I’ve been curious lately about what keeps us from self-love. I recently asked my tribe to complete a short survey to help guide my workshops over the next season. I asked people to rank, in order of importance 10 things they want to cultivate in their life. Self-love ranked first with almost 70% of people saying they want to work on it.
We are facing an epidemic of anxiety, stress and emotional distress. How much does self-love play a part in that? Whether it is the cause or the cure, I believe it plays a HUGE part.
What keeps us from loving ourselves fully? I could write pages about the media, our cultural biases, materialism etc… but these are things that are huge and in many ways beyond our control.
So what can we control?
We can control our actions!
Love is not an emotion. It’s a conscious choice to take actions that will help a relationship to thrive.
You may think of love as an emotion, and certainly when we first fall in love the physical attraction creates an energy and chemistry that is beyond explanation. As love strengthens and grows that energy settles into a beautiful balance. You feel safe and nourished. Just like planting a seed, relationships must be tended to every day. In order for plants to grow and thrive they must have adequate water, sunshine and nourishment from the soil. When you take the same care with a relationship it will grow and thrive. The better the care the stronger the roots and taller the branches or flowers.
When you think of the qualities of a great relationship you probably think of things like listening deeply & speaking openly, compassion, trust & honesty, playfulness, tenderness & affection, understanding and forgiving, wanting to spend time alone with someone. What would happen if you applied the same principles to self-love?
When I look on social media at ideas for self-love they tend to look something like this “100 ways to love yourself,” “50 self-love practices,” “25 things you can do to love yourself more.” The thought of reading a list of 100 things I could [should] be doing is enough to cause anxiety, let alone trying to decide which ones I have time for.
A good relationship takes work but it should not feel like a chore or a “to do” list.
In order to have the most beautiful relationship with ourselves we need to choose to tend to this relationship. Treat yourself the same way you would a child, your love or a best friend….
Listen deeply to your body and mind, be compassionate and tender with yourself – especially when things are tough, don’t expect perfection, laugh and smile at yourself…
What ways will you tend to your self-love?