10 Ways to Love Ourselves More
Self-love is the most important aspect of spiritual growth. Self-love is knowing the Truth of who we are and loving ourselves unconditionally in every moment. It is living in a state of gratitude and appreciation for existence – for we are a Divine Reflection of Life itself. But unfortunately, self-love is one of our greatest struggles in life, as our culture and society define our worth by external factors and material possessions, and don’t teach us to truly love ourselves. Most of our human suffering stems from the false belief that we are not enough or worthy of love. Therefore, self-love is crucial for our survival, healing, growth, transformation and evolution; and it is the only way to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Only when we love ourselves, do we have the capacity to love another. Self-love is the beginning of all love, and our relationship to ourselves sets the basis for all other relationships. That which we seek in life, whether it’s awakening, enlightenment, wholeness, success, health, peace or happiness, can only be found through self-love. If self-love is the foundation which we build our lives upon, we can reach our full potential and live a life filled with passion, purpose, joy and freedom.
“The lesson of self love is the apex of all other life lessons. It is the root around which everything else grows. It is the spiritual journey through which all other journeys are realized.” ~ Teal Swan
Self-love has nothing to do with narcissism, arrogance or self-indulgence, but everything to do with kindness, empathy, compassion and acceptance. Self-love is a personal commitment and requires self-awareness. It is a process of removing everything that blocks the flow of love. It is a journey of healing, understanding and growth. Here are 8 ways we can learn to love ourselves more today:
1. Knowing Ourselves
“Know thyself so you can love thyself.” ~ Unknown
The journey of self-love begins with honoring ourselves for who we are at the deepest level of our being and knowing what our existence means beyond the physical form. This awareness is essential to the process of transformation and personal growth. We must realize that at the center of our existence, we are pure loving consciousness, already whole and complete. As we expand our awareness and move beyond our limitations, we step closer to our true selves and begin to reflect the Love and Light that already resides within us.
2. Being with Ourselves
Our whole life consists of doing, and we seldom slow down to be with ourselves. Being alone with ourselves means being present in the moment so that we can merge with our Divine essence and realize our deepest Truth. The greatest way to practice self-care is to take time to be alone, to be still and to quiet our minds. Meditation is a powerful practice that allows us to connect to our essence and rest within our own being. Reaching deep within, we discover the purpose for our existence. In stillness we meet that part of us that knows that Love is always present within, as we are a divine reflection of it.
3. Accepting Ourselves
Self-acceptance is a state of total non-resistance of the self. It requires us to commit to loving every aspect of ourselves regardless of our external circumstances. We commit to love all aspects of ourselves, including our own limitations, egos, judgements, addictions, and imperfections. Self-acceptance is about letting go of our attachments to ideas of perfection and how we should be in the world. It is about accepting ourselves fully, unconditionally, here and now with all of our flaws. Only when we accept all parts of ourselves, can we completely and unconditionally love ourselves.
4. Forgiving Ourselves
Forgiving ourselves is essential for developing self-love. It requires self-compassion and the willingness to let go of guilt, shame, and remorse . By forgiving ourselves, we are able to acknowledge our mistakes and intentionally take responsibility for our actions, without blaming and judging ourselves. Self-forgiveness brings inner peace and allows us to move forward as it frees us from the bondage of the past. Forgiveness increases our love and compassion and thus our sense of happiness, freedom and well-being.
5. Befriending Ourselves
“It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.” Unknown
We look for friendship, companionship and comfort in others but often we don’t know how to be a good friend to ourselves. We are often in conflict with ourselves and constantly doubt and judge ourselves, not extending enough empathy and compassion to ourselves, like we would to a friend. We have to trust ourselves enough to be a our own source of support. We must let go of self-criticism and offer love and kindness to ourselves, especially when life gets challenging and we are faced with negative emotions. If we treat ourselves the way we want to be treated by others, we will manage to be our own best companion.
6. Advocating for Ourselves
In life we have to learn to rely on ourselves, to stand up for ourselves, to speak up for ourselves and to advocate for ourselves. Being our own advocate means knowing our worth, our rights and our choices. This sometimes means saying no and setting clear boundaries. It means walking away from toxic relationships and letting go of the things that don’t serve us. Self-advocacy is all about looking out for ourselves while still respecting and valuing the role others may play in our lives.
7. Believing in Ourselves
To believe in ourselves is to know our worth and being aware of our gifts, talents, unique qualities, and all the wonderful things we have to offer to the world. To have faith in ourselves we must remove negative self-beliefs, self-doubt, self-judgment and self-sabotage. We must be aware of our thought and feelings and how they are reflected in our realities. We must become mindful of our inner dialog and consciously choose self-loving, compassionate, empowering words, for our souls are always listening. Affirmations are a wonderful way to align ourselves with our Truth and focus on all the qualities that we wish to have manifested in our lives.
“I love and accept myself exactly as I am now.” ~ Louise Hay
8. Trusting Ourselves
“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
To love ourselves is to fully trust ourselves, trusting in our own inherent goodness, knowing that we can always depend on ourselves no matter what life brings. To develop self-trust we must be honest with ourselves and live authentically. When we play certain roles and wear certain masks in order to fit in, to be accepted or to please others, we lose the connection to our true selves. When our actions are aligned with our core values, we foster a deeper connection with ourselves. Extending kindness to ourselves increases self-confidence and lessens our need for approval. Loving and caring for ourselves not only increases self-trust, it also deepens our connection with others.
9. Appreciating Ourselves
In life we all wish to be appreciated and often look for validation outside of ourselves. But until we learn to appreciate ourselves, we will continue to get hurt and disappointed whenever we don’t receive the recognition, praise or approval we seek from others. Most of us undervalue ourselves and are not aware of our self-worth. Self-appreciation is about finding all the thing about ourselves that we are grateful for. Most of us possess many beautiful qualities that no one else possesses, but we often overlook them, as we are busy comparing, judging and criticizing ourselves. We must embrace our individuality and realize that we each hold treasures within that are a perfect gift to the world. We have to learn to put our attention into loving and appreciating ourselves unconditionally.
10. Freeing Ourselves
To free ourselves means to transcend the ego and to liberate our souls. Freedom begins with letting go of all of our attachments, including our image, status, possessions, desires, ideas and beliefs. Attachment is believed to be the root of all suffering. The more we cling to our attachments, the more confined we are within our own restrictions. Freedom is attained through non-attachment, detaching our Higher Selves from the limitations of the ego. Furthermore, freeing ourselves is about letting go of control and surrendering all of our needs and desires to the Universe.
“True freedom is found when we surrender whatever keeps us bound.” ~ Annette Duveroth
Love and Light,