Article by Dana Conley, therapist at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach. Learn more at lifeharmony.net.
Loving and honoring ourselves is the most important thing that we can do for ourselves, and ultimately, others. In order to be more authentically ourselves, and be able to love and honor others as they are, we must first love ourselves as we are. Loving and accepting ourselves exactly the way we are creates greater health, happiness, and prosperity in our lives, and it deepens our relationships with others.
For many of us, Self-love is the last thing on our minds. We are so busy living our lives, and taking care of others, that we often don’t make time for ourselves. Or we may feel that taking time for ourselves is selfish, or that the very idea of Self-love is egotistical or weird. And the truth is, many of us simply don’t know how. We never learned how.
In this quote, Louise Hay shares the essence of Self-love: “Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.” Your challenge is to find new ways to love and honor youself – to treat yourself as you would someone you really loved. If you are not sure where to begin, start with Louise Hay’s 12 Ways You Can Love Yourself Now:
- Stop All Criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.
- Forgive Yourself. Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently.
- Don’t Scare Yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.
- Be Gentle and Kind and Patient. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.
- Be Kind to Your Mind. Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.
- Praise Yourself. Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
- Support Yourself. Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
- Be Loving to Your Negatives. Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.
- Take Care of Your Body. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need in order to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
- Do Mirror Work. Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents while looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day, say, “I love you, I really love you!”
- Love Yourself . . . Do It Now. Don’t wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or find the new relationship. Begin now-and do the best you can.
- Have Fun. Remember the things that gave you joy as a child. Incorporate them into your life now. Find a way to have fun with everything you do. Let yourself express the joy of living. Smile. Laugh. Rejoice, and the Universe rejoices with you!
Louise Hay, the author of the international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher with more than 50 million books sold worldwide.