6 reasons to practice self love
I already felt heartbroken for months, and it affected many different aspects of my life to the point of chaos. I thought I had found true love. He told me, that I was, and would always be his one true love. Words that made me ascend to cloud 9.
But the reality of the situation was different. He jumped in and out of my life, the reasons don’t matter. Fact is, I was head over heals, so I gave it all. My heart, my energy, serving someone else’s higher good over my own needs and boundaries, like I did with so many things in life, because I was used to that. This resulted in me, feeling heartbroken and completely out of touch with my inner self. Until it clicked…
‘Self Love’. It is my major theme for 2020. I always thought I had an understanding of the concept. I know my parents love me and raised me to their best knowledge. The love they showed me however, was based on actions, status and exterior opinions, combined with ‘their’ experiences in life — being a “good girl” – Study hard, get good grades, go to Uni, be good at sports, keep your head down, and get a good position in a firm, so you are secure for life. I was great in achieving all the successes ‘They’ liked to see for me in life, and I got a lot of praise for it, every time it fit that picture perfect frame…
But I really craved something else inside. The experience of unconditional love and feeling supported. The feeling that I matter on a soul level, no matter my choices in life, my talents and my flaws. This lack of love left a void and restlessness. A void that I felt, I needed to fill up in order to feel complete. So I tried compensating for it, to my best knowledge and experiences. Which meant, looking outward and through actions, cause that’s what I learnt after all. A masculine mindset that turned me into a people pleaser, workaholic and self critic, leaving me feeling drained, taken for granted, violated in trust and boundaries many times. The heartbreak in love was just one of the symptoms, because it affected me in many other areas of life as well. I even needed to face a depressive state for the second time to wake up.
What is self love?
I decided to look for the definition of this word, and I came across different descriptions. I resonated with the following one.
“Self love is about accepting yourself as you are, and being comfortable with it – the “light” parts and the “dark”, the “good” and the “bad” – while knowing that the real you is above the perceived dualities of our physical realm we live in. It is about Integrity, knowing your values and your boundaries and honouring them.”
Self-love. A topic that is part of my journey True North and my main theme for 2020. I know it will take dedication, devotion, and practice to change it and maintain it. That’s why the ‘Why’ behind the practice, is so important to me.
So, I have taken a deep dive into the heart of the matter, to help me rekindle the flame.
Let me share with you 6 reasons I found, that I feel, explain why self love should be a top priority in life.
Self-love means that we accept ourselves fully, treat ourselves with kindness and respect, and nurture our growth and wellbeing.
1 Self love helps making healthy choices.
The first benefit of self-love is that it encourages to pick up good habits. Self-love means loving your body, mind and soul. Therefore, it makes complete sense to treat them with loads of TLC on all levels.
People who love themselves in a healthy way also know that they are flawed and make mistakes – and they accept and care about themselves despite these imperfections.
For me this means I’ve taken on healthier habits and decisions across all areas of my life now, whether it comes to relationships, finances, diet, and energy.
I have started by creating a vision board that displays different areas of my life, the way I see it. This now helps me clear the path, to being of greater service to myself and the world at large.
2 It helps you take charge of your life.
Feeling more in charge of your life comes with realizing the power of choice. You choose when and how you want to live your life, the energy you give and take in. This means that you weigh more heavily on the benefits and consequences of making certain choices, that will affect your future wellbeing, and purpose.
Understanding this concept, makes saying ‘NO’ a lot easier to people and situations that don’t serve you, and don’t align with your values. You stand more firm in all of your decisions without fear of how others will respond.
I had to learn this the hard way. Until it clicked, and I decided to dive into hermit mode once again. I knew it was time to take a good look within, to understand why everything felt like falling apart and out of control . Things like alone time, meditation, and journaling, were the greatest gift, and really helped me in the process.
Meditation let me feel the sensations and emotions consciously, I experienced inside my body, that were inflicted by stress. It also let me listen to my inner voice, that had desperately been trying to communicate with me already for a while. Writing down its words really helped me to understand the impact better, everyting had on me.
This made me see the truth for what it is, and what I didn’t want to allow in my space anymore, in order to heal my body mind and spirit.
3 Improve relationships with others
We teach others how to treat us, by showing them how we treat ourselves. If we don’t appreciate and respect what we bring to the table, it will be difficult to set this expectation with someone else. That’s why it is important to show others that our needs are important too, show our standards and boundaries.
An interesting thing happens when you know who you are, understand what is important to you, and the value you bring to a relationship. Others realize it better too. If they really want to be in your life, they will adjust their standards to meet yours.
“If you can’t love yourself, then how in the hell can you love someone else,” – Rupaul.
When someone is disrespectful or isn’t a fit, you’re better able to walk away from it. You realize that by leaving behind what isn’t for you, helps you open the door to something that is better, and attract relationships that are healthier and more loving.
4 Strong foundation to raise vibration, energy and mental health.
Another important benefit of self-love is better mental health. People who love themselves are less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, because of setting healthy boundaries and making self-love a priority, also paves the way to a positive mindset which raises our vibration, which is an essential ingredient for success in life and mental wellbeing.
Learning to love yourself first also reduces stress, lessens procrastination and makes you more focused. After all everything is energy. Which means, where the mind goes, the energy flows. (said a wise man once) My situation proves that once more.
Therefore there’s is nothing wrong with putting ourselves a little higher on our priority list and be conscious on how we receive and share our energy.
5 Self loves shapes the lens of how we see the world
When we love ourselves more we instantly change our perspective of the world. The energy of how you feel about yourself, your focus, and your spirit can be either a strong attractor or detractor of what you want and need in your life. Self-love can give us a more positive attitude towards life which let us vibrate on a higher frequency that leads to greater life satisfaction.
6 Self love creates room for healing.
Loving yourself, makes you more open and aware of the healing process within yourself. Coming to terms with the fact that in life, you will get hurt. That doesn’t mean the pain has to last forever. In fact, we can grow from the lesson it is teaching us.
It also means, recognizing that someone else who didn’t learn unconditional love, has a hard time giving it. It means recognizing that other human beings hurt too, and they pass this hurt along to other people, cause they are not aware. It means acknowledging and accepting this, and doing what is needed, without judgement so you can move forward in life living in the present, happy and fulfilled.
These 6 different aspects of self love, are now helping me, turning my attention from being a person waiting for, and needing someone else to fill the void, to realizing that I have that ability inside of me.
I am not flawless at it yet, and that’s ok. I am just taking little steps every day, while healing my inner child. The tools I found that work for me right now, are helping me on my journey ahead, to transcend to a higher version of myself with respect love and concern.