There is a lot of speculation these days on how to love yourself. I am no expert, as I still take to a mascara wand when I am feeling particularly scruffy, and eat a bagel or two at times when my hormones get the best of me. I have learned, though, that the best things you can do for the world can also be done for yourself, wholeheartedly. Self-love is the beginning of all of that changing the world business.
When you meet the one you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, or maybe speak to them today if you already have been acquainted, won’t you be a bit kinder to them than to yourself, this special person, who loves you just a teeny bit more than you could ever truly love yourself, just for loving you so?
Think again! Take your right hand, extend it towards your left, and share the first and last handshake of the person with whom you’re going to become more closely acquainted with than anyone else in the Universe; yourself! That’s right, baby, we’ve been taught all backwards. What is this Disney-perpetuated idea that Prince Charming or Princess Perfect exists outside of our own body, or that we need to find this person to truly love and accept the person we already are? Who is to say that your body plus your soul equal the most awesome sum of love that there was?
Can you guess what is the mega-wonderful, super sexy ,soul soaring secret that is the source of the most juicy, wonderful relationships that exist on this planet?
Well, the secret is, be a friend to yourself FIRST. Give yourself this love FIRST, and get the love you have been searching for all along.
So what is the first step? And how do we know who loves themselves and who is still learning how? Well, I am going to show you, things I have observed along the way that make hanging out with myself a much more pleasurable experience.
Ten Easy Steps to Loving Yourself
10. Get a Facial
This seems trite; what does having a strange person rub lotions and cremes on your face have to do with self-love? Well, the steaming at the end is a lovely and pleasing experience, for sure; that induces a beautiful, nap-like sort of state , where you relax inside your mind, take a big whiff of lavender, and fall asleep. How does that make you feel, reading that? Does it make you feel warm and tingly, sort of like your soul is feeling super giddy and blissed out ? Yes, imagine the actual experience, self-care , and more importantly, self-pleasure, in the form of health experiences, such as spa days, exercise, meditation, etc, are great ways to give some love to the person who knows your truest love the most- yourself!
9. Open It Up
What does it feel like when you’ve been struggling with a thought for ages, and then someone finally spills the beans, and it all makes sense to you? What does the exhaling feel like at the end of a work week, or the freeing feeling after opening a super tough jar of pickles? We are conditioned for release, and this is an empowering condition. We must allow ourselves the sublime pleasure of releasing that which blocks us from truly absorbing the magnificent love that is all around us. Open up your breath, your heart, and your mind, and good things are surely to follow.
8. Treat Yourself Like a Pal
What would you do if a friend was inflicting harm on his or her self? Would you cheer them on as they did it, or would you take the time to sit with the friend, reminding them of how beautiful and wonderful you and the world thinks they are? We must be that friend to ourselves. The listening ear you need, the helping hand you seek, and the loving, gentle voice you long to find- they are all within yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would a best friend, speak words or phrases of kindness, in both public and private settings. Flourish within yourself first and the world is sure to follow.
7. Trust Yourself
When you are in danger, your body is primed for ‘fight or flight’, a reflex built into your system to protect yourself from thousands of years’ worth of predators. When you hear a small, but nagging, voice inside your heart, do you trust that voice? How an intuitive voice speaks to us is the way we speak to it. If you are not hearing the gentle, but persistent, voices in your brain telling you,’ hey, slow down’, when driving, or ‘he is not good for you’, when dating, dream on it. Sometimes, our intuition comes to us in our dreams, too, or during a meditation practice. Trusting ourselves, and trusting that we know what is true for ourselves, is the foremost important step on the path to finding our truth.
6. Embrace Your Inner Ginger
Gingers have it rough, because they are constantly asked about their skin tone, their red hair, and light eyebrows and lashes. I am not a full-fledged ginger, but as an Irish girl also knows, some don’t tan well, don’t always have eyelashes without mascara, and at least gingers are rewarded for this lifetime of challenging changes with flaming red locks. What does this have to do with loving yourself? Why not make like a ginger and love what makes you truly unique? If no one can bang a drum like you, or throw paint on a canvas like you, then love that awesomeness that you bring to the world. Trust me, if you can see the cool things that make you different and special, so can we, and we can all learn to appreciate those ‘ginger’ qualities in each other.
5. Touch the Sky
What is the most out there thing that you keep alive in your heart , burning like a steady flame, in your chest of dreams? Maybe you always knew you’re destined to be a ballet dancer, when you’ve been avoiding dance classes for years, or maybe your heart is really into water, and you don’t know how to swim. These are dreams for a reason. Part of growing up is admitting which dreams are the ones we could focus our energy on in that present moment, but it doesn’t mean we have to let the other dreams die. For those of you that want to be fighter pilots, take an aviation class! Who is to say you can’t be an American Idol judge, just on your hometown’s Idol? Touch the sky, in whatever manner that means for you.
4. Don’t Yes Yourself to Death
Yes, you can always do everything anyone asks for everyone in your life, without doing one dang thing for yourself first. If you ‘yes yourself to death’ fulfilling the needs and wants of everyone around you, what is left for you? Throw a stone your way, and yes yourself to some new shoes, a massage, or a ticket to that movie you’ve been wanting to see. If you commit yourself to the wants of the world not the wants of the one who you spend all your time with (hint: YOU), there won’t be any amazing awesomeness to spread around when an opportunity to go on a sweet vacation comes up, or a visit to a museum you’ve always meant to stop in to. Don’t overbook, and your body will thank you.
3. Take Yourself on a Date
We all have that one friend that ‘cleans up real nice’ (Sam Parker), who we know we can count on to pull out the stops when we need a date. What about cleaning yourself up ‘real nice’, and taking the toots on the town for a night of fun? What is something that you’ve needed to do for some time now, and keep putting it off with the excuse of , ‘but no one will go with me!’ Well, stop that. YOU will go with you, and you will have a great time, too! I have loads of opportunities to hang out with people whenever I want- and so do you- but maybe we really need to value more the time we spend with ourselves, doing what matters to us!
2. Whip It Out Wednesdays
Some people save the good china for company, eating off Dollar Tree plates until Christmas, and some people save the Vera Wang for the wedding. I ask you this: why be buried in your pearls when you can wear that shiz everyday? What’s the use of hanging on to stuff that doesn’t fit us, or stuff that is so fancy and nice we can’t use it at all? Time for a closet re-do: donate the clothes that maybe don’t suit you best, and start wearing the ones that do, regardless of price or fanciness. Every time you walk past the mirror, whistle at yourself. You’re a fox.
1. Go Somewhere, Alone
Understanding the purpose of traveling alone is the first step in traveling alone. The next step in traveling alone is beginning to understand the tremendous value of spending an extended period of time in your own company. What better way to show someone you care about them (you about you) then taking them on an exotic getaway* (*even if it’s only to Florida) ? I would highly recommend taking this time to catch up on ZzzzZzS, take a yoga class (if that’s your thing), hike a mountain, get a tan, and enjoy your life. You deserve it.
There you have it- how to love yourself in 10 easy steps! That was easy, wasn’t it? What step would you add?