Someone once said that the greatest feeling is to love and be loved in return. Love is created and given way, but what do we keep for ourselves? Radical, Unconditional self love. In other words, unchanging, extreme and true love for yourself. Most of us hear self care and love and think: Bubble baths! Some of us are hard on those we love because we want the best for them. That is love too is it not? It is not one or the other, but both. A spectrum of emotions, activities and perceptions create the existence of self love. It is a balance between going easy on yourself and tough love. Without discipline, we would not be able to complete our goals. Doing what we want for ourselves is a way to show ourselves love too. Sometimes, we have a hard time seeing ourselves for what we are. One way around it? Think of someone you love dearly. Someone who when they tell you they feel sick, you go “rest, fluids and soup!”. Got that person in mind? Great. That person is now you. When YOU do not feel well, tell yourself like you were a friend. “MY body is feeling run down, I need rest”. We are all doing our best with the information available to us. Look below to see if there are any areas you could improve to further support yourself.
Common Obstacles to Self Love:
Self Compassion - Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Know that you are on a journey and that being human means to learn. We fall but we get back up. We fail, but we try again. It is never too late, never too hard and never impossible. Self compassion has been proven to help with building resilience, optimism, easing stress and coping with procrastination habits. One way to ease yourself into self compassion is to journal/ write a letter to yourself of things you like about yourself, or things that do not like and how it is okay. Speaking honestly to yourself from a place of acceptance and love can change how your subconscious naturally thinks of these topics.
Mindful living : When you have a strong sense of self, you become immovable. Discovering what you want can be difficult in the face of adversity and outside pressures. Understanding you, is a path of self love in itself. What you want, feel, think? What are you passionate about? Knowing this will help you design your life mindfully.
Control Your Mind: Your subconscious controls the majority of your everyday feelings, actions and thoughts. These are all designed by pre-existing experiences, roots of knowledge that grow deep and establish a foundation that will support you every day. Most of the time, it is super helpful! With some training and mindful activity, your subconscious can be your best weapon. Activities to control your subconscious involve mediation (walking, sitting, coloring), saying affirmations and mantras, and creating vision boards. Grateful living: Everything you are, everything you can become, give thanks. For example, your body does do much for you every day. It is in-taking nourishment, moving, growing, evolving and repairing. Your mindset is everything. Breathe deeply, exhale. Feel your heartbeat, beating solely for you. Consider spending time to write 3 things you are grateful for each day, it will train your subconscious to identify positives over negatives. Another writing prompt I enjoy to use for this is your blessed percentage. This is more of a personal feeling of how well off/ grateful you are. What percent blessed are you?
Identify your Ego: Ah, the good old ego. The part of us that straddles both the conscious and unconscious, uniting them. The ego, when healthy, allows us to strive and achieve our goals. Basically, it gives us our sense of self, autonomy from this big world we are all connected in. When out of balance, it can cause isolation and feelings of loneliness. You can use your ego in a way that motivates you in the areas you wish by making it part of your identity. Your ego protects your sense of self. Be cautious, letting it become an integral part of your behavior can create a wall, blocking out any information that your ego disagrees with. This is called the confirmation bias, where your brain identifies that in which it agrees with it, and tunes out the rest. Ultimately, the goal is to deplete the ego. Becoming less of an individual and identifying more with the whole of a group can lead to feeling of inclusiveness, joy and community. We are not just our name, personality and desires. We are humanity, earthlings, one. Ways to deactivate the ego is to surrender control in certain situations, learning to go with the flow of the group. Another way is forgiveness. Whether it is fixing loose ends or meditating on it personally to release tension. Negative feelings create walls between those we connect with. Having resentment, no matter how close you still are, will always come up when there are opportunities to grow together. Let go of negative feelings, a sense of control and need to be right. When it comes to getting rid of the ego, it really is not about you. It is about the whole. Physical self care: You are not your body. Yes you read that right. You are a sentient being having an experience via a body. The body itself has a life mission: to repair, learn, grow. Everyday it needs nourishment, healthy activity, sleep, intimacy and connection. Our lives often revolve around work. How many of us forget to eat, cut back on sleep, avoid connection? These are necessary to our bodies well being, which is the vessel in which we can complete our personal goals. Love your body, it has and will give everything for you. Always. Self Respect: Simply said, keep what makes you happy and release what does not. This is more than speaking up for yourself. Respecting yourself, is respect of your: Time, Energy, Boundaries and Friends. In this world, two things are limited: Time and energy. Things that do not serve you drain you. Setting healthy boundaries for yourself and having those who support you are key to showing yourself the love you deserve. They say the 5 people you keep around you become a melting pot of you you are. Do those around you improve you or harm you? Forgiveness: I could go on and on about forgiveness. As a human race, we are hard on others and ourselves. We forget that we are here to develop, evolve. We are born to learn from our mistakes! Read that again. Forgiveness is not about forgetting the lesson. It is about releasing the hurt the lesson gave you, allowing you to put that energy towards something new. You can forgive and let back in the love, or you can forgive and love yourself. Both are perfectly valid. It might not be easy, but ask yourself these questions. Was the hurt intentional? If not, can I find it in my heart to allow them to learn from their mistakes? If it was intentional, is this someone who is hurting? Is this someone who will support me moving forward? Intention Setting: What is the purpose, if there is no intent? You do not need to know where the finish line is, each step it will become more clear. The important thing is to know what you want, and make strives for it each day, no matter how big or small. When you start living for yourself, you begin to feel good about your decisions and success. Simply, people who choose to spend time getting to know themselves tend to be happier, more optimistic and more compassionate to themselves and others. Acting on the things you want will lead to fulfillment and joy over resentment of listening to others and having regrets. Take care of yourself, you are the only version of you we have and you are important.
Citations: Khoshaba Psy.D., Deborah. “A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love.” Psychology Today,
Sussex Publishers, 27 Mar. 2012,
Cherry, Kendra. “The Role Ego Plays in Your Personality.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 10 Oct. 2019 Holmes, Lindsay. “5 Science-Backed Reasons It's Important To Love Yourself.” HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/love-yourself-science-study_n_5900878.