Self love 101
What happens when you fall in love with someone? You want to be with them all the time, you want to know everything about them, you want to give them the world, you want to help make their life better and destroy anything that upsets them, you want them to have everything they want in this life, and you want them to be happy. We are basically going to apply all this on ourselves.
Loving yourself is loving life. When you love yourself, you don’t dread being alone. You look forward to your alone time. You feel curious to get to know yourself better, your limits and what you like and what you don’t. You feel that you are worthy of all the amazing things you want in life, so you make sure you have them. You walk the walk and talk the talk because you want to give yourself everything you want and deserve. And it feels incredible.
I treat myself how I’d treat the person I’m in love with: with compassion, curiosity, and excitement. I’m being understanding if I feel I need a break. I’m curious to know if I will like this new experience or this new place. I’m excited to see the person I’ll become.
My journey of self love accelerated soon after a breakup because I realized that I was gladly giving all my love and energy to the man in my life and I had to find somewhere else to put all that love once we separated. This opened up new experiences for me, like being my own partner. I learned for once how to keep things to myself – like I burnt my arm while making cookies and I used text about these kind of stupid little stuff. Now I just put ice and move on.
When I decided to give all my time and energy to myself, my work, my craft, realized that this self love thing is such an integral part of life that it’s stupid that I waited until I was out of a relationship. It just takes a shift in your mindset and you definitely don’t have to wait until you don’t know what to do with yourself.
You are responsible for making your day, everyday
When you’re in a relationship and have a bad day, you expect your partner to make you feel better. And they usually do, with some nice words or little surprises. When you don’t have that person, you have to be that person. You know what, no, even if you have that person you should be that person!
So lately, I’m responsible for my own happiness, I can’t expect someone else to come up with a plan or kiss me or tell me that they love me to make my day, so I make my own day. I take myself out for a walk around the neighborhood, do my writing at a coffeeshop, have my coffee at the park, I try new restaurants by myself. I buy flowers, I write gift cards when I buy something. Because why not? Anything for my love if it’ll put a smile on that face.
Change your space as well as headspace, it helps a lot. I moved some furniture around and got a new shelf and new plants and hanged the cloud we DIY’ed for a photoshoot. I now have this little altar thing going on and I love it! I light up candles and set up a mood for myself. We don’t have to be with someone to create a nice romantic environment.
And you know what else makes our day? Positive talk. We have to be nice and positive to ourselves. Don’t tell yourself what you wouldn’t tell a friend. Don’t put yourself down, it doesn’t help anything. Believe in yourself and your dreams and be your biggest cheerleader. Fake it till you make it if needed. Just think how you’d react if your best friend was in your shoes and be as supportive of yourself as you’d be of them. We are way nicer to others than to ourselves and I don’t like it.
Tell me you’re not one of those people who can’t accept any compliment. You tell them they look beautiful and they are like, “no I look awful, my hair is a mess and I feel bloated, but you look amazing I love that shirt on you!” I am so annoyed when people can’t accept a compliment and revert the compliment back to me. I see your beauty, I see your value, I see your awesomeness, why don’t you? Why can’t you just believe me when I say you are beautiful? Our understanding of beauty doesn’t need to be the same. The fact that I just told you that means you gave me such positive energy that I wanted to give you some in return. Just take it woman!
It’s the same with people who have trouble accepting love. Like, you are incredible of course I love you how can I not love you? Don’t you see what I see? This goes to that group of people who are like: “Oh you like me? Then something must be wrong with you.” Come on!!
Ram Dass says that we appreciate a tree as it is but with humans there is always a certain way they could’ve been better. It’s almost as if we are wired to find something off about anyone and make it a big deal. Especially with ourselves. In reality, remove the society the systems the institutions, we are just like these trees. We are just uniquely us and that’s it.
Getting to know yourself
Loving yourself starts with knowing yourself. What makes you happy, what doesn’t? When you know those stuff about yourself, you know what you should have more of in your life. You know the kind of relationships you want to be in. You don’t put up with toxic people or settle for less than what you want. You know your strengths and what sets you apart from others, so you can leverage them in whatever you do. If you don’t really know who you are or what you want, you are more willing to give unnecessary situations more of your time and energy, which is seriously all we have.
Once you know yourself, you can set healthy boundaries with the people around you and protect yourself. You know when to say “I am better than this” and walk away. I feel like I include a quote by Carl Jung in every video recently but my man Carl says “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” I totally agree and add that the decisions we make are directly related to our relationship with ourselves and our self worth because if you love yourself, you won’t put yourself in uncomfortable situations and if you know yourself, you know which situations make you feel that way and you avoid them.
Be mindful of why you are doing what you are doing. Think about all the patterns in your life. Think about the people you let in your life. If you don’t feel yourself worthy of say an emotionally available person, you’ll attract the unavailable ones. And it will keep happening until you realize that the change has to happen in you. Life will keep repeating the same lessons until you learn from them. You have to realize that your time and energy is the most important asset you have and you should give it to the things that make you happy and feel fulfilled and not that weirdo. Similarly, if you think you are not appreciated in a certain situation, why are you still in it?
Because the more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate. If you don’t see your own value, people think they can treat you like trash. If you give out this energy like I am awesome, then people usually agree.
Messing up is necessary and powerful
I remember the times that I didn’t like myself as much. What was troubling me the most was that I thought I was vanilla. I thought I was just this neutral person that didn’t make any change in the room I enter. I thought there was nothing special about me. Now I realize that it was the case because I didn’t know what was special about me. I honestly didn’t know what made me me. I didn’t know who I was. And you wanna know how I learned who I am? I got to know myself through my pains, heartbreaks, and all the awful things that happened over the years. My bad experiences taught me way more than the good ones.
And I mess up, occasionally. I do stuff that I regret. I give myself reasons not to like myself as much, for sure. But at the end of the day I always try to find a silver lining, this can be something like if I didn’t do this mistake I wouldn’t have learned this, or now I know how I actually feel about this. Self love comes with self acceptance so if you did something a certain way, then that was the best move given those circumstances. That’s what you chose to do in the moment, I get that you’d do differently now, but it’s important to give yourself credit even if you mess up. Stop beating yourself for it, you didn’t know any better. You know better now.
Instead, look at all the stuff you learned. Take a look back. Your heartbreaks, your loves, the biggest conflicts, the things that scarred you. What did you learn from them? You learned that you can’t tolerate that one thing. You now know that certain kind of a relationship makes you very happy, and some not. With every icky situation you learn more about who you are as a person. So that you don’t make the same mistakes again. This time it doesn’t take you years to recognize a situation that you don’t feel comfortable in and this time you won’t put up with it another day.
Respect your decisions, respect yourself. You did what you knew best then. Don’t burden yourself over your past actions. Be better now. Fix them now. Not one day, now. Make the decisions that your 80-year-old self will remember and will be proud.
I’ll let Carl Jung chime in here again: “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” Every mess up is an opportunity to face your traumas and fears, and you’ll recognize the same in others and be more compassionate towards their mistakes, too. At the end of the day we are all trying our best and we all just want to be happy despite our less than perfect sides. Love yourself with all of your angles.
And there is power in learning from your mistakes. Remember how painful something was in your past? But you made it through. All our past loves, lost ones, old friends, childhood memories made us who we are today. This is your story, with the good and the bad. How can you not love it?
When you love yourself
It’s no secret that I had a rough year last year and now I want every day to mean something, I want to feel that I’m living and not just spending time on this planet. You will see this snowball effect when you love yourself, you’ll see how everything is connected. When you love yourself, you want to take things to your hands. Because you want to create the best life for you, just like you would do for your person. You don’t put up with anything that doesn’t serve you and do more of the things that make you light up. Because that’s what you do when you love someone. And you have to love yourself. That’s non negotiable.