“I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” – Walt Whitman
“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
This is Part 1 of the 2-part series on deeply loving and appreciating yourself.
I am guessing that you are juggling many different roles in your life.
While taking great care of everyone else at home and at work, you may sometimes feel a little left out.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Kindness, politeness and genuine warmth towards others are wonderful habits to practice.
However, you may become eager for some love and appreciation directed towards you.
How can you avoid feeling burnt out with the constant giving and not receiving enough love and appreciation back to sustain your heart and spirit?
Here are 13 practices to immediately take charge of loving and appreciating yourself.
1. Love Yourself Unconditionally
“The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.” ~ Hafiz
Allow yourself to drop the conditions that you have created to love yourself. Let go of: “I will love myself better if I am…” and choose to accept yourself as you are.
From your vantage point, you may not be able to see your own greatness.
You may have gathered some dust on the journey of life but your true nature is radiance and pure genius. Step into your most radiant form. Continue stepping into your radiance till it becomes second nature.
The amazing Louise L. Hay, one of my favorite teachers, says:
“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”
Become aware and catch yourself if you are placing conditions on loving yourself completely.
Make a list of all the preconditions and restrictions that you are placing on loving yourself completely. Then continue to delete or let go of that list.
Release the idea: I will love myself if I do this or become that.
Instead, choose to love yourself unconditionally in the moment and continue to make subtle changes to improve your life from that point onwards.
Here is an Affirmation that you may choose to use in you life: I love myself deeply and unconditionally, I am insanely grateful for who I am and what I have and I radiate the warm beauty of that self-love and gratitude to the universe!
2. Do Something Nice for Yourself Today
“Self love is the elixir of an immortal heart.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree
Even if it just taking a few minutes to relax and unwind, allow yourself to take some “you” time. Take care of yourself today and make a habit of it and the various aspects of your life that need fixing will fall in place.
You will be more energized and present to deal with the problems of life when you allow your desires and little wishes to be fulfilled.
When you take the time to regularly do something nice and nourishing for yourself, you are better available to address the needs of others. If you continually place others before you, sooner or later you will feel the burnout and resentment.
Ask yourself: Are you allowing yourself to have a few moments and some time to unwind and do the activities that nourish your body, mind and spirit?
Ask: Am I on give, give and more give mode? Take some of the “give” time and transform it into “me time.” Explain to others that you can give better if you have some self-time for yourself.
3. Give Yourself the Amazing Gift of Self-approval
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Instead of hoping and wishing to receive kind words and approval from others, give yourself the gift of kindness and self-approval.
Detaching yourself from the burden of wanting approval from others is like dropping a big load of weight from your shoulders while on the journey of life.
The relief and energy you feel and gain back by self-approval is immediately perceptible.
Realize that there will always be people who will not approve of you.
Instead of outsourcing approval to others, establish a solid core of self-approval and feel and act from that core.
4. Don’t Take Self-criticism too Seriously and Choose To Go Easy on Yourself
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
If there is one major lesson I have learned from life, it is that we take criticism too seriously and have a tendency to be very difficult on ourselves. How would you treat a beloved best friend? Why is it that you do not offer the same courtesy to yourself?
Become aware of the areas of your life that you are allowing criticism to get to you and as a result you are beating up on yourself.
Choose to let that go of self-criticism and self-blame and flood your consciousness with love and self-compassion.
Is there a voice inside you that is always ready to jump on the bandwagon of criticizing you?
Realize that you can choose to not engage with the self-criticism and thoughts that put you down.
Louise L. Hay explains that we are all doing the best we can with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we have. Remembering Louise’s advise works wonders for realizing that we need to go easy on ourselves.
Allow yourself to make mistakes and play in this world without too much self-criticism.
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”― Deborah Day
5. Be Insanely Grateful for Yourself
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart
When is the last time that you thanked yourself? Take a few moments to thank yourself and feel the gratitude permeating your consciousness.
Thank yourself for being such an inspiration and thank yourself for everything that you do and that you are.
A very powerful way to thank yourself and love yourself is an affirmation that I learned many years before from Louise L. Hay’s wonderful books and audios. The affirmation: “I love and approve of myself.”
Deep, heartfelt gratitude is a wonderful way of nourishing your spirit and giving thanks to yourself.
Deeply feel and be thankful for yourself and who you are today.
Make a list of 3-5 items about why you think that you are an amazing person.
Be grateful for your amazing body that breathes on its own, for your astonishing mind that is more powerful and intuitive than any supercomputer we know and the tireless spirit and inspiration that moves you.
Read Part 2 here!
Now over to you. Please let me know in the comments below if this post resonated with you? What do you do in your life to deeply love and appreciate yourself?