But the gift of love starts much closer to home. What about loving yourself?
Self-love means the love of oneself, the instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being. True self-love is not narcissistic or self-indulgent. It is an awareness of your inner power. A knowledge of who you really are. Without self-love, the soul can’t flourish. Unless you appreciate you, no one else can. And until you appreciate you, you won’t be the magnificent person you are meant to be.
So how do you start loving yourself? Here are five ways to begin the journey.
1. Address self-sabotage. Does the little voice in your head say you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, or you don’t have enough experience? Those negative thoughts and beliefs stem from past experience. To practice self-love you need to let them go.
2. Use affirmations. Affirmations train your mind to develop new ways of thinking. If you’re trying to lose weight, you could say, “I am at the perfect weight for my body.” If you’re trying to attract more clients, you could state, “I easily attract the perfect clients for my business.”
3. Appreciate yourself. When was the last time you told yourself how beautiful or handsome you are? Do it now. Start with what you do like and really love that part of you. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to incorporate parts of you that you didn’t like before.
4. Be creative. Do you love to play with color? Are you amazed by the power of words? Have you always wanted to make something with your hands? Give yourself permission to follow that voice inside your head, the one that’s saying “can I, can I?” Play. Explore. Discover.
5. Practice forgiveness. Criticizing yourself or comparing yourself to others only hurts you. Sometimes it’s hard to remember you’re not perfect. Holding on to that resentment can damage your health. Forgiveness is a way to heal and move forward with peace and love. The Hawaiians have a beautiful forgiveness prayer called Ho’oponopono. It’s just four simple lines. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
The above list is an excerpt from The 28-Day Thought Diet chapter on Self-Love, a perfect gift (available from the Words of Passion store). So be kind to yourself this holiday season. The more you give to yourself, the more you have to give others.
Happy Holidays! May you have love everywhere you go.