What if we viewed loving ourselves the same as loving others because we are all made of the same energetic force?
To love yourself has so many different meanings and connotations depending on where in the world you are, the culture, and societal expectations. For much of the world, it’s considered arrogant, self-centered, and selfish to love yourself. And that almost implies not being a good person, and generally not seen in good light as if loving yourself is associated with being unkind, and destructive to others. As if, taking from others for yourself.
But what if it meant, to be kind and compassionate to yourself so much so that the love pours out of you allowing you to give to others unconditionally?
To share the abundance of your love so freely.
From this vantage point, you’re not approaching life from a place of lack or in other words NEEDINESS. When we are lacking our self-love, we can be so depleted to the point where almost the opposite happens, we take without any excess to give. Which is where toxicity peaks into relationships. So why isn’t loving ourselves more popular all around the world?
By practicing self-love, we not only improve our life experience by creating space, and happiness in our day-to-day lives but also improve our relationships with others because we’re not showing up depleted. We improve our patience as a result of having made time for the things that matter to us and can share our time better with less irritability and more intention.
We improve our friendships, family life, our community, and ultimately the impact of more people than we know because we are acting on love and even if it’s internally focused, it creates the capacity within us where it wouldn’t otherwise exist to extend, and reach others.
The biggest realization I had most recently was recognizing how by giving myself the quality time that I wanted from a relationship, I don’t crave it externally anymore, because I’m giving it to myself now. I’ve learned how to love myself and I believe that is what attracts the love that I want.
HOW DO I LOVE MYSELF?
The biggest shift of my adult existence has been giving myself the love that I so desperately craved. Realizing that I wasn’t giving myself my love language – Quality time – was a big aha moment. Always busy, always on the go, never any downtime besides the few minutes before bed, not sleeping enough, not being present enough. WOAH, I could be talking about the qualities of being in a toxic relationship but NOPE, I’m talking about myself and my relationship with myself.
So if I truly believe that our world is a MIRROR reflecting us. HOW was I allowing myself to go on in this way? well to be completely candid, this last question never occurred to me. I was recently journaling when I had a ‘hold on’ moment… For the first time in a long time, I am NOT craving love or feeling lonely. Is this because I take time to read the books on my list, I go on a walk or run daily, write, speak out affirmations, and make time for the things I love? Yes, I’ve filled up my cup with my LOVE through these activities that are representative of my love language, quality time, and words of affirmation without even realizing it. And now my cup is full of my self-love.
There is a very popular book by Gary Chapman, called “The Five Love Languages” and essentially a guide for how to meaningfully communicate your love and care for another based on how the other person translates and receives love.
Know your love language and give yourself that love
So here we go, if your love language is:
- Quality Time. Then give yourself YOUR undivided attention by putting your phone and distractions away and doing something that you enjoy. That can be any mindful activity such as:
- Going on a walk
- Do an activity that gives you, your full energy. It’s about making time, uninterrupted, focused, fully listening, and fully present. So reflect on what that is for you and give yourself that. The thing to avoid is ignoring your needs.
- Words of affirmation. If this is your love language then words mean a lot to you, whether it’s speaking words of criticism or positivity, it resonates. Compliments mean a lot to someone with words of affirmation as their love language along with encouragement, appreciation, and praise. This is my secondary love language and I wholeheartedly stand by the power of mindful inner dialogue. Becoming aware of the words you say to yourself can be powerful here.You need to hear positive messages and avoid non-constructive criticism.If this is your primary love language, I suggest the following:
- Write words of affirmation and repeat them daily – better yet, twice a day, at morning and night
- Create sticky notes as reminders and place them on your mirror, desk, bathroom, and bedroom door so that you’re reminded and hear words of affirmation even if doesn’t come from others.
- Start a gratitude journal – words of affirmation is one of my love languages, and I personally do a lot in this category but namely, an activity that takes me less than 2 minutes in the morning and night is a combination of gratitude, affirmations and highlights of the day, using my 5-minute journal by Intelligent Change (link). You can get yours with a discount using SHOLEH10 at checkout. I have gifted this journal and I love using it myself.
- Acts of Service. This is someone who values when others do things that show they prioritize their needs such as running errands and doing small to big things that show they are there to help support and help you. If this is your love language, then give yourself this:
- Make yourself tea or coffee with your favorite creamer, or make your favorite meal for yourself. Breakfast in bed anyone?
- Organize your space, clean your room, and make your bed each day – it takes under one minute but is such a great way to start your day!
- Get items off your to-do list done
- Receiving Gifts. This love language is for anyone that feels most cared about and seen by receiving gifts people thoughtfully picked for them. Someone with this love language can also feel hurt by meaningless gifting because of the sentiment gifting is to them. This isn’t to be mistaken with materialism because this love language it’s more about the meaning and sentiment behind the gift. So if this is you, then:
- Order yourself flowers
- Get yourself something you’ve been eyeing – It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to give yourself a gift that would fill your cup
- Physical Touch. People with physical touch as their love language feel love, safety and care through the warmth of a touch, hug, or holding hands, and physical closeness in general. If this is you, then:
- Get a massage or give yourself a massage when applying lotion after you shower.
- Take a warm bath
- Get cozy with comfortable pajamas under a blanket.
- Stretch or do yoga.
- Hug yourself – I know this one sounds a bit odd but it works 🙂
Read, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman for more.
I hope this article inspires you to reflect on times you felt love and care for and find ways to emulate that love in your daily life. To love yourself is to create a dynamic shift of intentionally creating more of what you love and desire into your life experience. Ultimately activating an untouchable superpower.
What are things you do to show love to yourself? Do they correlate with your love language? Share your thoughts and comments below.