Self-love begins with acceptance. It is anchored in an awareness that the totality of who you are is every-changing and infinite. What you were in the past is not who you are today. You get to choose who you are and how you will BE YOU in this life; one choice at a time.
Just as the rocks upon the sand lay silently until moved by the waves, so too is the evolution of self. We don’t expand our self awareness until we allow ourselves to open our hearts, consciously untie from outcomes, and accept change. As unknown as the future may be, if we sit still, we will never be anything other than what we are today. Infinite possibilities occur when we let go and have the wisdom to accept uncertainty.
Practicing self-love is not a narcissistic activity, it is the path that leads us to connect with others. It is practiced with compassion not competition. Here are ten key life awareness practices that will help pave the way to your true self.
- Think Thoughtfully
Be aware of what you put between your ears. What you pay attention to is what you create. The brain is a highly skilled system and freely makes room for what you tell it. So, if you are feeding it a diet of junk-thought, rethink what it is you WANT and start thinking more about that!
- Forgive Yourself
The path to forgiveness begins with forgiving yourself. We are humans without an operating manual so cut yourself some slack. Once you can forgive yourself, you will open your HEART to forgive others. Forgiveness is for SELF, not for others. Letting go makes room for something other to come into your life… like LOVE.
- Set Boundaries
Boundaries give us a sacred place to BE. They are not meant to keep others out, but rather they protect YOUR-SELF in a place of equanimity, and peace, where you can restore your TRUE self without distractions or worry. They are built from LOVE not fear.
- Create Your Inner Circle
These are your loved ones who always have your back, who will tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. They will make you laugh, and they will cry with you. They are your soft place to fall, and the hand that will reach out and help you back up again. Nurture these relationships and be there for them as they are for you.
- Practice Your Pleasures
Enjoyment is necessary for a healthy and passionate life so be sure to invite it into your life on a daily basis. It can be as SIMPLE as pausing to admire your garden, a quite cup of tea with no one other than your own magnificent company. It is also the pleasure of doing things that matter because they don’t matter for anything other than making you feel better. A walk on the beach, a phone call to a friend, or a book that you learn nothing from other than the pleasure of using your IMAGINATION.
- Listen to Your Soul Sister
This is your Intuition. It’s your most devoted companion and is omnipresent. Pay attention to this part of you. Honor it by recognizing that ALL of you is not just what you see in the mirror, it is what you see WITHIN.
- Speak Up
Knowing that your opinions, ideas, values, and passions matter is both an obligation and opportunity that we all share. We are a witness and a participant in this world. Just one act of kindness or compassion has a rippling effect far beyond the sound of your voice. It is part of a chorus that makes up the sound our planet resonates. Make YOUR voice part of this beautiful earth song.
Disconnect to reconnect. Look around and take account of how many electronics are filling your home and work spaces. It’s an onslaught of signals, messages, and tones that take over our senses. And the more we get use to sleeping with our phone under out ear the less we use them to listen to others. So, challenge yourself to DISCONNECT for at least one day a week. And if that too much, start with one hour. And have a conversation looking into the eyes of your companion instead of the inbox of your computer. Reclaim your senses and unplug!
- Write a Love Letter to Yourself
Pour yourself a cup of tea, or glass of wine, turn on your favorite music and pull out your pen and paper, and in your hand, write yourself a love letter. Write it from the perspective of OTHER. This is you speaking to you as though you ARE the other person. Then write a second one from YOU to YOU. This is the perspective of what YOU love about YOU. Tuck them away for a day or so before reading them. Make it a special moment and relish in all the reasons and ways you love yourself, the ways others can and do love you, and in the ways that you want and desire to be loved. This is your HUG to SELF.
Our bodies are nourished and fed through daily physically activity. Your muscles need fresh oxygen to remain healthy and strong, and your mind needs the same to think clearly and effectively. Move your mind by consciously looking at a problem or challenge from a different angle. Just taking a 20-minute walk will reboot your blood flow, refresh your brain power, and restore a sense of calm to both mind and body.
Thank you for your message. It comes to me at a good time. I have had a tremendous hard time through out my life, especially the past ten years. I lost my mom, dad, sister, and have been widowed. I mixed in with the wrong crowd and became a meth addict. I was blessed to have served my country and turned to the VA for help with my substance abuse, PTSD, depression, anxiety and homelessness. What is left of my family has disowned me. My treatment with the VA began in 2014, and I have been clean from drugs since 22 July, 2014. I am currently doing my last program, the compensated work therapy, (CWT), and I manage the transitional residence for the VA. In the near future, I will be beginning my life journey on my own. I need to practice everything you have written above. Thank you again for the great message.