The following habits are both causes and symptoms of self-love.
Making your own health (mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual) a priority
This doesn’t always mean “me over you,” but that your needs and health are a top priority
Taking care of yourself and your needs
If you need a day to in bed, take that day
Accepting yourself wholly and unconditionally
Not judging yourself
It’s accepting even your least favorite parts of yourself (this doesn’t mean settling, it means accepting yourself as you are and taking responsibility for your choices, habits, feelings, and lifestyle)
Pushing yourself gently and lovingly to do and be your best while keeping in mind the aforementioned points
Best means something different to everyone
“Best” for an athlete is going mean something different than “best” for a student, or a doctor, or a model, or a stay at home mom, or a cancer survivor…each of these people’s respective bests are going to be different therefore it’s important not to compare “bests”
Creating and learning to trust yourself
This means being completely honest with yourself
If you can’t trust yourself to take care of yourself, it’ll be difficult not to sabotage positive behaviors and/or to not judge yourself
The question is: Can you really love yourself wholly if you don’t trust yourself?
The way you feel about yourself is independent of other people’s approval or validation
No one can give you enough love to fill you up or make you feel worthy if you don’t give yourself love, as we’ve all discovered at some point
Conversely, no one can decrease your “love-ablity” or worthiness when you’re full of self-created-love because you’re constantly replenishing yourself
Others cannot take away from that because you have an endless supply of love inside of you
Being brave for yourself
Often times, this is in the quietest of ways, like allowing yourself to cry when you’re sad or giving yourself space from a toxic person
The ultimate self-love is treating everyone else with the same love that you give yourself
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for your relationship with everyone so if you’re treating yourself with unconditional love, you are setting the tone and the energetic vibration for a loving relationship with everyone around you.
What self-love means to me is…fighting for yourself. Fighting for yourself without allowing for surrender. There’s no option to surrender because surrendering is too dark to consider. Of course, there are times for rest. There are times for retreating, reevaluating, and changing strategies. There are times to venture alone and times to recruit help. Self-love is sometimes tears. Self-love is “no” when you want to say no and “yes” when you want to say yes and never the other way around. It is battles behind closed doors that no one ever sees where you beat back the darkness with the light. Even if sometimes the light seems to fade away too quickly. Self-love is being completely vulnerable with yourself. It’s acknowledging and looking at the shadowy parts of yourself, the parts you hide away or you’d rather not see, and saying, “it’s ok.” Self-love is a muscle, a tree, a building. It doesn’t just happen, it grows. You don’t wake up one morning bursting with self-love. You fill yourself up, one drop at a time, until it’s a regular rhythm of your life.
If you haven’t seen the documentary Hungry for Change do you and your 80 year old self a favor and give it a watch on Netflix. You might live for a million years after you adopt it as part of your life. (Ok maybe not a million. But why limit yourself?) I say that because this gives a more holistic view of the food industry, processed food, a healthy relationship with food and our bodies, and our diet. Not our diet, like the restrictive plan we do for 3 days before breaking and eating a whole pizza. Our diet, which as they explain in the film, is defined as the way an organism usually eats. Many people in the holistic health world share their knowledge throughout so you’re bound to find someone’s story that resonates with you.
I share this because this helped me shift my mindset about the food and chemicals I was putting in my body. Everything they say is sustainable and realistic. It’s about shifting your lifestyle to being more mindful and being intentional about nourishing your body, rather than just feeding it. I definitely recommend it for everyone looking for a healthier long-term lifestyle.
Grab your Purge journal, find a private place, and let’s clean out some emotional wounds!
Let the emotions and words flow freely. There’s no right or wrong. It’s possible in your journaling to connect to things that originally felt unrelated or that you didn’t want to look into. Do what feels safe and comfortable. Stretch yourself but only to the point that is safe. Remember emotions are temporary, especially if we express them in a healthy way like writing. And they become even more temporary and manageable the more we process them in these healthy ways.
For whatever reason, we tend to reject our bodies. Maybe the media got into our heads when we were starting to be conscious of our bodies. Maybe this rejection was modeled by our parents or role models. Whatever the origin, because of this many of us have engaged in unhealthy and possibly dangerous methods to reach our “ideal” body. Even when we do reach our goals this way, it’s never as satisfying or as long lasting as we had imagined it to be. This is because a healthy body is the product of a healthy, loving mindset, real nutritious food and drink, and some physical activity. And that isn’t some “live, laugh love” bedroom wall quote or #quotephase under a yoga pants wearing, pumpkin spice latte picture. I know this from living in my own personal hell and battling my mind with this every day. I had my own personal war with disordered eating, crash diets and “cleanses,” diet pills, obsessive calorie control and working out, and an extremely unkind and critical self-view. Anything that declared it could make me lose weight “fast and easy,” I was putting in my body or trying it. This obsession began at the age of 9 years old when I started counting my calories and telling myself I was too fat.