An intense feeling of deep affection. Fondness, tenderness, endearment. Feelings of intimacy or attachment. Sounds pretty good, right? Yes – definitely, however we’ve been conditioned to look outside of ourselves for these feelings, which can leave us unfulfilled when we’re we can't find them.
The perfect partner, the best friend, the boyfriend, the wife, the husband.
Because the truth is – we have to love ourselves before we can create deep, lasting love with others. It’s our relationship with self that first teaches us how to love. How to be kind. How to be soft and forgiving and strong and fierce. How to ask for respect and treat others the same. And how to show compassion, always.
I truly believe that if we do not become our own steady, stable source of love, the love we show others begins to falter. We begin to make assumptions and take things personally, our internal dialogue hardens and it becomes more difficult to respond with patience, kindness and understanding. So during a time of year where we’re busy showing everyone else love, perhaps it’s time to turn inwards and show it to ourselves.
Learning to accept yourself as you are, at this very moment, is the single most powerful step we can take towards self-love. Shut out the outside noise, stop comparing yourself to others, and find the beauty in the characteristics that set you apart. You do not need to look or act like anyone other than yourself. Repeat after me, ‘I am enough’.
It’s easy for our inner dialogue to focus on the negative. Whether it’s physical features, relationship issues or a problem at work – it’s very human to dwell on the things that bring us pain. What if instead, we brought that focus to all of the wonderful things that happen to us every.single.day.? What if you began your day with gratitude for the roof over your head, the ability to nourish yourself with whole foods, or the able body that moves you from place to place with ease?
Nourishing your body with clean water, whole foods and mindful intentions is a beautiful act of self-love. It’s hard to hate a body that you take excellent care of, so show yourself you matter by providing your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Create ritual and carve out little moments to show yourself care. Whether it’s a warm botanical bath, skin soothing face mask or 1 minute meditation - indulge in self-care rituals that bring invite beauty, light and love into your day.
My favourite self-loving ritual of all time. There are plenty of things in life to be serious about, but it’s important to make time for fun too. When was the last time you had a deep, aching belly laugh? Start laughing, start healing – don’t take yourself or life too seriously.