What does it mean to YOU to love yourself unconditionally? How do you feel about yourself, what kinds of things do you do for yourself, and how do you talk to and about yourself? We all have a general idea and understanding of self-love and what it means to love yourself unconditionally, but it’s also important to find your own meaning and definition of this. A portion of our self-love will always come in the form of our daily habits and feeling truly in alignment with ourselves. The self-love journey is all about shaping who you see yourself as and growing into that version of you.
Defining Self-Love for You
While the basis for self-love is truly loving and accepting yourself and releasing judgements, we all have our own versions of what it means to love yourself unconditionally. So how can you define self-love for yourself and truly work toward this? I like to look at it from a holistic perspective – you want to take care of your mind, your body, and your soul or spirit. We are interconnected beings. This means finding those daily habits and creating goals that make your mind feel its best, such as: eating well, living in the present moment, practicing gratitude, meditation, daily affirmations, rewiring old habits and beliefs and identifying new ones, and more. For your body, we’re also looking at identifying what makes your body feel its best: finding a type of exercise and movement that you love, getting out in nature, getting enough sleep, eating well, breathwork, etc. Last, you want to take care of your spirit and soul by finding what truly lifts you up, what you are passionate about, exploring creativity, and doing things that you love.
On a daily basis, ask yourself what you are doing and choosing for yourself. Are you making choices out of love, or are you making choices out of fear? Identify the feelings and emotions within your body that take place as you’re doing things. Our mind and our body are amazing communicators – we just need to learn to listen.
Doing The Work
No one is going to do the work for you. You are the only one responsible for the life that you create for yourself, and for the love that you give to you! We often want to feel that love and validation outside of us. This is of course normal – humans are meant to connect with others! However, these outside connections do not make up for the love and acceptance that we need to give to ourselves.
Many people have been through a lot of difficulties in their lives – from trauma to hardships and becoming another stressed and burned out individual in today’s society. For some, it may be a harsh reality that you are the only one responsible for doing the work to take care of yourself, and for changing those external circumstances and situations that don’t serve you and don’t make you feel your best.
We have to prioritize ourselves in our busy schedules and make time for self-care. And by self-care, I don’t mean just taking a bath with a glass of wine and putting on a face mask. It’s important to develop a self-care routine for yourself that includes the things I mentioned above: exercise, sleep, meditation, being in nature, making time for creativity, connecting with others, eating well, and more. As part of your self-care routine, decide what kinds of things matter to you: supporting sustainable businesses, using only clean ingredients, supporting local businesses, and even what a solid sleep routine looks like to you. Part of the self-care journey is making time for the habits that you may not always feel like doing, but that you know will make you feel much more like yourself at the end of the day.
Being in Alignment
Do you ever tell yourself that you’re going to do something for yourself, and then you don’t follow through? Feelings of guilt and shame may come up, and you promise to try better next time. We keep our promises to others, but all too often, we cut ourselves short. This is why we need to learn how to prioritize ourselves. We can’t show up for others as the best version of ourselves until we take care of ourselves first. This is also all about being in alignment, and keeping those promises that you make to yourself by doing the things that make you feel good, and doing the things that you love.
A lot of people find this to be a challenge to connect with who they are and who they want to be. We’ve sometimes spent years creating the life that we currently have, only to learn that we aren’t truly aligned and fulfilled. Making changes can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary if we want to truly love ourselves unconditionally. This means letting go of your old self, your old beliefs, and your old habits. Your subconscious mind runs your thoughts and your actions 95% of the time, so it can take a lot of time, patience, and work to rewire those neural pathways and create a new life for yourself. Have patience and dedication to yourself – this is your life!
Remember, you are enough just as you are. If you don’t feel completely in love with yourself or your life at this very moment, that’s okay too. You are right where you should be on your personal growth journey and your self-love journey. Every obstacle, challenge, and circumstance in your life is an opportunity for you to continue to grow more into who you want to be. Love yourself!