I love myself.
I’m comfortable in my own skin.
- I’m confidant.
- I do not self-sabotage my health.
- I surround myself with people I love who love me back.
These are all components of self-love.
I am older and wiser and now feel that I’ve finally come into my “own” so to speak. With this wisdom I have realized self-love is so important to my happiness and confidence, and living each day feeling fulfilled and peaceful. I no longer seek the attention of others. I no longer feel competitive with my peers. I accept my flaws. I live my life for me and for those closest to me who share my day to day existence.
It is not an easy love to embrace. For years I was very self critical. I was doing things that were not in alignment with self respect and self care. Thankfully, after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I “saw the light”.
It is often said that it takes a physical disease or a traumatic experience to shake us to our senses and I guess my MS was the very thing that made me stand up and take notice.
Making self love a priority in your life is, in my personal opinion, something to strive for. It’s a daily practice you can work on and get stronger and better at over time. Just like daily physical exercise makes your muscles and your heart stronger, practicing self-love on a daily basis will eventually make you a happier and more confident person. The peace of mind you get from respecting your self with healthy behaviours, sound nutrition, good sleep, meditation and overall goodness is worth it’s weight in gold.
Some things you can do on a daily basis to flex that “self love” muscle are:
- Instead of lamenting your body, thank it for all of the amazing things it does for you daily. Thank your body for what it allows you to do. Stop taking your health and your senses for granted. It takes many different systems in your body to keep you breathing, tasting, hearing, speaking, digesting, thinking, moving etc. Think of the big picture and thank your body every morning as you look in the mirror. Say it out loud. Being grateful is a win-win state of mind.
- Forgive and let go. If you are holding grudges or hanging on to old wounds of the soul, let this go. Living in a place of forgiveness is freedom. Holding grudges is only hurting you, and not the person you are angry with. Just let it go. If you have to, seek help to release your emotions. You will feel so much better when you liberate yourself from the baggage that’s dragging you down.
- Write a “self-love” mantra. This could be a simple sentence stating that you are a good person, a strong person, a beautiful person, a loved and loving person, a kind and generous person etc. Carry this sentence with you in your notes on your cell phone or somewhere you can refer to it often to keep reminding yourself that your are special.
- Strive to feed your body healthy nutrition, get good sleep, stretch, meditate, read self empowering books, enjoy alone time, accept hugs and give hugs.
While reading the newly released book “Option B – Finding Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, I picked up some great pointers on self love. One thing I learned is having compassion for yourself involves realizing your flaws are part of being human.
Victor Frankl – Holocaust survivor said “When we realize we can’t change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves”. This speaks volumes to me when dealing with my chronic illness.
University of Pennsylvania educators Tedeschi and Calhoun: “I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I imagined.”
There are so many ways you can support yourself with self-love. I guarantee that when you finally get over the self sabotage and self judgement and really are comfortable in your own skin, some of the many benefits….peace of mind, happiness and contentment will surface and become your new normal. Take it from one who has gone through the changes.