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How to love yourself.

Everyone is talking about it. People are saying they’re doing it. But how can you love yourself when you’re not the person you want to be?


Self-love doesn’t mean believing that you're perfect, it doesn't mean loving everything about yourself, and it doesn't mean that it's going to always feel blissful. Self-love like anything takes practice. It's a life long practice.


Self-love is acceptance of self at all times in your life,

no matter what.

Sounds so simple, right! Please remember that this is sometimes easier to do than others. Loving yourself is easy when things are going right; when you're feeling really good, when you love the way that your hair looks, when you and your spouse are in a really good place, when you're killing it at work. SO easy to love you because you love your life! But what about those other times when your world is falling apart, when things are uncertain, when you feel unfit, and when you’re having a bad hair month? Do you still need to love yourself then? Yes, especially then.


There was a time when my self worth was non-existent. Of course during this time I was in a toxic relationship. My friends helped me to see the issues in my romantic relationship and told me I deserved better. At the time, I didn't necessarily believe it, but I knew they were right. You see, when I really thought about it I was really unhappy, feeling bad and crying all the time. And I thought that if these people who loved me could see that I was suffering and said I didn't deserve it, then maybe I actually didn’t.


I started to ask myself “what would someone who loved herself do in this situation?” then I did that, over and over. One decisions at a time until I slowly began to believe that I was someone who loved herself. My life began to change as I began to change until practicing self love was just a part of my regular routine. From my journey with self-love I have learned a lot, and I'd like to share some of it with you here.


When we talk about reclaiming love for yourself it can be intimidating. An image of a perfectly-happy-Zen woman, who looks amazing, feels amazing, is super cool and has her life together, comes to mind. Then lost in our negative self-talk we compare ourselves to this image. Well that image is a total load.


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NEWS FLASH: no one has it all figured out. We are all struggling in some way, but here is the best part - you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy, or to love yourself.


Self-love is about choosing yourself.

In the moment sometimes you may forget to choose yourself, but there is always a chance to make a different decision next time.


Self-love is setting boundaries.

An ancient burden placed upon women is that there is honour in being self-sacrificing. Women give so much to other people that they’re not able to fulfil their own needs. Even as you read this you may be overcome with the discomfort of thinking of putting your needs above your family, your friends, even above your job.


For example, you have plans to go home and read a book, but then your best friend calls you and she's in tears. What now? Maybe you change your plans for a friend but how often are you doing that? Does everyone really need you that bad? If you’re there for everyone else, who is there for you? If you are giving everything away to others, what is left for you?


I suggest filling up your own cup first so you can give the overflow to someone else, not empty the contents of your whole cup for someone else. What does this mean? Prepare up front, do self care first. Do what you need that gives you energy so you can show up for others.


Self-love is about being gentle with you.

Choose to say nice things to yourself after you see all your “flaws” in the mirror. Shed some damn love on that cellulite, your arms, your face. Then after some time practicing this maybe you stop the negative thoughts before they come out your mouth. Soon those thoughts will be less loud until one day they're just a quiet little easily ignorable murmur in the background, as you gaze at your beautiful self in the mirror.


Self-love is about being real with what you want.

Being honest with where you are at and owning it. Own your truth even if what you want kinda embarrasses you a little.


It's also about knowing when you're forcing things; it's about not doing things just because you feel like you have to do them. It's about challenging yourself to take action that feels uncomfortable instead of not acting and feeling resentful. It's knowing to let go of things that you know just simply aren't working for you. It is about choosing to let go of limiting beliefs even if you still believe them to be true but know they aren’t good for your wellbeing.


Self-love is about taking care of you.

When you have a million different responsibilities calling for your attention but you honour what you need. It's about taking the time for yourself and being real with what it is that you need. It’s about being brave and saying no when you need to. It is knowing that whatever is not a HELL YES! is a HELL NO!


Ways that we can demonstrate self-love;

· Self-love is about asking for what you want despite feeling like a burden or inconveniencing somebody.


· Self-love is about asking for help and being willing to receive help when it's offered to you.


· Self-love is about being real with yourself and acknowledging where it is that you’re telling yourself a story and where it is that you are letting other people tell you a story.


· Self-love is about walking away from something that is no longer what you want without shame or guilt or feeling like a failure.


· Self-love is about finding parts of yourself that you really do love and letting that shine through.


· Self-love is about more than just your physical appearance. It is also loving your emotional, your mental, and your spiritual bodies as well.


· Self-love is celebrating your successes! No matter how small you think they are.


· Sometimes, self-love is about faking it till you make it!


It starts small. Little acts of kindness towards yourself. Self-love can start with you choosing to eat better or even doing the opposite. Indulge once in a while, give yourself chocolate for dinner and let yourself have that beautiful glass of red wine on a Tuesday night because yeah, it's not the weekend, but you really, really want it. SO have it! (Unless you have a healthful reason to not let yourself indulge), what is the worst that could happen? You bring yourself some joy? Own it! Don’t beat yourself up, don’t feel guilty just enjoy. Eventually those little loving decisions turn into habits and those habits start to create huge waves in your life.


Self-love for me helped me to realize that I wasn’t my mistakes, or even my own dark thoughts. That took me a while to understand, and it's still tested to this day. But you know, sometimes when you slip up, or relapse is when you can truly appreciate how much you've grown. Engaging in an old pattern from a refreshed loving space helped me to see how much loving myself changed my whole outlook. Eventually it was a no brainer that I would pick myself, that I would pick my own happiness. When I made these decisions the universe brought me more that mirrored this love right back to me. I no longer felt disrespected in my life because my self worth wouldn’t allow for that to be in my space. That's when I knew that this practice was critical in my joyous life.

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It starts with the small things, until we gain enough love power inside to take the big leaps of self love like leaving a bad relationship, or job we hate. This may not be easy at first but please be gentle, we weren’t raised to love ourselves so we have some rewiring to do. From day one we learn to be ashamed of who we are, to hide imperfections, and to conform. All of this programming takes a while to unravel but that should not keep you from practicing self-love today. Start small and know that you deserve to love the person you naturally are. You are the perfect you to do all that you came here to do.


Tell me in the comments below what you are doing today to express love within yourself.


All my love, K

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Katie Hunt spiritual life coach

Hey! 

I'm Katie. 

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I healed my depression using energetic tools, and now I get to help other women do the same.

 

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