“I do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.”-Sasha Azevedo
Self-love is defined by Merriam-Webster as “regard for one’s own happiness for advantage.” It lists such synonyms as ego, pompousness, pride, self-admiration, self-conceit, swell headedness and vanity to name a few. It gives antonyms of humbleness, humility and modesty.
Now is this really the case? No. Self-love is not any of the synonyms I listed. Well maybe pride, but not in a bad way. Self-love is a respect that you have for yourself. For me, it brings to mind a particular phrase.
“If you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to be able to take care of anyone else?”
Apply that to self-love. If you can’t love yourself, how are you going to be able to love anyone else?
That phrase has been me for a very long time. I always took care of everyone first and worried about me never. But I met some wonderful people who taught me the importance of self-love and taking care of yourself. And let me tell you, if you have low self-esteem like I did, it’s hard. But you, my friend, are the only person in your body and the only one who can truly listen to it.
It’s easy to preach. Do this, do that, try this and try that. But you can only read so many self-help books, watch so many program, work with so many Shamans and shrinks. You have to do the work yourself. And you have to hit it hard. You have to be present in yourself and your surroundings. Truly taking in and learning everything. And you must practice. It’s easy to go through the motions, but really digging in. That’s where the good stuff comes in.
But, when you do it, THAT is when the light bulb goes off. The famous A-HA moment in time. But you have to know it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, love, strength and determination.
And I hear you now. HOW?! Give me a how! Give me a suggestion. I hear you asking. So let me offer up a few things to help you get started. Read through them all before you decide what to do. Pick one, pick two, pick them all. If anything, just pick one and honestly give it a go. See how it works and if it works, keep it up. Maybe add one or two.
- Get buck naked. (I’m from the Deep South so imagine that in a strong southern accent.) Stand in front of a full length mirror. Look over your body, all of it. While you are doing it, use the voice of your favorite foreign actor, and tell yourself how beautiful you are. Finding something wonderful and positive in all of your body parts. Look yourself in the eye while you say it. I will say even acknowledge the bad. It’s all part of you. But learn to appreciate those flaws. They make you the beautiful you that you are. Do it and fall in love with yourself.
- Have self-care time. Man have I learned the importance of this! A time where you take care of you. It can be as simple as a movie, a hot bath, sitting down with a book and a hot cup of tea. Treating yourself to a nice dinner or a movie. Or maybe a lunch and a stroll through a book store or museum. Spend that time with yourself and enjoy it.
- Stop the insanity!!!! I love that phrase and it’s so true. Stopping your inner gremlin in her tracks or at least making peace with her is important. Letting go of worry. Give it over to The Universe/God and let it go. Trust the outcome will be what you need. Forgive yourself. Just let go.
- Just have fun. Dance around the house to your favorite music as you clean. Do the chicken dance at a baseball game. Jump in a puddle of water. Fall into a pile of leaves. Not matter what you do, let your hair down and just have fun. Who cares if you think you will look stupid? I bet everyone else is saying the same thing, but you know what they said that you didn’t? Why not?!
These are just a few suggestions, I can always offer more. But, ultimately self-love can only come from you. And you will notice as you go on, it’s a journey of epicness. You might find out that you have some adorable dorkableness that’s been hiding. Or you might rediscover your muchness.
So what are you waiting for?
Donna’s Twitter bio describes her as: “Southern and loud! She loves her Crimson Tide, Marvel Comics, Thai food, Martinis, old movies and books, LOTS of books”. Her journey towards empowerment & wellness began a couple of years ago when she stepped off a curb and broke her left ankle, both bones. She became aware, then and there: her body was telling her something had to change! Since then, Donna has been listening to her true spirit. When she’s not fabricating gorgeous quilts, spending time with good friends, or writing on her blog, Donna takes the time to make herself a hot cuppa tea and truly listen to her body and its needs. You can follow Donna’s journey on her blog: Lipstick, Keats, and Tea ~ Because sometimes that’s all a girl needs and on Twitter.