Updated: Mar 22, 2022
Self Love is the foundation for the practice of Spirituality and is essential for your healing journey. Many of us have gone our entire lives disillusioned -never realizing that we have NOT been very loving to ourselves. We are born into a society that molds + shapes us from birth - from our parents, to our teachers, to our friends, our lovers, our bosses....We have been conditioned to become different versions of 'ourselves' to satisfy the expectations of those around us. We do what others want us to do. We say what others want us to say. Most of us have lived our entire lives based on CONDITIONAL love from other people. They will love + approve of us IF we do/say/think they way they want us to. As a result, we have abandoned our true selves in order to obtain ''love. Awareness awards you the gift of becoming mindful of your relationships, raising the question, "is this truly LOVE? Is abandoning my thoughts + belief systems as a means to obtain approval really based on LOVE?" Upon reflection, many of us soon realize that we have unconsciously deprived ourselves of the the very love we spend our lives seeking outside of ourselves. Here are a few tips to get you started on your Self Love Journey.
1. Become mindful of the people you are allowing into your reality. Take a good look at the people in your life at this current moment. Family, friends, co-workers, spouses, neighbors...anyone who plays a role in your reality. Wayne Dyer says there are two types of people in this world - "Fountains + Drains." Invest some time assessing the relationships in your life, and think of where people fit into these two categories. Think about how you "feel" after you leave an interaction with any particular person. Do you feel uplifted, confident, supported, worthy, and loved? Or do you feel irritable, insecure, negative, hopeless and exhausted? Everything is made up of energy. Your body is made up of infinite intelligence, and the emotions you feel act as your guiding compass. Self love requires brutal honesty - sometimes we 'force' relationships to work, based on past personal history, belief systems, or wishful thinking. Remember- it is a PRIVELAGE for someone to be in your life. Choose wisely. Allow yourself to let go of relationships that are not serving your highest good, and have faith that your are creating space for new people to enter who are better 'aligned' for you.
2. Treat your body like a temple. Your physical body is the vehicle that carries your soul...aka your 'skin suit.' :) We are all familiar with sayings such as "You Are What You Eat,' + "Let Food Be Thy Medicine,'....the food you ingest carries a vibration, and your cells react accordingly. When you eat high nutrient foods such as organic fruits + veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, you are sending the message that you value your body, and your body receives the nourishment as an act of Love. Do some form of physical exercise everyday. Avoid hard drugs + alcohol. Drink alkaline water. If you consume animal products, seek out food that has been humanely raised- Be aware that food carries karma. Stretch. Do yoga. Be mindful of the messages you are sending your body.
3.Become aware of your patterns. When you know better, you do better. Awareness truly is the key to personal growth. Pay attention to situations that trigger you - we are all experiencing our objective reality through unique filters, which have developed through our own personal experiences, traumas, belief systems and programming. The next time you get triggered, ask yourself, "what is the meaning I am giving to this experience? Why am I interpreting it the way I am?" Upon reflection, we realize that early life experiences ( often stemming from childhood) create an "original wound," which we continue to play out over and over again. Rejection is a very common example. For instance- a 7th grade boy works up the courage to ask his crush to go out for ice cream after school. She declines. A few years later, in high school, he apprehensively asks a girl in his Spanish class to the prom. Again, she declines. 15 years pass. That same boy is now a 30 year old man, who has never been in a relationship and is terrified of approaching women for fear of rejection. Without introspection, he would never realize that he assigned a faulty MEANING to his early life experiences surrounding rejection. I AM UNWORTHY OF LOVE. NO WOMAN WOULD EVER GO OUT WITH A GUY LIKE ME. These beliefs now shape his current reality. In truth, these girls likely declined his offers through no fault of his own - maybe they already had plans, or perhaps their parents wouldn't allow them to date. As unconscious humans, our primal instinct is to believe WE are the problem. We see through an egocentric lens and take everything personally. Self Love requires you to move BEYOND your limited perceptions- to step outside of yourself and see situations from alternate perspectives. Begin examining your thoughts and behaviors. Try to trace them back to their roots. What triggers you? What early experience might those situations remind you of? Do the thoughts and behaviors you continue to enact SUPPORT the person you want to be in this life? If not, the most loving thing you can do is graciously acknowledge your wounds, send them love and compassion, and RELEASE the patterns. Only then will you be able to fearlessly live the life of your dreams.
4. Set boundaries. This one is a game changer. We are raised in a society that teaches us CONDITIONAL LOVE. As a result, many of us overextend ourselves in an effort to receive 'love.' We attend events we don't want to attend, we go along with plans that we don't want to go along with, we allow people to vent and dump all of their emotional garbage on us when we ourselves are already burnt out ....we sacrifice our own needs to please others. And as a result, we become physically, emotionally and mentally drained which leads to resentment. Setting boundaries is one of the highest acts of Self Love you can practice. You shift your priority from pleasing everyone else, to making YOURSELF #1. Initially, for many people, setting boundaries can be quite uncomfortable - if you have allowed someone to take advantage of you for many years, they likely will not respond kindly to the new + improved version of yourself that will no longer be treated like a door mat. This is a good opportunity for you to discern people who genuinely value having you as a part of their life. Anyone who is meant to stay will honor and support your newfound Self Love journey. They will appreciate you standing up for yourself, setting limits, and making decisions that align with your highest good. They wont throw a fit of you decline a party invitation. They won't guilt you for not answering the phone when you are emotionally drained and not up for talking. You have to start filling your own cup. Think of small ways you can begin prioritizing your self today. Perhaps you kindly decline a dinner invite, instead having a quiet night at home. Maybe you hold off on responding to a long email from a friend, rather than rushing to do so because you feel obligated to. Over time, you will see your reality shift. The external is a mirror to the internal. As above, so below. When you love yourself, your external world will begin to reflect that love back to you.
Love you, XO Rachel