“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” –Buddha
Love isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. And when it comes to self-love, there is no denying the fact that unless you love yourself, you can’t expect others to love you. We all knows our flaws and insecurities, and one of the greatest ways to overcome them is loving oneself.
I had a major setback in my life a while ago when I met with an accident and broke my leg. I used to be an active person, I had my health, I was going to the gym regularly, I had a job. But this turnaround put me on the bed for over 5 months. I could no longer do the things I used to be able to do. I lost my ability to love myself and this caused a major depression. In order to uplift myself, I first had to look at my pains and the origins of it.
Sometimes it’s not just the actual problems but the way we perceive them to be. My inner-self judged me as a complete failure and my life had to look the way I wished it to be, before my inner self could actually love myself. Even though my inner-self had given up on me, a gentle voice of my spirit remained which guided me towards healing, love and happiness.
It reminded me about examining what I believed in and if it could create happiness in my life.
I had always been fond of writing and always wanted to have my own blog where I could paint my thoughts with words. They say, only those who care about you can hear you when you are quiet. There was my close friend who heard my silence and fortunately we shared similar interests. Since then we started our journey of writing for us and for others. We started looking one problem at a time in our life, searched our own spirit for advice and put them in words. We continued this process for four months and what we achieved was not just a website but something we wished for and cared about. Despite our health did not allow us to do certain things in our lives, look towards the brighter perspective.
I am fine now after 8 long months since the accident and every single word we read is a reflection of the journey towards self-love, doing things that made us happy. Even more amazing was watching what a creative process was teaching us towards self-love and something beautiful it could create in return.
Self-love should also not be confused with unconditional self-love, which boosts unwanted ego n believing others are worst compared to us. Unconditional self-love cares just about appearance, wealth, needs, ego and power, while the spirit cares solely about bringing happiness and hence good health.
Below are some areas which I lacked towards self-love which you can relate to:
1. Saying No and setting boundaries
We worry that people will stop liking us if we do this. There’s only one person in this world you would have to please, and it’s you yourself. Those who walk away because of you not setting boundaries, do you really want them anyway?
2. Not accepting the way you are
Acceptance is realizing that your non-acceptance won’t change anything.
3. Judging your feelings
If you ever feel the guilt of anger,envy,jealousy then never judge it. Feelings are just indicators of how you are responding to a situation.
4. Trying to’fix’ rather than ‘enlighten’ oneself
Take things slow and have patience towards self-improvement.
5. Being unkind and impatient with the self
Remember the time you made someone feel special and the way they reacted to it. React the same to yourself, even with more vigour and happiness. You would be surprised how often we are ‘cruel’ to ourselves.
6.Listening to your Inner Critic
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. Don’t let your own critic overpower you. Fight back with self-love.
7. Comparing yourself to others
Remember Dr. Seuss: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You!”
True self-love is not about standing as a critic in front of ourselves but standing along as one true friend and supporting ourselves throughout our life. Let’s be less concerned about the approval of others and just work towards being the best person we can be.
Learning to love yourself may be an entire life’s work, but we can achieve the real joy when we realize that not only we deserve love, we are love.