My Journey to Self Love
‘i love myself.’
When I was a child, I was never taught to love myself, only to love others. This is what society teaches us, that we must put others’ needs first and that it is wrong and greedy to put ourselves first.
Yoga taught me otherwise.
Now, I firmly believe that we must BE SELFISH TO BE SELFLESS.
When I discovered yoga, I finally learned what it meant to love myself. This was after 25 years of putting others first. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of all because it is the one upon which all others are built.
During my early 20’s, I had a difficult time in my romantic relationships because I was asking my partners to show me love, and no matter how much love I received, it was never enough. No amount of love from another person was going to fill the void inside me because I didn’t love myself. Nothing anyone said or did was going to convince me that I was worthy of love because I didn’t love myself. I didn’t even know what that was, how to do it or where to begin.
My first real epiphany about self-love happened after I read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book completely changed my perspective on life and love. Hay states that self-love can solve many of the world’s problems. The real reason why people do anything is because they want to be loved. When people hurt others, they are in desperate need of love and they just don’t know how to ask for it. When people abuse themselves and others, it is an outcry for love. Hurt people, hurt people.
If there were classes in our elementary schools that taught us to love ourselves and take good care of our bodies, hearts, and minds, the world would be a much more peaceful and loving place. World peace begins with inner peace. We must work on ourselves, go inside, and bring about transformation.
What is self-love?
Self-love is checking in with yourself, asking how you are doing and being honest with the answer. “Today, I’m not doing so great.” Ask yourself what you can do for yourself to make it better. If someone isn’t there to give you hug, give yourself a hug. When you feel unsupported in your life, find ways that you can support yourself. Instead of blaming yourself or others, or playing the role of victim, try to find a solution.
What can you do to make the situation better?
What can you do to support yourself right now?
Get in touch with your inner child and talk to him/her everyday. Your inner child reflects your heart’s deepest desires.
Take time out each day to do something just for you (even if it’s only for five or ten minutes). Quiet, uninterrupted, no distractions alone time is so vital for mental clarity and inner peace. This is a great way to practice self-love.
Louise Hay recommends the mirror as a great tool for practicing self-love, “Because the mirror reflects back to you the feelings you have about yourself. It makes you immediately aware of where you are resisting and where you are open and flowing. It clearly shows you what thoughts you will need to change if you want to have a joyous, fulfilling life.”
You can practice your positive affirmations in the mirror or whenever you see your reflection throughout the day.
Here are some examples:
I say yes to today
I am willing to make today the best day possible
I am blessed
All is well
I prosper at every turn
Life loves me and I love Life
Everything that happens today is for my highest good
Everything I need to know is revealed to me at the perfect time
I am loving, loved and loveable
and i said to my body.
softly, ‘i want to be your friend.’
it took a long breath. and replied,
‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.’
At first, it might feel fake and silly, but just keep up with it, for at least three weeks. Plant the seed for new and better habits. See what begins to grow in the garden of your heart.
In love and om,
P.S. Join me on retreat at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand January 6-13, 2018 for Yoga & Meditation Magic, where we will be exploring the inner space and cultivating more self-awareness and self-love through the yogic practices of pranayama, asana, and meditation. For bookings and info, click here.