We all need a little Self-Love

“If I asked you to name all the people and things you love… How long would it take for you to name yourself? How many of you would really name yourself in say the top 5 or top 10? My guess is all your family members and close friends would probably be at the top of the list. Some of you might not have even listed yourself. As we come upon the ever commercialized “holiday” of love, I invite you to approach it a little differently this year. There is no doubt that many of you are really good at showing others love and how much you care, especially when you are able to put aside the day-to-day obligations that we all have. But, what about YOU? Can we really love others to our full potential if we do not love and nurture ourselves? I’m not saying that you are not loving and caring enough of others. I’m saying that you have even more capacity. There’s a reason we’re told to put our own oxygen mask on first before putting it on someone else. When we do not love and nurture ourselves first, there are holes left in our soul and we can become more drained and exhausted. When we start with ourselves first, we are better able to give.”

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Start small with a new self-love regime.

Invest time in myself. I will set aside planned time for me. Taking some “me time” to do things I enjoy and that renew myself isn’t selfish, it’s vital. I am at my best when self-care is a priority. When I need love, I will dig it from within. I can find even more capacity to love and give to others by loving and nurturing myself first, to soothe and heal wounds in my soul that can drain and exhaust me.

14 journaling to-do items for a self-love month of preparation before Valentines Day:

  1. Love with a holistic approach – how can I feed my mind, body and spirit?
  2. Pick one thing you love about yourself and make it your mantra. The ideas will grow from there.
  3. Remind myself why I matter.
  4. Self-love fortifies against external criticism or comparison.  “Comparison is the thief of joy”  Care less about other people’s opinion and instead, live life aligned with my own values.
  5. I can praise myself and show gratitude for the many gifts in my life, especially the gifts that I give to the world. I build and act upon the good within me
  6. I STAND UP FOR MYSELF. How can I improve my assertive skills and respond with stronger self respect?
  7. I choose not to be a part of the problems or chaos around me. Developing inner peace is better for my stress level and allows me to help when needed.
  8. I set boundaries – I say “no” when I do not want to do something even when people are disappointed.  I say yes to the things that are really important.
  9. I acknowledge the good and the bad about myself.
  10. Self-love is forgiving myself. What do I need to forgive about myself?
  11. Self love is also self-awareness. I will recognize when I am being unloving towards myself. Brainstorm how to change course from unloving to loving.
  12. It’s up to ME to bring as much happiness into my life as possible, I can’t put that on someone else. Make a list of what I do that makes me happy and reference it when I need a happiness boost.
  13. I love myself enough to know when I need to ask for or accept help. What do I need help with? How can I ask for help?
  14. Through self-love I make more courageous and conscious decisions  that honor myself and my values. What big decisions are ahead of me?

“We really are not taught the ways to love ourselves. We are shown what it means to play nicely with others, to be a compassionate friend and a dedicated student. I was taught to respect other people and be a steward of nature. I was shown what good manners look like. But to love myself and say it out loud? Not really…LOVE plumps everything up. It infuses all living beings with radiant, confident, kind energy. Love … can transform us into something whole and strong…Just think what could happen if we oozed that kind of love towards ourselves each day. Imagine how differently we would thrive in our work and connect with our family and friends. We have the power to fill ourselves up with the magical medicine of love and when we feel full, our ability to give to others grows…be the kindest and most loving friend in the world to the person

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