Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All You Need Is (Self!) Love!

Self-Love is not the same thing as vanity. But, we often get it twisted! Vanity and narcissism are actually the opposite of self-love, as they are based in fear and lack. It is when the ego mind wants to make you feel special or better than others and thus creates illusions to support the idea. It's when motivation comes from hopes of gaining attention or acceptance rather than coming from the heart and done with pure intentions. Confident people who love themselves unconditionally do not think they are better than anybody else. Contrarily, they tend to see the beauty and oneness in all. Having true love and acceptance of self allows you to love and accept others more deeply, as well as receive love more fully.
If you want to give yourself all the love you deserve, here are some tips to put into practice:
  • Believe this: You are meant to shine! Many walk through life blending in, afraid to tap into their full potential, and living watered-down versions of who they are meant to be. It is true that our biggest fear is not being inadequate but rather of being powerful beyond measure. We all have our own unique gifts to offer the world -- let 'em out!
  • Practice mindfulness to develop true sense of self. Practicing being still and in-the-moment helps us to become more aware of our inner voice, what we stand for, and who we really are deep inside. Many identify with material things like titles, awards, degrees, and the actual physical body as definition of self, but the essence of who we really are actually is what we find in our heart and at our soul level. Get to know the real you and you'll be thinking, "What's not to love?!"
  • Learn the difference between self-love and being full of oneself. Don't let limiting beliefs you've picked up over the years or the insecurities of others trip you up and make you believe you are sporting an inflated ego just because you have inner confidence and self-acceptance. Here's your reality check: If your intentions are pure and come from a place of love, you're in the self-love zone -- keep going! On the other hand, if your motivation is to try to feel special or better than someone else, than your ego is in the driver's seat -- turn around and go back toward love!
  • Practice good self-care. This can take place in many forms: Eat clean, exercise regularly, treat yourself to massages, and carve out time to partake in soul-nurturing activities. Just like when you're dating someone -- they have to show you love, right? Likewise, by taking good care of yourself, you are showing yourself that you do care and that you are worthy of love. You will, in turn, reflect the same message to others and attract the right people in your life who are going to love you back.
  • Forgive yourself and others. Resentment is sure to suck the love right out of your heart. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools in your spiritual toolbox, so practice the "f" word often. This means cutting yourself some slack as well as letting others off the hook. In both cases, you are just hurting yourself more. Forgive and move on.
  • Honor and protect yourself. Eliminate toxic relationships and activities that lower your vibration. Positive and supportive energy helps love to flourish.
  • Live your truth and don't mind the critics. Depending where others are at in their own journey, they might not be comfortable with or supportive of your self-love and confidence. This is because they are lacking self-love and confidence! Somebody will always have an opinion to share. But, when it comes to matters of following your heart, yours is the one that matters most. Never let anybody else dull your sparkle!
  • The mirror trick: Say, "I love you." Okay, this one is totally weird at first and it will probably trip you out to look at yourself and say these three words! But, it drives home the point of how hung up and uncomfortable we can get about loving ourselves. Try it a few more times. You should be able to look into your own eyes, say "I love you," and mean it!

Having self-love makes you more resilient and able to bounce back from a stumble. It really is the cornerstone to allowing your dreams to come alive, to attracting healthy relationships, and to living a full life. As the Buddha said, "You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." And you do. Until next time... wishing you much love of self!

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