Most of us know by now how important self-love is for our emotional health and physical/mental wellbeing.
We’re often bombarded with an avalanche of books, videos, seminars and workshops discussing the importance of loving ourselves. But, while most of us understand the concept of how self-love works, realistically, how much do we truly practice it?
The fact is, we live extremely busy lives and are constantly under pressure these days. We’ve become accustomed to juggling the incessant demands of our work, family, social and personal lives.
We spend an hour or two at the gym, meditate and practice yoga, convincing ourselves we are ‘on’ it. Meanwhile for the other 22 – 23 hours, we run around like headless chickens caught in a never-ending cycle of pressure and stress.
Over committing, over-working, over-giving – over stimulated. It’s not our fault – it’s the way life these days has evolved.
Where is the love?
Where is the balance as we slot self-care into the fast lane drive that our lives have become?
What happens to us when we lose ourselves in the demands of life, and more importantly, what happens to our relationships?
How is it truly possible to have a healthy loving relationship with another person without first having created a healthy loving relationship with our individual selves?
When I asked myself these questions I was guided to write my own story Sunshine in Neverland. While writing about my journey, it became crystal clear that although we all have our own individual life stories, we share very similar human experiences and can easily relate with each other. After all, pain is pain, whatever and wherever the source comes from.
When we connect to our story without judgement, it helps take us out of the concept of self-love and into a deeper bond with our own true heart. With this, we gain clearer insight and the ability to access our soul wisdom along the way. In addition, we build compassion on a bigger scale.
As each one of us courageously embarks on our own inner journey, whoever we are, wherever we have come from and whatever our experience, all of us have the ability to reach a place of deep inner peace, truth and love.
Loving yourself – it starts with you. But what does that truly mean?
In all the situations you are in, or have been involved with – you are the common denominator. You play the leading role.
We send unconscious messages to ourselves the whole time and these messages will be reflected back to us from the outside world to help us see and learn something about ourselves. If the message being sent is “I don’t matter” or “I’ll get to myself when everything else is done and everyone else is looked after”, the world will continually reflect this back to us until we eventually get tired enough to begin bringing ourselves into the equation. Only then can we see that our happiness and life matters, and, is just as important as the happiness and life of everyone we know and love.
It’s all about balance.
This doesn’t mean you don’t care for others – it simply means you care a little bit more for yourself.
Become your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy.
Our true friends are interested in us. They listen to us, want to get know who we are and what we love. They support us in our lives. Our job is to give ourselves the same level of respect as a dear and true friend would give to us. And give to our-selves the same love and respect we give to our most beloved friends.
Therefore we must listen and hear what is good, right and true for us. Otherwise, how can we get to know what we need far less give it?
What we can do to create the Real Deal!
The 5 Simple Steps
Following the 5 Steps to self love – not just now and again or even daily but consistently on a moment to moment basis — takes us from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ the real deal of self love. Practice, practice, practice and use as a tool when necessary.
To even be in the position to self-love, we need to stop. Or to put it another way – breathe.
Before any decision or action is taken, stop and breathe. The purpose of this is to check in with yourself first to see where you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This offers a moment of space to step back from any drama before we react from fear or a people-pleasing habit.
Stopping offers us the ability to respond to a situation from love, value, truth and honour. It’s the first step to loving ourselves.
Remember stopping doesn’t necessarily mean stillness. Our minds can be full of irrational thoughts even when we have stopped.
Stillness requires focus, practice, and presence. Being rooted in the present moment allows us to land in stillness and places us in the position to listen and connect to our truth on a deeper level before we make a decision.
With listening we get closer to honouring ourselves but in this step, our fear-based ego minds can still come up with many reasons, excuses, explanations and justifications to override ourselves at this point. To honour our-selves truly, we must drop deeper into the next step and hear from the compassion of our hearts. This allows us to have the same compassion for everyone involved. We hear our truth with our HEAR(T) which is the next step.
Hearing is listening with our hearts, our honesty, compassion and kindness. It includes us in the equation and delivers the message to ourselves that we also matter. It helps us make decisions to honour ourselves and others.
Taking action without first listening and hearing is usually reaction and it’s likely you are repeating the same habits as before from fear, habit, or stress. Taking responsible action, from a place of presence, honour and connection to a deeper truth delivers the message to yourself and others that you are on the ball with living from self-love, value and respect for yourself. If you have it for you – you will have it for everyone.
“When you awaken to your own inner power, you become the light in the darkness and are able to see the way through to the other side, bringing Sunshine into your own personal Neverland.”
Here’s to you becoming your own best friend.
For your life, love, and your eternal honour.