For a long time, I thought that if I had just accomplished enough, did things perfect enough, or looked right, I would get big, warm, fuzzy feelings of self-love.
I just had to be proud enough of myself and sweep enough of my faults under the rug.
In all my talking to people who have self-love and those who say they don't, none were overtaken by big, warm, fuzzy feelings until they started doing the real work of looking at all the pieces they didn't want to see and yet, were still a part of them.
Self-love isn't about becoming perfect.
Self-Love is about being open to loving the imperfect.
When we do that, we find all sorts of gifts and magic that we've been hiding.
Self-Love is a practice of consistently choosing you.
We want to choose us.
And it's hard.
- It's hard to show up for yourself all the time.
- It's hard to believe we are worthy without taking care of everyone else first.
- It's hard to see the best in someone you see all of… I mean all of.
- It's hard to be nice to the one person who's the meanest to you.
- It's hard to love ourselves because our culture tells us not to.
I've felt that internal conflict before. I've wanted to know when I was going to be enough so I could love myself.
The truth is self-love was there waiting for me to choose it… even when it's hard, especially when it's hard. That's the work.
So if you are struggling, and every time you want to be compassionate or loving with yourself and you feel that internal conflict brewing, try a few of these tips.
#1 Get into your body
Our minds and ego want so bad to tell us why we can't or shouldn't be loving to ourselves. Somewhere along the line many of us learned to be super-critical of ourselves and we've been telling ourselves the same stories over and over again.
Getting into your body will help you ground in this moment.
How: Use your senses. Set up the space you are in with good smells, soft touches, beautiful sound, and beautiful things to look at. Give yourself a snack but be sensual about it - meaning, really use your senses to smell and then taste every morsel of it. Focusing on your breath for a few minutes can also work when none of the above is immediately in reach.
#2 Share the compassion you have for others with yourself
When I am struggling with love or compassion for myself, I think about others I have compassion for and then imagine I am spreading that loving, compassionate energy with myself.
How to: If you can tap into compassion or love for anyone, tune into it. Picture them. See yourself pouring love on them and watching that stream of light get bigger and bigger to include more people, including yourself. Sit with that loving, compassionate feeling for a few minutes.
#3 Try a self-love ritual
Rituals bring us back into our bodies and out of our over-thinking minds. They can ground us and bring us back to our humanness so we can see the big picture again. They remind us of what is sacred to us.
How: Easy! I've put together a short quiz to find the perfect ritual for you at this moment. You'll also get a guide with 5 rituals you can keep on hand when loving yourself seems really freaking hard.
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