Louise Hay said, “there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to know how to love yourself.” It sounds so simple, right. But why is it that so many of us struggle with loving ourselves? So many of us wouldn’t dare to treat our best friends or loved ones the way we treat ourselves. And yet, our relationship with our self is the most important one we will ever have.
We behave the same each day
You spend 24/7 with yourself and you are privy to your utmost desires and vulnerabilities. With all of this knowledge, you have formed opinions which have now become the foundations of your relationship with yourself. Unfortunately, your opinions or beliefs and your corresponding behaviours become habits over time. These habits are what we do when we are on ‘automatic’, which accounts for about 95% of our day.
These habits look like staying in a job you hate, walking past the mirror with hatred, catching red lights and saying “I can never be on time,” thinking people don’t want to spend time with you if they cancel, etc. It is all these stories that we form in our minds each day.
But we are creatures of change
The Law of Mother Nature is constant change. The seasons and the effect they have on Earth’s inhabitants are an extraordinary example of this. The rose cannot bloom all year round. Her petals fall to give herself time to rest before the next season of growth. Yet, we place enormous amounts of pressure on ourselves to be blooming all year long. If we don’t take time to acknowledge this change that we are going through or have gone through, we also miss the opportunity to make necessary changes so that next season is our best yet.
Those opinions and beliefs you have formed over time and those behaviours you automatically just do are the very ones that have kept you in a state of self-sabotage and punishment. Life is a journey, but we rarely treat it that way. We are too busy “doing” to just “be” and also too busy to acknowledge our changing Self.
Recently, my daughter asked me what my favourite colour was and my automatic response was, “orange”. This was what I always used to say. But, that afternoon I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Did I still love the colour orange? That colour represents a very different time in my life. A time when I used to walk past the mirror with hatred. Orange is no longer my favourite colour. Since then, I have changed. My preferences, opinions and behaviours have all changed. I am no longer that woman who walks past the mirror with hatred. Today, I am the woman who says “thank you”. Thank you for staying with me, for not giving up on me even when I gave up on you. Thank you for loving me despite the hate I had for you.
How to love
Our Self is remarkable. We can hate it so much and it is still there, supporting us and loving us unconditionally. Who else can we treat like that in our life and expect to hang around? When we love someone else, we are kind and compassionate. We are patient. Accepting. Generous. It is by showing the other person these things, that we show them we love them.
Put simply then – how do you love yourself? You have to take the same behaviours you would have towards a person you love, and be all of those things to yourself, and more…
Love is an act of acceptance. It is saying, I will accept you as you are and hold space for you exactly as you are; the positive and the negative. Right now though, not when you lose the weight or when you get the job promotion. Acceptance is removing expectation. It is not to be confused with settling! You can love yourself and still commit to wanting to be a better version of you. But when you plan to make changes to your life, to be effective they must come from a place of love. You will respond more effectively to compassionate, nourishing self-encouragement and motivation.
You are love
The Law of Attraction works with the energy of the Universe – the energy of Love. Everything that has been created has been created from love initially. And you are part of that. You were created from a source far more intelligent than you or I. Just think about all of the things that have been created for a moment. The sun that blankets your back, the trees rustling on a windy day, the ocean waves that carry the prettiest shells to the shore, laughter that makes your cheeks hurt, flowers to brighten a gloomy day, hugs, kisses, cacao beans… the list can go on and on.
So, if everything is created out of love, then we can assume that this source of creation is Love itself. Just like all the wonderful creations mentioned above, you and I are also evidence of Love’s creations. Something so much bigger and more intelligent than you or I has created these things. So, who are we to argue with that? Our personal opinion is irrelevant when it comes up against the realities of creation. Just as everything has been created by Love, it is all connected by Love. And it’s because of that connection to Love that we must love ourselves and be loving towards ourselves in order for life to work out in our favour.
LOVE YOURSELF – A ‘TO DO’ LIST
- Remember that your opinions are only yours – they are your stories that have become habits overtime. All you need to do, is commit to changing those habits – replacing them with better ones.
- Practice acceptance, rather than expectation.
- Remove conditions. Continue to grow and change to become the best version of you, but start being friends with yourself now before the change has happened.
- Be kind and compassionate. And just as you would be to your dearest friend, in your darkest moments is when you should be your kindest.
- Be generous with your love. There is an abundance of it available and the more you give to yourself, the more the Universe will give you too.
In love and light