Oh man, I am a sucker for love. I want love so bad, and I want it in every form. However, I have never felt like I got enough from my peers and family, and so I was always left feeling unsatisfied, and overall, unwanted. In the past couple years I have been working on myself-love techniques. I figure if I love myself enough I will be able to will myself to a better place, and surprisingly it has kind of worked. In the spirit of sharing love, I have decided to write an article on the 5 ways I practice self love.
1. Taking care of my body
This step covers all of the basic things. I never skip a shower for class, nor do I frequent all nighters for tests. Don’t get me wrong, doing these things once in a blue moon isn’t the worst thing one can do for their body. However, I feel like when I start sacrificing basic functions I do to live a normal happy and healthy life that other things in my life will start to tumble as well.
During fall finals I had a motto that started as a joke, but by the end of the week I truly meant the words I said. The motto was, “I forgive myself, and relinquish myself of all blame.” The second part is a little much since, you know, it was my fault that I didn’t study. However, the first part really kept me afloat that week. “I forgive myself.” I feel like oftentimes not enough people take the time and energy to truly forgive themselves for the things that they did. The day I started to have empathy for my past self, everything stopped feeling so permanent. I no longer feel entitled to all of the burdens of my past. I forgave myself, and so I am free.
I am a very impassioned person. I feel all of my emotions ten-fold. When I am angry, I am furious, when I am sad, I am devastated, and when I am happy, I am overjoyed. Now this is all great and dandy when the emotions I am feeling are positive; however, when they are negative they are borderline crippling. In the past, I handled these emotions through unhealthy food, complaining, or drinking. However, I am now starting to handle them with self-reflection, often in the form of meditation. Nine times out of ten when I leave my meditation I feel calmer and usually more positive. Meditation has been a huge coping tool for me, and I am very grateful I found it when I did.
4. Allowing myself to feel
Going off of the meditation step I think it is important to bring up the fact that I still allow myself to have those negative feelings, I just no longer allow those feelings to control me. I think oftentimes in society we are taught that pain, sadness, and anger are things that should be fixed. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think that when one feels a negative emotion they should first seek to control it, but right after, seek to understand and accept it. Allowing myself to feel bad, has significantly reduced the amount of time I actually experience those negative feelings.
5. I am who I want to be with
I used to dream of perfect dates, and exactly how they would go. I would walk into flowershops and instantly imagine a loved one handing me the daisies, but leave empty handed. I would argue one of the biggest ways I practice self love is by treating myself how I have always wanted to be treated. I give myself gifts, dates, flowers, and anything else you can imagine. I regard myself gently, and with empathy. Anything I want to do with someone else, I have learned to do by myself. I deserve better than a life spent waiting on somebody to love me when I have always had the capacity to love myself.
In conclusion, how do I practice self love? Well, I stop wishing things for myself, and start actually doing them. I make myself a priority, treat myself kindly, and then everything else seems to just fall into place.