I think there are so many misconceptions about what self-love is, that people shy away from it because they think they're getting it 'wrong' or struggle to know where to start.
(I completely get that, i've been there)
And one thing I will say from that before you read any further is that self-love isn't a destination, it's something you have to choose over and over again.
It's a daily commitment to yourself, that in itself is an act self-love.
I feel that growing up, any form of self-love was seen as vanity, arrogant or that you're 'full of yourself'. None of these are true. In fact, I don't think I ever heard the term 'self-love' being used at school, or in my teens, only "she loves herself"... you know the ones.. 😒
It was frowned upon to show any form of love or kindness to yourself, but it was expected of you to show love and kindness to others, like what's up with that?
I remember in my 20's it was almost 'cool' to be cynical and to loathe yourself, I remember feeling like this most of the time. After some reflection, I think the reason was because if things went wrong, you screwed up, made a mistake, you were already in a lack mindset, so the blow didn't hurt as much. But that's no way to live.
Like "yay, she's putting herself down!" 👏🏻 said no-one ever!
And from there, we're all trying to unlearn all the BS information we've been fed around self-love being selfish etc. It's time we learnt how to speak kindly to ourselves, how to be compassionate, gentle and patient with ourselves. These are the things that should be taught in schools and celebrated!
So let's go back to the beginning. What is self-love?
Firstly, it might mean something different to everyone. To me self-love means being there for myself through it all, the good and the bad. Showing kindness and compassion even when I get things wrong or make mistakes - it hasn't always been this way, it's taken a lot of unlearning, relearning, practising, failing and trying again (and I use the word fail lightly)
I also feel there is something that sits under self-love and that is self-compassion. Self-compassion is the absolute foundation to all of it whether it's self-love, self-trust, self belief, self-respect, etc..
With self-compassion we're able to hold loving space for ourselves, listen and feel into what is coming up for us without judgement and being able to take action rather than suppressing our emotions. We can turn inwards with love and know that things will be okay.
If we don't have love for ourselves, we make it harder for others to love us, we also aren't able to show love to others truly and fully because there's a lot of resistance you're keeping hold of within yourself, to let love flow with abundance.
Once you can let that go and offer yourself love and compassion, that's when the magic really starts to happen, not only to you, but everyone around you.
I call it the self-love ripple effect.
Now you know what self-love is, do you know how to practice it and show it to yourself?
If not, stay tuned because I'll be giving lots of hot tips on this soon!
I hope you've been kind to yourself this weekend.
And if you're finding it hard, you can always send me a message and we can work out where to start your journey.
Ps, I have some exciting things coming soon, so stay tuned. To make sure you don't miss out, subscribe to my emails where you will also receive a free meditation of mine 😊
Sending big big love, Laura x