“Love thyself”; we all know this aphorism, but how to achieve it when the chips are down? Loving yourself is one of the most important spiritual practices out there. Contrary to what some believe, self-love has nothing to do with narcissism or egotism. Nor is it blind worship of each and every one of your actions or does it give you carte blanche to misbehave and be nasty to others.
Self-love means loving all of who you are. All of who you are. That is including those bits that you find are unlovable, the parts of you that you tend to judge, ignore, despise or wish away. Well, no one said it was going to be easy. That’s why it’s called a spiritual practice. Don’t worry if you fail once or twice or time and time again. Just pick up where you left off.
Loving yourself means being loving and compassionate and understanding with each and every aspect of yourself. The worthy part and the unworthy, the giving part and the taking part, the lenient part and the judgemental. All of it. How to go about it?
Imagine you were to split yourself in two and one part of you were you as a parent and the other part were you as a baby. Treat yourself gently but firmly, the way you would with a child. This is no reason to let yourself off the hook. You still ask yourself to live up to your higher version of your Self but now each time you make a misstep you smile gently, you pick yourself up from the floor like a toddler that tumbled over and put yourself back on your two feet.
We are all students in the school of life. We don’t need punishment, rigidity and aggression. What we need is love, kindness and compassion. Give yourself what you would like to receive.
As within so without. If you wish to attract love, acceptance and abundance in your life, that is what you need to give to yourself first. Loving yourself is taking responsibility for the experience you’re having in life. Loving yourself is the first and firmest step on your way to healing and becoming a powerful manifestor in your life.
Do what it takes: ask for what you need, indicate your limits, say yes when it’s yes and no when it’s no, meditate, eat healthy food, have a lie-in, give yourself some time off, treat yourself to a massage, buy yourself a gift. Treat yourself as if you were your most devoted lover.
What do you need to let go of to love all of who you are?
Written by Mieke Beurskens