Here comes the month of Love. And it couldn’t be better timing, because we all know right now the world needs a whole lot more of it.
As February 14th quickly approaches, so does the long list of expectations that comes with it. But what if this year you choose to do things a little differently? What if, when you make your list of valentines, you include yourself this time? Giving yourself some love this Valentine’s Day could be your sweetest decision yet.…
Too often, we present self-love as a quick stop on the road to romantic love. The self, and our desire to be committed to it, generally disappears once another person is in the picture. We live in a society that promotes romantic partnership, especially heterosexual marriage, as the ultimate goal. It is treated as a priority under the guise that it will provide all the happiness and fulfillment anyone could ever need.
There’s a plethora of literature available to help us build healthy relationships with our partners and loved ones. Yet most of us miss the mark with the most important relationship in our lives: the one with ourselves.
“The most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself. And if you have that, any other relationship is a plus and not a must.” – Diane Von Furstenberg
Here are some tips for cultivating and nurturing the love with yourself:
(The following apply to those who are single and in relationships, because it is always possible to love yourself even when you are loving someone else.)
Utilize affirmations. Every morning, speak positive and uplifting words or phrases to yourself in the mirror, like “I accept myself unconditionally” and “I love you”. It sounds cheesy, but your body truly does hear every word you speak and think through chemicals triggered by emotions. No matter how ridiculous you feel, and little by little you’ll start to believe it and realize the only acceptance you need is yours.
Make moments of joy. Prioritize the activities that bring you joy and fill your emotional reserves. Treat yourself to some ‘me’ time. Take yourself to a movie, stroll through the park, or spend quiet time and just stare at the moon. Feel the oneness of who you are with the Earth and all around you.
Focus on your inner world. A healthy relationship with yourself also includes being aware of your internal processes. Ask yourself these questions on a regular basis:
“What am I feeling? What am I thinking?”Also, consider the why behind your behavior, thoughts and feelings.
Journaling is a great vehicle for becoming more self-aware.
Care for your needs. A great place to start cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself is by caring for your basic physical needs. That includes getting enough sleep and rest, eating nutrients and exercising. Give yourself the space to discover and connect to what feeds you in mind, body, and spirit.
Meditate. Daily meditation is a gift to yourself. In those moments between the thoughts, we allow ourselves peace of mind that can carry us through even the most stressful days.
Be your own friend. Any time you hear the negative put-downs swirling around your head, think about what you’d say to your best friend or sister or daughter, and then rewrite the script with love.
You don’t need another to realize your happiness, beauty, purpose, intelligence, or any of your other amazing qualities.
Do it now! Take baby steps in the right direction, even if it’s just a little today, and a little tomorrow.
“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.” – Sidney J. Harris
This time, Bieber got it right…….”You should go love yourself”!
Do you have any suggestions for more ideas of ways to cultivate a loving relationship with yourself? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.
With a Grateful Heart,