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Holistic Living Articles & Resources

What is Self-Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me.......

WHAT IS LOVE?  THE ANSWER MIGHT BE IN THE QUESTION OF WHAT IS SELF-LOVE?

What is love?  Not just a question for the 90’s techno song but a deeply profound question that has been asked for centuries and will remain one of the most mysterious and unique of human experiences on this earth plane.  As a soul that seeks to understand the nature of love in my life, my path has continually seemed to direct me back towards self-love, as the foundation for comprehending all other forms of love.  This makes sense as we cannot be an example of a concept or emit an emotion we do not first possess within ourselves.  Due to this nature, for the sake of this article, I would like to explore with you the concept of self-love.
At some point or another in our lives we have of course heard the old wise sayings of our elders reminding us as a child that “if you love yourself then others will treat you how you treat yourself”, and then as an adult “only when you love yourself first will you find your soul mate or partner” .  While these are both true and helpful statements of guidance, I don’t ever remember being given much practical discussions as to what it really means, how it actually feels, or what it looks like when you love yourself.  Those things I have had to unveil layer by layer through trial, error and a ton of falling on my face.  It is easy to tell others and even yourself, “oh yes, I love myself, I am already there” but I have discovered that while many people (myself included) aren’t necessarily lying to ourselves, we  may fail to realize that there are multiple layers of how much you love yourself that we have not unveiled let alone actualized yet.  As we get older and wiser obviously the progression of how we love ourselves changes.  Over the last three years my level of self-love has changed dramatically.  The following examples are some of the things I took notice of that I feel significantly mark my own evolution of self-love.

WHAT IS SELF-LOVE?

STAGE I.

Admitting, accepting, and examining instead of protecting and defending the ego.
1.       Admitting you are not content with your current circumstances instead of being complacent and/or trying to maintain the “happy mask” for the rest of the world.  Giving up the importance you place on what others may think of you and what you need to do.
2.       Admit when you are out of control/don’t know what to do about something anymore and actively seeking help from an outside resource.  This means seeking out a friend, going to counseling, a support group or a church all depending on your circumstance.  This can also mean changing a circumstance that you are in, like where you live or who you are with, in a relationship.
3.       Accept that from a spiritual point of view everything in your life is the way it is because subconsciously or consciously you manifested it by the energy and intentions that you put out into the world.  This turns into closely examining and observing  your intentions, energy and behaviors honestly but not judgmentally even if they really suck.  (This is once again where friends and counseling can be a healthy mirror)
4.       Realize all the negative thoughts in a day that you have about yourself and change the way you talk to yourself and about others, from harshly critical- into the kind of encouraging, proactive statements you would tell a child who is learning something.
5.       Royally mess up everything in steps 1-3 that you just learned about 20-100 times until you just don’t like the results anymore and are fed up with paddling against your own current.  Then clean house and- ALIGN ALL INTENTIONS WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE ACTIONS IN YOUR LIFE!  This means once again taking a brutally honest inventory (despite what your ego wants to believe) of the gap between what you would like to think about, feel and spend your time on and what you actually do.
 
STAGE II.

Delaying gratification and being comfortable with not feeling so comfortable.
1.       Freedom really can be found through discipline even though it seems contrary.  If you have the discipline of delaying getting something you want in the moment for the bigger picture of what is actually best for you, than you will change bad habits one action at a time.
2.        By choosing actions that are in your best interest and rejecting all others-you are choosing to participate in a universal higher energy path that will lead to a greater experience of abundance, health and love in your world.
3.       Learn how to be ok with being temporarily uncomfortable while you are changing your habits and behaviors.  Instead of taking your uneasiness as a sign that you are not on the right path or as an excuse to give up and head to the nearest watering hole; realize that feeling slightly uncomfortable with changes, is a perfectly natural way to feel, as your ego eases into giving up past versions of the identities it has clung to.
 
STAGE III.

Having fun with self-care and trusting your new love for yourself.
1.       This kind of spiritual work of learning to love yourself in deeper layers isn’t all painstaking and uncomfortable; in fact most of it can be really fun and rewarding practices that you incorporate daily.  The importance is in little details like when you want to rush out the door instead of fixing a water bottle for yourself- think how much better you will feel if you keep yourself properly hydrated.  That is a little thing you can do daily that shows that you love yourself and want to be well.
2.       Other Fun Things to do for self-care:
a.        Go to a natural grocery store and buy about $50 worth of colorful beautiful fragrant organic fruits and vegetables, spend time picking and smelling each one.  Try eating as much of this in the next five days as possible and notice how good and vibrant you feel
b.      Buy some new bath products, man or woman go buy a new loofah or scrubby gloves, new organic natural body wash, special Epsom salts for baths, facial mask, lotions, essential oil perfumes and spend time on your bathing routine.  You can do skin brushing with a dry or wet skin brush to increase circulation and detoxify your body.  Nightly baths with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oils are so good for easing tension and increasing quality of sleep.
c.       Schedule massage, acupuncture, facials, tanning appointments- whatever you feel like, but either way it makes that particular hour all about your self-care.
d.      Meditating and journaling how you feel instead of feeling alienated or pissed off.
e.      Learn how to sprout, grow a little window garden of herbs, because knowing how to grow things that are superfoods for your body is a very peaceful and rewarding experience.
f.        Learn about cleanses and do one, you know you have always been curious! (Look for my special cleansing article to some out in spring)
g.       Buy a new workout video to do at home, dancing, Pilates, yoga or cardio or join a class!
h.      Buy some new clothes, even if it’s just at a thrift store.
i.         Go to a liquor store and pretend you are picking out the best bottle of wine for a friend and then drink it yourself with some high end smoked gouda etc. just for the sake of the fact that you deserve top shelf stuff too and more often than just on birthdays.
j.        Buy a new book and actually block out an afternoon as if it were official appointments to read it.
k.       Turn your phone off, who cares!
3.       Say no to hanging out with friends too late and drinking etc. when you know you have stuff to do in the morning or it will make you feel like crap!!!
4.       On this note say no to friends that upon hanging out with as you grow up and out, that you realize don’t have your best interest at heart or are just plain negative and un-fun.
5.        Don’t try and be with somebody of the opposite sex that treats you anything less than excellent, just because you are lonely, no matter how lonely!!!  This one is really, really hard but important!!!
 
When you realize all the ways you can love yourself, you will surely be more able to love everyone around you, which in turn brings even more love to you!  I hope you have enjoyed my list of things I have learned about how to better practice self-love.  I would really enjoy doing a follow up article with a list compiled from you all as my readers.  If there is something you have begun doing in the last few years that is all about self-love just for you, write to me through my website or Facebook and let me know and I will feature it in a follow up article!

1 Comment to What is Self-Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me.......:

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Irma on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:02 PM
Thank you for reminding me!
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