By Jackie White
We all have done it. Picking the petals off a daisy and wondering if he loves or loves me not. A game of chance that ironically gives us some sort of hope if the last petal we pick says “he loves me”. It seems so silly, yet we play this game symbolically with ourselves most days. Maybe there isn’t a daisy involved, but instead it’s a really good hair day that we say “I love me! I look good today”. Another day equal to the last, might result in “nothing looks good on me” when you try on half your wardrobe and you feel you are not super model status that day. On those kind of days, the petal reveals that perhaps it’s a “I love me not” day. So, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that when you don’t love yourself unconditionally, then you are leaving yourself to the wolves. Seriously, who knows you better than you? You are in control and need to stand up for the care of yourself. When you don’t, you can find yourself in a real shit-storm of emotions. Oh, and by the way, that is a technical term.
The wavering of love for yourself can come in many forms, not just in your appearance as we spoke of earlier. It could be something you said or didn’t say. It could be someone else’s compliment or comment that has made your day or set you off. Then there is that inner voice, which can show some love, but for many it’s a string of negative tapes playing over and over. Thoughts like you were never good at math, don’t try now or who do you think you are, you don’t deserve that. These types of thoughts can keep playing even while you are not conscious of them, which is the ultimate sneak attack on your mental health.
The Chains of Love or Non-Love
With all these thoughts comes emotion. Emotions are the result of your thoughts. An emotion that can be joyous when the thought is a positive one or it can make you feel depressed or filled with anxiety when the thought is less than complimentary. Somedays you might feel like you are on a roller coaster of emotions. Here is the kicker, those fickle emotions dictate your behavior. Doh! That is the chain of love (or non-love): thoughts, emotion and ultimately behavior are inextricably linked.
Wouldn’t it just be nice to feel calm and steady? What if you stood tall all the days? The ones where you look like you can walk the runway and the next look like you are the runway? What if you could go about your day and feel confident and find yourself strong against any negativity? That thought might feel like some sort of super power, right? Well, that super power, my friend, is actually living inside you and only requires you to give yourself unwavering love. Oh, did that make you wince a bit? Yep, women get used to putting themselves last, putting themselves down and putting themselves so far off the list of priorities that you can’t even spit that far. Guess what? It’s time for change…starting right now.
The Essential Guide on How to Love Yourself
Decide that loving yourself is important. This is no flimsy decision. Loving yourself is as important as living or dying. When you live your life soaked in self-love, life is very different than living life rotting in negativity. Rotting is not living. Loving is living, remember that.
Show yourself some love daily. Yep, daily because practice makes close-to perfect! Each day stop in front of the mirror and smile. Each day find something nice to say to yourself. These compliments can come in the form of affirmations if that is helpful.
Fire the Inner Critic. That lousy yapping voice of discontent and foul comments that ruminates in your mind needs to be let go. Fire that Itty Bitty Shitty Committee! That voice will try to creep back in and when it does, give it the boot and replace negative comments with positive ones.
Celebrate you. I don’t care how you do this, but you deserve to celebrate the person you are and are becoming. Get your nails done, take a walk, do a dance or whatever allows you to best recognize the gift of your life.
Share that gift. Share who you are with others. You see, the love you have for yourself can grow exponentially when you decide to share love with others. Help someone each week by giving a compliment, volunteering, opening a door or sending a letter. Have giving back be part of giving to yourself. When you do, you might even surprise yourself as to how lovable you actually are.
No more leaving loving yourself up to chance, ok? Don’t waste anymore time on wondering if today is the day you will love yourself. Choose that for yourself and give yourself not only love, but peace and calm.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.