Valentine’s Day has come and gone but let’s focus on love a little bit longer, shall we? Not just any love BTW, let’s talk about self-love. The love that can propel us forward with daring choices into limitless possibility or, alternatively, the love that can help us play and stay small.
With abundant self-love comes the best hyphenated “self” words, words like self-worth, self-esteem, self-care, self-acceptance and with all of that comes the type of love and life we all dream of. One in which we can reach for that job, that love, that connection, that body, that booty and that bank account with confidence and clarity.
Without abundant self-love though, we are faced with the negative hyphenated “self” words, words like self-doubt, self-sabotage, self-pity and with all of that comes the decision to stay small. We continue to put ourselves in situations at work, in our relationships, at the grocery store, at the spin studio that won’t allow us to grow and those same old outcomes will affirm what we think about ourselves, that we aren’t good enough or lovable or healthy or any number of things we say to ourselves that aren’t very kind. See how that all comes full circle? Self-doubt, self-sabotage and self-pity shape our choices and those choices lead to outcomes that point to the evidence that we seek to keep us small.
So, what do we do? How do we learn to love ourselves and all the awesome power we possess and in doing so make decisions that lead us to exactly where we want to be? It’s simple, we fall madly, deeply and passionately in love with ourselves. And how do we do that? That’s simple too.
Every single time you look in the mirror say, “I love you”. The minute you open your eyes in the morning say, “I love myself”. The minute your feet hit the floor in the morning say, “I love myself”. When you’re stuck in traffic, riding your bike, in the shower repeat out loud the words, “I love myself” and one day, it will be true. This takes dedication and commitment and we cannot quit, ever, we must tell ourselves every single day for the rest of our lives.
Years ago, at the end of a particularly heart-wrenching breakup after a particularly heart-wrenching relationship and at the beginning of my enlightenment (insert massive eye roll) journey I walked around, talking to myself like a crazy person for months. “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself”. While I was jogging, lifting weights, showering, cooking, walking to the store. While it hadn’t been true when I started the exercise and in fact I was riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing, every day I practiced loving myself it became truer and more real and more concrete in my brain and body and soul.
Now, whenever I feel self-doubt creep in, I tell myself that I love myself. When I regret a decision that I’ve made, I replace negative self-talk with a simple “I love you”. While it doesn’t solve the problem, it brings me back to a baseline of self-love, self-care and self-esteem and that baseline allows me to solve the problem with a more compassionate view.
I expect to see you all of you at the studio mouthing the words “I love myself” the next time I see you. We can do it together.