emotional challenges and conditions of low self-esteem, martyrdom, and even a lack of self-value. So what to do?
Finding the path to self-love is not rocket science, but it can be challenging if it is truly a new venture for you. Luckily self-love feels remarkable and therefore is motivating and little efforts result in huge rewards. It also happens to be simple so anyone can do it. Here is a simple guide:
5 Sacred Steps to Self-Love
1. Connect with God / or Mother Nature / or the Universe, etc. No matter what you call it, we cannot ignore that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Acknowledge this fact and allow the greatness of All That Is to completely engulf you.
Knowing that you are not the end-all, be-all takes an enormous amount of pressure off your shoulders and allows you the space to relax and put things into perspective. Know that we are all one and the same.
2. Forgive Yourself. Whatever you don’t like about yourself in the past is no longer valid. Just agree to let the past become something that once was and allow yourself to move into Now. This is what counts.
What you do in this moment is what will define you now and take you into the next moment of your life. If you can forgive yourself, others can too.
3. Accept Your Brilliance. You are spectacular and perfect. Just like all the other creatures on this planet, you are here in perfect form, for a reason. Learn about yourself, about who you are and what your strengths, talents and abilities are, how you shine, and how unique you are.
Know that you are the only person just like you!
4. Embrace Change. Look beyond what and who you are today and know that life is about evolution and transformation. Allow people and things to change. Appreciate the uniqueness in them and their life cycles, as you do your own. Invite growth.
5. Find What Brings You Joy and Have As Much Of “IT” As Possible! Really! Be like a big tree: a tree grows its roots deep into the ground so that it can take all the possible nutrients, nourishment, food, sustenance, water and energy it can from its environment. It takes from the earth and by doing so, it can become a magnificent tree!
This strong and nourished tree can then give us shade, food, lumber, fresh air, comfort, a place for birds and squirrels to live, and so much more! The more it takes, the more it can give! You… be the tree! Take in what fuels you, and then share your gifts with those around you.
Whatever it is that makes your heart sing, your spirit soar, your imagination spring to life… get it. Give it to yourself so that you can be who you know you truly are. Fill up so that you can be what you desire most; then be it and share.”
As you begin to do what Ivana is suggesting here, you will be on the path to loving yourself.
Here’s a link to look at many other suggestions with tips about loving yourself I found helpful:
With love and many blessings to you,
PS. Below is a photo of the beautiful Ivana Siska.