10 ways to begin a self-love journey the way you deserve to be loved
Updated: Apr 6
Girl meets her person. She starts to date her person, and it's good...for a while. Then, after a few weeks or months even, all hell breaks loose! Her person does not seem like the right person after all. Has this happened to you? Have you ever asked yourself, "What happened and why can't someone love me for me"? We often ask ourselves that time after time when another relationship failed. Questions bombard your mind after the anger of the break-up resided. Some of those questions were, "Is it me or the other person? Why can't I have a successful relationship with a significant other like my friends have?"
Here is an epiphany, of sorts. I was dressing in the morning and going about my usual routine when I started making negative comments about my outfit as I prepared for my day. We all have done this at some point right? Ever had a bad hair day? Or the time of the month is there and you've put on a little water weight and your outfit just doesn't fit the way you'd like? Or, maybe, there is something about your physical appearance you wished was different? Maybe, you had an awful night and you woke up on the wrong side of the bed - as they say. This may not seem negative and when viewed objectively is not, however, if your view of yourself is negative it can affect all areas of your life - especially in relationships. Negativity creeps in because you can create a space inside your heart and mind. As a result, you can also create a space for others to come into your life in a negative way. I received this epiphany as I stood in the mirror and I suddenly stopped and begin to cry. Yes, I cried. Not for the ugly outfit I thought I had chosen, but for the ugly words I was speaking in my mind about me. I was taking myself apart in my head and not looking at the whole person. I took the parts I didn't like and made those parts the whole person - and I did not take the time to really see "me". I was devastated!
The great thing about this sudden realization, was that it took me on a journey of self-discovery. I wanted to know all of me - the whole person and not judge the parts I didn't care for. This was a new concept and I was beginning to get excited and scared at the same time. What if I learned things about myself I didn't like? On the other hand, what if I found things I did like and not only like but LOVED about me? What was my first discovery? I needed to learn to really love myself. The journey to self-love began that very day.
You probably have read an article or listened to podcasts on the "how-to's" for every subject, including this one, but I want you to know that the real how-to begins on the inside of you. It's not about how our associations, family, significant other, or workplace feels, it's simply about YOU and how you feel about yourself. It doesn't matter what anyone else says - because sometimes, people are not as honest about what they think more than you can be honest with yourself.
To cultivate my inner life towards a fulfilling self-love journey, I have attained areas inside which needed growth. I want to share those things with you and I hope you find them helpful in your journey towards loving you.
1. Tell yourself you deserve love.
What does this mean for you? You must look beyond the things you do not like and start discovering the things you do like about yourself. Becoming mindful of the good and the not so good can create an awareness in your heart which leads to a desire to change those thoughts, and behaviors which do not display the best of you. Esteeming yourself means that you are aware of when you are not balanced, and you make an effort to bring your life back into alignment with what you believe is true concerning you.
2. Maximize Your Whole Self
Acknowledge that ALL of you is important. The parts of yourself that you may hide from others are the very parts of you that you need to bring to light. Your emotions, your physical appearance, your insecurities along with the parts of yourself you do consider good should be the whole composite of you. Make the whole you work for you by having the courage to use it all - good and not so good.
How you say? Every morning embrace ALL of you! Get up, get dressed and take on the day with an attitude that this is Your day - no matter what and you are going to get the full measure of this day with ALL parts of you!
3. Begin a Reflective Journal
As you embrace each day, start or end it by writing your thoughts in a journal. Journaling can show you things you may not have known about yourself. It opens up a world of discovery and can change your perspective about the ideals you may have adopted about yourself according to societal norms. Journaling is an intimate exercise. It creates a space for you to be real and transparent, and can give you the opportunity to put on paper what you really feel in your heart.
Being reflective about where you are can motivate you to begin to dream about where you desire to be. It can renew your sense of vision and create a space for new things to open up in your life. Journaling can assist in the manifestation of your desires and dreams while revealing your deepest thoughts.
4. Speak Positive - Affirming Your Self Worth
Everywhere you go, there is a book on affirmations for every topic under the sun -including self-love. Truly there is no one better to affirm yourself but you. Take time to really think about five to ten ways you can affirm yourself and begin to speak them to yourself throughout your day. I can give you words of affirmation, but when you can dig deep and find what affirms you, it becomes personal and very real and easily spoken when coming from the heart. Speak Life and you will begin to experience life in a fuller more meaningful way.
5. Be Authentic
Speaking your truth to yourself as well as others is a form of self-love. What you feel, think and believe is valid. Having the ability to say what you feel is an important variable when loving you. It is a gift to yourself. By giving yourself the permission to speak your truth, you are creating the space for inner freedom and will gain the self-respect and honor that you deserve and can only receive from your inner being. Self-respect and speaking truth is an essential element to loving you, so don't fear your truth. Live out loud and without apology!
6. Set Boundaries
This portion of creating more self-love has two parts. Boundaries sets the tone for others to witness how you are to be loved. When placing the appropriate boundaries in your life, you are able to say no to others and you are comfortable opening up to yourself in an intimate way which provides a close internal relationship. There are two areas where boundaries can be set: internally and externally. Internal boundaries are those which are personal. They assist you to become self-disciplined. Internal boundaries create places in your life where you can effectively execute time management, the ability to self-regulate your emotions, and your behaviors. External boundaries assist you to separate yourself from others in a healthy manner. External boundaries can be strong and flexible. For example, saying no can prevent burnout, uncomfortability, and it can help to determine what is good for you in relationships.
7. Practice Living a Grateful Life
The art of gratefulness is the ability to see life as it is and to be okay with what it is - one day at a time. It is the the little positive things throughout your day that make a world of difference. The sun peeking through clouds after a fresh rain, someone smiling at you as you pass by. When you take time out of your day to give thanks for the day and share with yourself and others the beauty of abundance each day brings, you will bring more good things your way. Simply put, being thankful attracts thankfulness and things come into your life to be thankful for. The more you give thanks, the more you will receive. Take a moment to notice your day. Be present and breathe in the energy and atmosphere around you. Develop an appreciation for small wonders. Meditate -breathe in thanks and exhale gratitude. Journal at the end of the day, the five or ten things you were grateful for. Wake up tomorrow knowing that a new day awaits with new experiences to give thanks for.
8. Light Up Your World With Laughter
We are all human right? Sometimes we do and say things that are extremely laughable. It's okay to let your hair free and just be! Don't look at your humanness as failure, but look at it as another opportunity to project laughter into the world. We are flawed - so beautifully flawed, it is funny. We are amazing at seeing things to laugh at - especially on Tik Tok or some other social media platform. Why not use that to do something silly. Do a crazy dance, or make a funny face. Turn your sour day into something worth laughing at. Get someone to laugh with you, and you will see how good it is and how wonderful it is to light up the world with the sound of your laughter.
9. Healthy Connections For Your Soul
Having a network of people around you who love you and challenge you is a gift. Having a friend or family member who will help you grow as well as be there for you to listen when things aren't great is vital for health and freedom in your soul. We are made to connect with one another. It is important to connect with those who 'get you' and who you can just be yourself with. It is a gift and sometimes hard to accomplish. Be discerning of who you include in your inner circle. When you find those people, keep them close to your heart -for they are truly health for your soul.
10. Forgiveness Cultivates Freedom
Let's talk about forgiveness. It is difficult to forgive someone when they have hurt you. It is even more difficult to forgive when the hurt has been severe. But, forgiveness is never for the person who hurt you, it is for you. Forgiveness has power. Forgiveness frees you on the inside to be a better you because when you forgive, yo stop allowing the pain of the hurt to paralyze you and keep you from trusting again. Remember that you are human, and sometimes you will hurt another person. Asking for forgiveness is equally important as being the forgiver.
Forgiveness is a choice. It is a conscious decision to release someone from the hurt they caused you. It does not matter if the person deserves forgiveness, you forgive because it empowers you to recognize the hurt, but not let that hurt define you. Then you can move forward in peace. Keep forgiveness at the forefront of all your relationships. It is a major part of loving you.