What is the source of our world’s problems? Greed, hatred, bigotry, indifference… the list could go on and on. It could be any or all of them. If you could imagine one thing having the power to transform them all, what would it be? Love! The most powerful force in the world. All you need is love. Love will conquer all. Imagine, if you can, what the world would be like if everyone lived in love. There could be no war, everyone would be taken care of, and we’d all be holding hands and singing Kumbayah around the campfire, right?Well, maybe not, but I do believe that the answer is love. The real question is how do we get there? We can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly the world is filled with love. We can’t force others to love, that goes against the nature of love. Lucille Ball said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” If we want there to be more love in the world we must first start with loving ourselves. The love we show ourselves will then spill over to others in our lives and the ripples begin.Most of us are not very good at practicing self-love. We may not actively hate ourselves, but we give our love to others and neglect to give that same love to ourselves. We even feel like it would be selfish to do any different, but on the contrary, we will have more love to give if we fill our cup first. If we made a daily practice of doing something everyday to show self-love, we would feel happier, less stressed, more appreciative and accepting of others, and would be more loving in all interactions.
Here are some ideas of ways that you can practice self-love everyday:
- Each day name one amazing thing about you, say it out loud and write it down. A new one everyday. You can keep a list going, or write them on a slip of paper and place it in a jar, reading them to yourself when you need a lift.
- Look at yourself in the mirror, look deeply, and say “I love you”, even if you don’t feel it or mean it, say it anyway. The more you say it, it will become true! And eventually you will believe it.
- Buy yourself flowers, just because they make you happy. Add a love note to yourself.
- Make a list of things that you like doing, that bring you joy, or fulfillment, and find a way to do more of that. Commit to doing something each day from the list.
- Is there something that you can change that would help you feel better about yourself? Name it, make a plan, and do it
- Affirmations- if there is something you want but don’t believe about yourself, create a positive affirmation statement about it and repeat that to yourself at least 3 times or as many as needed to feel it start to sink in. Example: I am worthy of all good things in life. I deserve to be happy, healthy and whole. I am lovable. I am worthy of love.
Self-love can have a big impact, not only in how we feel about ourselves, but how we interact with others, how we react to situations, how we present ourselves, and what we are able to give. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you want to see more love in the world, then be the love, and the best place to start is with you.