When building relationships with others, getting to know them is important. When making friends, you learn about their interests and bond with them over your similarities. When creating romantic relationships, vulnerability makes the connection stronger. When you are with family, being yourself is expected and encouraged.
However, the relationship that is the most challenging to maintain is the relationship with yourself. The same way you build a relationship with others is the same way you build a relationship with yourself. You learn about your interests, be vulnerable and honest with yourself, and accept yourself for who you are at your core. It is the essence of self-love and the blueprint to creating more of it.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when trying to cultivate self-love.
Surround Yourself with Positive Energy
While self-love may be worth the journey, it is still a demanding process. Getting to know yourself can uncover childhood traumas you did not know existed and feelings you were unaware you felt. Thus, to combat hard feelings that may arise, reassuring yourself that its leading to a positive outcome can keep you going.
One way to motivate yourself is by surrounding yourself with positive reinforcements, like quotes, vision boards, or energy items. KimonoGirl’s kimonos are a great example of an energy item because they are charged using frequencies and crystals to ensure that the people wearing them align with a higher vibration. Positive energy is healing energy, so when you surround yourself with it, you create a comfortable environment that is safe for expressing vulnerability leading to a deeper connection with yourself.
Take Care of Your Own Needs
Often when building relationships, you are tasked with the responsibility of others. In school, you learn to be weary about how you treat those around you. If you are making too much noise or sitting too close to a classmate you are inconsiderate. In the work place, you are conditioned to cater to your boss's desires and standards, often ignoring your own. You take care of your parents as they age and your children if you have any. The problem is that the one thing that isnt taught is how to take care of yourself. Your needs go beyond what you choose to eat and how you exercise. Taking care of your needs also lies within caring for your mental, spiritual, and emotional health. By attending therapy, you can cater to your mental and emotional needs. By grounding yourself and practicing mindfulness, you can satisfy your spirituality. Keep in mind that it is okay to prioritize your needs sometimes in order to keep going.
In the same way you must figure out your needs, your interests are also a key element when practicing self-love. When you're constantly surrounded by people, its easier to do things that others like. You will watch your siblings favorite show with them to spend time together. You might listen to music that your friends recommend to you. You're also likely to gravitate towards eating foods that your family consumes. We become an amalgamation of all the people we surround ourselves with, leaving no room for us to create who we want to be. What do you like, because you like it? What makes you smile? Think about these things, and try new activities that spark your interest.
What no one mentions about self-love is self-acceptance. It is easy when observing the people around us to point out all of their good attributes, but when it comes to ourselves, sometimes we lose sight of what makes us special. Placing others on a pedestal and comparing yourself to them can lead to negative self-talk. Self-Love, however, prompts you to look at all the things about yourself that you dislike or feel insecure about and embrace them completely.
You are the sum of all your experiences, and this means that there is no one else in the world who is just like you. You are special no matter how you feel inside. So embrace it all, and show up for yourself the way you show up for others.
All in all, self-love is about finding balance. It is finding a balance between influence and your personal beliefs. It is allowing yourself to be how you are and think the way you think. It is about being grounded in the idea that everyone is connected and knowing that all the experiences you have been through are unique and orchestrated to make you who you are. It is about embracing every side of you, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and loving all of it because it is you. As life changes, you change too, so have grace with yourself at every stage of the way. Practicing self-love is understanding that you deserve happiness.
You are powerful, you are dynamic, and you deserve love.