In your whole life nobody has abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self abuse is exactly the limit you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abused you more than you abuse yourself, you probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in that relationship and tolerate it endlessly. – Don Miguel
These days we are constantly told what we should wear, what we should look like, the ideal physical appearance, what we should eat, drink, wash our hair with, and how we should speak. What brand of clothing, bag, shoes, and car we should drive. A bit of a “Keeping up with the Jones'” situation. Because humans seem to have this underlying need to belong, we put ourselves through unneeded pressure and guilt to meet societies, or a particular group’s expectations. If we fail to do so, anxiety, depression, and other mental and physical illnesses, can begin to raise their ugly head.
It seems Self Love has become a bit of a foreign concept. I have had a few conversations that usually end in, now I’m going to be honest, excuses. “I don’t have enough time”, “I have kids”, “It doesn’t work”, and “That sounds like some hippie, mumbo jumbo” are only a few examples. Why is the idea of Self Love such a wild and crazy one? Have we really let ‘life’ override our judgement on how important Self Care and Self Love is? Do we really not have time for ourselves?
I think it’s high time we start to practice some Self Love and get to know ourselves again. As Don Miguel stated, you will allow others to treat you, as bad as you treat yourself. Why should we be so harsh on ourselves? Your body does everything it can to stay alive, and your mind, your thought processes, are where the real issues are. The best part is, once you start making little changes, the benefits magnify. Show compassion and love for yourself and it will radiate from within and impact every other aspect of your Life.
So, take a stand, be a little bit selfish, and start giving back to your body, which in turn will heal the mind. Let’s make a few changes so we can start Living again. The best part is, it’s real easy and I’m going to give you a few suggestions to get you started.
While you’re in the shower. Stop thinking about what you have to do next and use that 5 minutes to be present and take in the scent of the soap and how the water feels on your skin. They say 5 minutes of mediation a day is a good place to start, do it while you’re in the shower. Pay extra attention to the skin in between your toes and parts of your body you don’t normally pay attention to.
Look at yourself in the mirror and pick 3 things that you love about yourself. This one is perfect for when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands. If something negative comes in to your mind, turn it into a positive.
Unplug. Turn off the tv, stop scrolling instagram and do some self-pampering. Mindfully moisturize or massage your hands and thank them for everything they have done for you, move on to your arms, and then legs, and feet.
Stretch. Your body works hard all day keeping you upright and getting you from A to B. Take 5 or 10 minutes before you go to bed to mindfully stretch out the tension that has built up during the day. Prepare your body for a relaxing sleep.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead recognise, the beauty in others. Besides, there is no-one else in this world comparable to you, so there is no point in wasting your time.
Nourish your body with wholesome foods. Try cutting out the processed foods or dedicating one meal a week/day animal/cruelty free. Give your body the fuel it needs to thrive.
Nourish your soul. Do that one thing that makes your heart soar. Get creative.
Write in your journal. Don’t have one? Start one. Surrender everything that happened and every thought you had for that day. It’s like cleaning the slate for a fresh start in the morning. Tear it out, burn it, throw it in the bin, or just leave it. Do whatever you need to in order to let it go.
Forgive yourself. No matter what it is, how big or how small, forgive yourself. If you notice that you are being nasty to yourself, stop mid thought and forgive yourself for it.
Let yourself feel whatever it is you feel. Watching television, scrolling social networks, eating, and drinking are things we use to numb or suppress the emotions that are whirling around inside. Let yourself feel those emotions and you will slowly begin to feel lighter.
Get out into nature and walk around barefoot. It is amazing how much of yourself you see in nature and how much better it can make you feel about yourself. I don’t know what it is about it that works, it must be something in the fresh air or all of those negative ions.
Take yourself out on a date. Go to the park, explore somewhere new, go out for lunch or go to the movies.
Those are only a few suggestions on ways to begin your Self Love journey. The more I think about it and after writing these things out, I have noticed that a lot of the Self Love journey goes hand-in-hand with actually Living your Life. Living your Life without your head buried in the weight of your worries or the many screens that seem to consume our attention.
Love and Good Vibes,