For the past month we’ve been talking about Self-Love…what it means, what it looks like, and how we express it in our lives (or not).
Summary of Previous Articles:
“How to Love Yourself First”— The series kicked off with a story about dating the “wrong guy” for way too long. Why did I stick around for so long? Bottom-line: because I didn’t love myself enough. Three important questions were posed in order to help you determine how (if) you love yourself.
“Are You Constantly Searching for Love? Here’s One Sure Step to Finding Love”— In this post, you will clearly see what it means to love yourself…what it actually looks like in concrete terms.
“She Learned to Love Herself…And So Can You”— Using the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to introduce self-love, we quickly shift to the HOW TO of self-love in this post.
“French Fries and Fingernails”— Last week we looked at how self-love comes in all shapes and sizes. How sometimes it’s the small, random acts of kindness we offer ourselves that speak the loudest. We also heard from two readers who shared how they struggle with self-love and the tactics they use to overcome their struggles.
Topic with No End
This has been a huge topic. One I’ll never really be “done” writing about or exploring its importance in our daily lives. But for today, I will wrap up this series on self-love by sharing the candid, and sometimes extremely raw insights that you shared with me. And finally ending this post with a list of your self-love practices.
Deserving Self-Love or None At All
Here is a message I received from a reader:
“I read your post where you asked me to share how I love myself. I thought about it, and chewed on it and chewed on it, and finally decided I don’t love myself. And I can’t even figure out how to get there from here. In thinking about this, you’ve put me back on track with where I need to be.”
And another: “I have thought about it, and I just don’t know the answer. I think I am just too far from there right now. The only thing I came up with is, if I were in a relationship with me right now, I would dump myself like fourth period French. True story.”
Through the humor, I see the honestly. I’m sure you see it, too.
More honestly: “I wasn’t going to reply but this really touched me. I realized about a year ago that I didn’t feel I deserved to be loved. I was stubborn as a child and my parents just didn’t get that. Therefore, I felt defective and unlovable. I’m thankful to know that this is something I can heal and I am very motivated, excited and scared about this journey. I’m trying to focus on the little things like sitting down and having a cup of tea in the afternoon even when the house is a mess. I am also working on truly letting go and not taking things personally.”
Likewise from another: “I continue to “practice” loving myself. From [age] 7 to 45 I lived in fear and certainly did not see myself as someone who DESERVED to be loved. After a chosen shift and surrendering, I truly love myself and all others, while trusting that all others love me, whether conscious or not. The “practice” comes when I forget and need to choose again to love and be loved.”
And then there were the qualifiers. I struggled to love myself until after I:
- Turned 50
- Survived breast cancer
- Recovered from a horrific car accident
- Divorced my spouse
- Divorced my parents
- Went back to college later in life
- Had a near-death experience
- Learned to see the world through the eyes of my grandchildren
There were also the general self-love statements received from you:
“It is impossible to be loved by anyone else, when you do not love yourself.”
“Basically, most of what I do is because I am better for the world when I treat myself well.”
You all are excellent teachers! Thank you for sharing so freely and openly—even sharing your vulnerable truths.
Continue to investigate how you show yourself love. Become aware of when you’re loving yourself and when you’re not. Ask for help if you need it. Grow into the loving being you came into this world as. Think back to that child, that baby in the pictures…you were pure love. Reach back and grab that—you are still pure love.
Would you like some concrete self-love examples? Here are quite a few, supplied directly from you, the Trust Life Today readers.
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating well
- Watching movies
- Dating my husband
- Doing what I love for work
- Working on my relationship with my children
- Nurturing friendships
- Nurturing my spiritual self
- Honoring the seasons
- Finding beautiful trails to walk
- Resting under the trees on my hammock
- Using botanicals and elementals (immersion in water, building a fire) to heal my body and soul
- Starting out my day with a cuppa joe and a daily ACIM [A Course in Miracles] lesson while sitting in my big comfy chair, wrapped in my comfy blanket
- Collecting beautiful things outside with my three-year-old niece to create art or to build something
- Loving/accepting/finding peace with myself occurs when I can actively affirm that I am living a life of integrity that conforms to my own personal values
- I find that meditation supports self-love. The silence and detachment are reinforcing. At times the strength of self-love may wane but we need not be discouraged, since this is part of the process. Believe and trust, the sunshine will return.
Go in love, loving yourself first.
Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed this series on Self-Love. If you haven’t signed up for your weekly dose of Love and Trust, please do! I’ll only send you original posts I hope will inspire and ignite your heart.