Tip #1: Claim Your Whole Self
Many of us do not see in ourselves the qualities that we are in awe of in others. We think, “I could never be that brilliant, talented, courageous, or exciting.” On the other hand, there is a list of qualities that we don’t like in ourselves or others, judge as negative, and vow we will never possess or show to the world. Not wanting to be certain qualities, we whittle away at the full expression of who we are and fill ourselves up with contempt for the unwanted parts of ourselves. We don’t want to be stupid, lazy, or weak.
We cannot fill ourselves up with self-love if we are hating parts of ourselves!
I love the saying, “G-d [or the Universe] didn’t give us any spare parts.” Shadow work is predicated on the concept of wholeness. Every emotion and quality - “negative” and “positive” - is inside of us and they are there to serve us. Just like every experience and person who enters our life is there to deliver an insight or seed of wisdom and comes bearing some gift, so do all of our qualities and emotions. Just think about it. Wouldn’t it serve you to be selfish if you needed to create boundaries or take some time for yourself?
To truly know ourselves, we must claim our wholeness. Understanding that we are smart and stupid, exciting and boring, responsible and irresponsible, and perfect and imperfect gives us access to the spectrum of qualities that we are born with and allows us to be the fullest expression of who we are. When we claim our whole self, our feelings of shame and attempts to hide who we are diminish. Instead, a deep acceptance and appreciation for all that we are emerges.
When we understand we are everything, we want for nothing! Self-love flourishes when we own that we are whole and complete just as we are.
Tip #2: Turn the Tide on Negative Self-Talk
Our negative self-talk is automatic. It incessantly loops around our head, creating a choir of criticism that diminishes our sense of self and turns us into our own worst enemy. Believing our negative self-talk to be the truth of who we are and what we are capable of, we play small, remain invisible, and quiet our voice. We imprison ourselves in a limited perspective of who we are and what we are capable of. Transformation is a shift in perception. The negative self-talk is not the truth of who we are. It’s just an outdated pre-recorded message that needs to be deleted and replaced with kind and empowering thoughts and words.
To get to know ourselves with new eyes and cultivate more self-love, we need to turn the tides on negative self-talk. We need to treat it like the bully that it is, stand up to it, and tell it to shut the f*** up! We need to take on proactively shifting the voice inside our head. We need to look for:
Self-love will flourish when we start talking to ourselves like someone we love!
Tip #3: Learn To Fill Your Own Cup
Most of us look to the outer world to fill our cup. We look for love, validation, affirmation, and the answers to what is best for us from people we don’t even know or sometimes don’t even like. Instead of living on automatic pilot or looking to the outer world to tell us “what’s hot and what’s not” or what we should be doing, we need to take that U-turn back to ourselves to discern what we like, want, need, and desire. We need to start building our muscles of self-trust and self-referral. We also want to be conscious of filling our cup with things, situations, thoughts, choices, and people that are loving, healthy, and in our highest.
To aid you in this process, start routinely asking yourself “What Is the Most Loving Thing I Can Do for Myself in This Moment? What Is for My Highest Good?” There are days when I let these questions lead me. I use them in making every decision, from the activities I partake in, to what I eat, to whom I spend time with. I honor the answers I get from inside. I honor my vibration and energy with the philosophy that “If it is not a big ‘Yes!’ then it is a big ‘No!’”
If it is true that we teach people how to treat us, then when we make ourselves matter, so will others!
Ultimately, self-love is a choice and a practice. And the good news is that if we attract that which we are, then guess what happens when we commit to a self-love practice? That is what will show up in both your internal and external worlds. Once you take on loving yourself, anything that does not have that vibration of love just feels wrong, out of integrity, or like bottom-feeding. Your tendency to settle or self-sabotage dissipates. Your being alters. Filled with self-love, love becomes the magnetizing force from which you attract. You will create and encounter more loving situations, be able to love others more fully, and let more love in. If anything other than that shows up, you will bow out gracefully and say, “No, thank you!” since staying around or settling for that would not be an act of self-love.
So, as you move into today, this week, this month, take on loving yourself. If you love yourself, you will feel deserving enough to live a life that is in alignment with your highest vision of who you want to be. If you love yourself enough, you will feel worthy to truly have and be all that you can be and to claim your greatness. Find the structures that support you in doing that. And remember, who you are is love.
Transformational Action Steps