There’s a lot of talk out there about Self Love. The advice goes like this: the only way to truly love others is to love yourself. That can sound a little ego-maniacal and selfish but it may, in fact, be the most beautiful way to live Life.
Think of Love as a light. When the light is on inside your soul, you can see clearly and light up the darkness around you. If your light is dim, it’s hard to see and you look for the light in others to brighten your way. Depending on the light of others can lead to emotions like jealousy and fear because we never know if the other’s light will turn off, leaving us completely in the dark.
So how do you turn your love light on? Perhaps it’s hard to know how to “love” yourself without understanding what the word Love means to you. How do you define Love? We can probably agree that the love we want is passionate, compassionate and respectful. Are you showing yourself that kind of love?
If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, it’s time to stop. We’ve got a couple unique ways to light your way to Self Love.
When was the last time you did something and thought “wow, I feel great”? Drop a pin on that and do more of it. That “wow” feeling is the emotional result of fulfilling a passion (or part of one). Is it coloring, yoga, dinner with friends, coaching or teaching, skipping, sledding, swimming, performing? Whatever brings you joy, just do more of it. Those moments of bliss build you to being a completely passionate person.
Giselle Mari is a wonderful Jivamukti yoga teacher based in Northern California. In one of her workshops, she had our class hold poses, like Warrior II, and focus on a memory that gave us a certain feeling. Then we were instructed to be with that emotion and let it flow through us and out our fingertips. Her helpful advice and symbolic sequence was about “feeling the totality of the emotion”. If you are sad, be sad and cry it all the out. Give yourself compassion to feel it – all of it – because only then will it dissapate.
When you put on a happy face and suppress how you feel, you aren’t honoring your soul in that moment. Showing yourself compassion for how you feel, even if you cannot explain it or justify it, wipes the emotional grime away and lets your light shine brighter.
Who do you respect and why? You probably recognize them as individuals with integrity and values. This will show up in your life when you say ‘no’ to something you really don’t want and accepting something that you really do.
Remind yourself of these thoughts (or mantras) for integrity and self-worth:
Love, like anything, takes practice and gratitude. Treat yourself well and, when you do, give yourself thanks for the time and care you have taken. Love yourself with passion, compassion and respect… light the way to a life of Love.
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