Fall In Love – With Yourself!
es, I know, yet another blog talking about the importance of self-love. But bear with me – I promise that I will try my best not to be repetitive, cliché, or reminiscent of one of those forwards that you get from your mom (I do like some of them, Mom!).
“Self-love” is a term that has recently gained popularity, and as a result, is thrown around both in conversation and on social media. Many of us talk about it, and know that we should work on it, but when it comes down to it … like really down to it… we have trouble answering one simple question: “Do you love yourself?”
Try saying it out loud.
“I love myself.”
Did you say it? Did you mean it? Did you laugh when you said it?
Humans are not good at love, period. We make loving each other and ourselves very complicated, even though we could argue that love is perhaps the most simple, innate, and pure of our human emotions. We could even call it a form of energy; it is something that exists in all of us, which means that it cannot be destroyed (at least according to my grade 7 science teacher). In order to break this down further, let’s start by talking about what self-love is not.
We are not loving ourselves when we:
- Seek approval from others in order to feel good
- Apologize before, during, and/or after speaking our opinion or asking for something
- Engage in negative self-talk
- Focus on the mistakes that we have made
- Feel selfish for doing things for ourselves
Can you think of other things we could add to this list? Take a minute and think about anything that you might do that is not self-loving.
Alright, now let’s figure out how we can start loving ourselves more. Most of us can think of someone in our lives who we love unconditionally, such as a family member, or a child. Keep this person in mind. (Or what I often find very effective, is when we think of ourselves as a young child, around the age of 3).
Take a minute to think about this 3 year old version of yourself. Picture spending a day with this little mini-you. How would you speak with him/her? What activities would you do? What food would you feed him/her? What would you do if your job was to make that 3 year old as happy as possible? How would you protect this little person – from criticism, from disappointment, from heartache?
Most of us do not even come close to treating ourselves the way we would care for this little child. But we should! Let’s take advantage of the spirit of love this month, and start taking care of and loving ourselves the way we deserve. Think about what that means for you and start by taking one tiny little loving action today.