To understand self-love, we have to look at what love is.
Love is a feeling. However, we often forget about the actions that create this feeling.
Love is a verb.
In other words, love is a series of actions that express affection and appreciation. The feeling of love can only be created when we are honoring, respecting and showing up fully present in each moment.
Love is a skill that is developed.
When we are fully loving ourselves, we are taking care of, appreciating and respecting who we really are. We make our needs, desires, wants and dreams a priority.
Neglect is the opposite of love.
I believe that self-neglect is the default reaction to life.
This is what self-neglect look like in our lives:
1. We don't keep our promises to ourselves.
2. We put self-care at the bottom of our to-do lists.
3. We give out of obligation instead of inspiration.
4. We are constantly trying to prove to ourselves that we are worthy.
5. We stand in judgment of our behaviors without inquiring as to why we reacted the way we did.
6. We never fully forgive ourselves for our mistakes.
7. It is usually our fault.
8. We ignore our intuitive knowing of what is right for us.
9. Approval for ourselves is always conditional and based on the praise we receive from others.
10. We hold ourselves to impossible standards and expectations.
11. We live in silent fear, distrust, anger, apathy and dissatisfaction without ever really taking the time to consider that there may be another way.
12. Most importantly, our actions are usually rooted in self-neglect instead of affection and appreciation.
You're a super smart crowd so let's address the obvious question:
Why do we take actions that don't produce or contradict the feeling of self-love?
Many of us, deep down, don't feel we are fully and completely worthy of love.
We have to learn how to love ourselves. Self-love is a learned behavior.
Divine truth from me to you....
You are so worthy of love. It's your birthright. You matter. There is nothing more important in your world than you and your well-being.
You can self-sacrifice until the cows come home, but no one really wins when you give from an empty well.
You can get by in life for a long time without loving yourself, but eventually the years of self-neglect will catch up with you.
This is how to start loving yourself:
1. Keep your promises to yourself. If you say you're going to hit the gym after work, do everything throughout your day to support this promise. Say "no" to anything that will become an excuse for you not showing up for yourself. If all else fails, check your promises. Make sure they are realistic for your life.
2. Make the first 3-5 things on your daily to-do list actions that support your well-being. Meditate, exercise, eat, check your balances, laugh, sleep... etc. In other words, make your daily needs your number one priority. This is a sign of self-respect and as a result the people around you will intuitively respect you more.
3. Allow yourself to receive from others and surround yourself with folks you are inspired to give to. Over-giving diminishes your self-value.
4. Give up the habit of judging yourself and replace it with neutral observing. Begin to look at yourself and your life from a place of: "Oh isn't that interesting. I wonder why I reacted that way?"
5. Just accept that your mistakes are a part of the learning process. Learn as much of the lesson as you can, make a decision to do things differently in the future and then move on. Beating yourself up for something that happened 10 years ago is a form of self-abuse.
6. Take responsibly for your actions, but do not make the entire situation your fault. Everyone plays their part.
7. Your intuition is your gift from God. It is the way your Higher Self gives you guidance. Use it. Learn it. Ask. Tune in. Look for signs and symbols that confirm your intuitive knowing. You don't have to become a professional psychic, but you can develop your intuition so that you are totally in tuned to your greater truth.
8. Learn to praise yourself no matter what the outcome is... even if only a little bit.
9. Create your own standards and expectations for yourself that are based solely on your truth. Use how good you feel as a guide.
10. Believe. I mean really believe that you are never stuck. There is always a way into something that feels better. It may take a little effort, but it is so worth it.
11. Take actions that produce the feelings of self-love. Above all, appreciate and honor your needs, desires, wants and well-being.
With immense joy and humility,
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