The Value of Self-Love
Self Love is something that needs nurturing. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life – working, maintaining relationships, cooking, cleaning, looking after the children – that we tend to forget about our own needs. We spend so much time listening to the incessant chatter in our heads that we don’t take the time to listen to what is in our hearts.
How we feel on the inside radiates from the centre of our being, spreading light and love to our outer world. When we come from a place of love, we don’t judge or criticise. We are open to all that life has to offer, good and bad, painful and joyous. This beautiful energy touches the lives of those who come into contact with us, and keeps us open to walking our path with faith and trust.
Self-love is surrendering to what is and the source is our heart. When we surrender, we come to a place of inner peace and instinctively know that all is well.
I liken this place of inner peace to the ‘eye of the storm’ – the centre of a hurricane is still, while the main thrust of the hurricane itself rips trees from the ground, whips everything into a frenzy, flattens houses and weaves a path of destruction.
Sometimes it’s not so easy to find that place of inner peace and allow ourselves the space to rest there calmly – especially when life throws us curveballs. But when we surrender to whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, and draw on self love, it can help steer us toward the eye of the storm.
Alone time is very important because this allows us to ‘be’ and when we are still in mind, body and spirit, that is when we are able to tune in to the voice that speaks from our hearts.
This voice can be a whisper to begin with but the more you take the time to be still and tune into your heart, the louder this voice becomes. This voice from our hearts represents our inner wisdom and our truth. It is unconditional love, the very essence of who we are. And when we choose to switch off from the clutter in our heads, and listen to our hearts, it empowers us to love ourselves for who we are. Positive self image begins with how we feel on the inside and creating space in our lives allows the presence and reflection to accept and embrace all that is.
Self love means putting ourselves first regardless of what we fear others may think. It is also about trusting ourselves, and our instinct, because once we learn to trust our instincts, and we make a decision, that decision resonates with our inner knowing and it doesn’t even occur to us to question it.
And when we are in a place of trust, we have the ability to tune into our feelings.
Often feelings have an important message for us – anger can be a boundary warning, guilt can show us when we feel remorseful and hence reinforce our integrity. As you begin to acknowledge your feelings try to listen to their message, and then allow them to be – giving yourself permission to feel and express these thoughts and emotions means they will soon begin to dissipate and you will come back to centre once more.
Your body is connected to your heart and spirit in a profound way that represents who you are – your uniqueness, inner beauty and potential – what is not to love?
It can be a process to find ourselves and discover our truth. Recognising our inner beauty and loving ourselves for who we are can lead us on a new path where eventually, living from a place of love becomes intrinsic.
Self-love is both potent and empowering. It helps to keep us anchored, reminds us that we are worthwhile and unique, and that no matter what happens in life, we always have ourselves.
The path to self-love doesn’t have to be tumultuous. You can start today, right now. Ask yourself: what do my friends love best about me? What do I honour about myself? What are my values? Begin to draw these out and think about the things that are true to who you are. Value them, honour them and above all, give yourself permission to shine.
5 tips for fostering self-love
- Acknowledge the reel of internal dialogue and then take action to transform negative thoughts that pop up into strong positive ideals by taking the negative thought captive, challenging it and reframing it with a positive message
- Ask ‘what does my heart want me to know’ – then tune in to your inner voice and listen to what it tells you. This is the voice of self-love – I call this the “voice that speaks from your heart”. The voice from your heart will never lie to you.
- Write down 10 simple pleasures; simple things that bring you joy, and do at least one of these every day.
- Ground yourself in the present moment by tuning in to your five senses e.g. go outside and feel the sun or the rain touch your skin; inhale the scent of a flower; listen to your favourite song.
- Remember what a loving, caring and wonderful person you are, and all the people in your life who love you.
Avid Writer – Novice Trapeze Artist – In Love with Life
Melinda Hutchings is a writer, speaker and media commentator dedicated to helping young people overcome adversity. She is the author of four books including Why Can’t I Look the Way I Want; Overcoming Eating Issues (Allen & Unwin 2009) and It Will Get Better; Finding Your Way Through Teen Issues (Allen & Unwin 2010). Follow her on Twitter at @M_Hutchings.
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