3 Simple Ways to Begin.
It came to me like a lightbulb moment. I had been reflecting on the words, “love your neighbour like yourself”. I had probably heard these words almost all my life, yet it hit me, 30 years later…. In a moment of deep reflection, “do I love myself?”. I knew I loved my family, to the best that I knew, yet in that moment, I strongly questioned the degree to which I loved myself.
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Loving myself was not something you would have heard me speak of a few years ago. Something that seems so simple, was foreign to me. All I knew at the time was my current experience – I felt helpless; I suppose at the back of my mind, I assumed I loved myself, after all, my basic needs were met and I went through day after day of life.
Yet something was still off. What may come as a surprise to people who’ve never struggled with self-love is, the idea never crosses your mind- that this could be the issue.
My turning point came when I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, in that moment, it all clicked. This simple question I posed was the start of what led to a life transforming journey, which has brought me here, inspiring and empowering others to the same.
Oh, how life has changed friend.
By reading this, I assume something has clicked for you as well. You may have had your version of a lightbulb moment and are now on the quest to discover how to truly love yourself, or at least learn what this is all about. You can’t put your finger to it, you are curious, it resonates with you in some way and you are willing to learn more.
Let’s take a deeper look at this, why even love ourselves in the first place, especially after being told, ‘loving ourselves equals vanity and selfishness’, well at least that’s the definition I knew growing up. If like me, pain led you here- a deep need to eliminate pain being a dominant force in my life to be exact. It may be a need for caring for yourself or also like me, it was love for my family, wanting to be here for the children in my life (my son, my niece and nephews), to watch them grow… I wanted to be here. No matter your why, keep this at the heart and centre.
Here's a quick lesson I learnt on this path- nothing happens till we do something, more than inspiration, motivation and enlightenment, I’m here to empower you so that you see some change and results in your life. You are reading this for a reason, why not make the most of it, right?
3 Simple Ways to Start Loving Yourself, Even When It Hurts and When You Don’t Know How.
Let’s jump into those 3 simple ways. I touch on these in the Self-Love Starter Kit, a resource I’ve created for you to kick-start your journey of love and healing, you can learn more and download it here.
Nothing happens till we do something , so it’s important to put these tips into motion.
As we go through these tips, I encourage you to use your journal, or get a pen and paper and write your responses to the questions I pose. More important than writing notes, is writing how this relates to you, make it personal.
“You are being presented with two choices: evolve or repeat” – Lisa Messenger
1. Set You Intention
2. Be Aware and Notice, and
1. INTENTION IS POWER.
Intention is what got you here. This is a simple yet crucial piece of the puzzle. It is a key that opens the door to the world you are longing for. Intention is what “miraculously” brings things to life. It’s what makes an answer appear.
Lean in while I re-tell this parable,
There’s a story of a man who sat by a healing pool each day for thirty eight years waiting for an angel to come down to deliver the healing powers in the pool. When asked why he hadn’t received his healing after sitting by the pool for so many years, he responded that he was always too late to the pool each time the angel came. The question that followed, “do you want to be well?”, is what changed everything for him; after receiving his healing, he got up healed and went his way. This is what changed things for me too. After my lightbulb moment, this story came to mind, and my answer was simple, “I want to be well”. And here I am, safe to say, I wouldn’t be writing this and sharing this with you if I had no love for myself and if I hadn’t healed from the pain based living, (more of that here).
The moment I set that intention “I want to be well”, it’s as though I waved a magic wand- event after event supported my intention, and friend, “I was hungry for change”, so whatever I was guided to, I took to heart and did what I needed to do.
Love in action
What’s your intention? Can you think of your lightbulb moment. Write this down in your journal. If you are not sure of that intention, you are welcome to pause for a moment, close your eyes and think of it…. Otherwise, you can use the same one I used and I’m sure the gentleman by the pool had in his heart, “I want to be well…or may I be well”.
2. NOTICE AND BE AWARE
What’s on your mind? Have you noticed your thoughts lately? Have you observed how you feel when talking to a certain type of person. Have your observed how your body feels when doing something you’re not familiar with?
Start to notice your thoughts. Notice your feelings. Notice yourself talk. Just notice.
As you notice, refrain from criticising. Notice and be aware. Be compassionate if you don’t like what you see.
What does this do? Awareness is power my friend, when we are aware, we have the power to change. We take responsibility and rightfully take our place back on the driver’s seat of our lives.
A few months before my “awakening” light bulb moment I had started noticing everything about myself, as an observer. I started to notice the type of thoughts that took real estate in my mind. I noticed how I was feeling. I noticed my reactions and this is what gave me the power to say, yes or no. I have the power to choose the type of woman, mother and person I want to be.
Let’s get back to those thoughts. We have countless thoughts in a single day… out of those, just a simple estimate, how many of those are ‘bringing you down’ type of thoughts? How many are not. You might be thinking, “I’ve just gone through a lot here, I ought to process it in some way”; understandably so. At this stage, we are observing, we are not dismissing, we are not drowning in them, we are just noticing.
Love in action
Write down and journal how you are feeling… an example from my early self-love days was “I recognise how I am feeling about ….. I honour my feelings with love concerning… I recognise my sadness / anger / happiness over this situation, ….” As you write it down, let the answers come to you and allow yourself to express, without suppressing.
So at this stage we’ve identified our intention, we’ve started noticing our thoughts, feelings and reactions, then what?
Most of the action happens in our minds. This is where the self-doubt and defeating thoughts come up. This is where all the action has been happening for the past couple of days, months, years or however long this has been happening for.
In my moment of deep need for change, I wanted the negative thought loop to stop, self-criticism and all that came with it, then I discovered I can do something about it. So can you.
True breakthrough came when I discovered the ability to reprogram my mind, and reprogram it for love to be exact! I discovered what I fed and nourished my mind took root and brought an amazing transformation in my life.
In addition to recognising my feelings through my journaling, I started speaking life. I nourished my mind with beautiful words, affirmations. I recognised my worth as a beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made human being and I knew I deserved that love to permeate to the deep.
Here’s the last challenge for you friend,
Love in action
Write down some feel good words about yourself. I have added a few in the Self-love starter kit, however, I have created daily morning affirmations guide and video that you can use for this. The guide has 21+ affirmations for self-love and confidence. Affirmations for a peaceful and productive day and affirmations for you to have a quiet moment. I have also created a YouTube video to go along, you can replay as often as you need. My extra challenge, repeat these affirmations daily for a couple of weeks. It took years to accumulate the thoughts we have, it’s worth giving ourselves that chance right?
“I see your pain, and it’s big. I also see your courage, and it’s bigger. You can do hard things” – Glennon Doyle.
I hope this has been of help to you friend, remember to snag the Self-love Starter Kit, a guide for kickstarting you journey of love and healing loving yourself. This includes some key must knows about this beautiful journey you’ve embarked on, journaling worksheet, and actionable prompts to get you started on this important, deeply intimate and rewarding journey of life. This is your ultimate guide to get started on the journey of self-love.
Wishing all my best,
Sending much love and light your way,
Additional Resources to Support Your Intention