What is Self Love and How Do I Find It?

Self Love is mistaken for all kinds of things,

but it's just really loving yourself unconditionally, in the face of challenges and success. A client recently asked me "What's the difference between loving yourself and enabling your own self-sabotaging behavior? Here's the breakdown:

Self-Love looks like:

  • Breathing deeply when you're feeling anxious or stressed out.

  • Putting down your phone and going to bed when your body is tired.

  • Taking a walk outside at lunch, even if you don't have time to get a "real workout" in. 

Enabling your own self-sabotage looks like:

  • Bingeing on sugar or drinking coffee when you're feeling stressed or anxious. 

  • Staying up late on your phone, despite your body's sleepy signals.

  • 'All or Nothing' thinking, like "I might as well eat this whole pint of vegan ice cream! I'm screwed already because I didn't get a workout in." 

Look back over the last week or two? Have you been using self-care to disguise self-sabotage? Let us know in the comments below!

How do I find love for myself?

Now that you know what how to tell the difference between self-love and self-sabotage, how do you rekindle your desire to do good for yourself?  Here's a little exercise to help you out. 

Practice self-love by picturing yourself as a toddler.

 

I use these steps to help me reconnect with my love for myself.

  1. Think about someone you love unconditionally. Remember the first time you held your baby sister or the moment you looked your partner and realized they were it. Zoom in on the day you met your fur baby for the first time or a moment filled with pure friendship.
  2. Close your eyes, fill yourself with the emotion you feel for that person and notice the love radiating out from you, towards them. Notice that this sensation is infinite; you will never run out of love, no matter how much you feel.  
  3. Now, turn this energy around. Point that love back at your own heart. Let love pour over all of you, especially the parts of yourself you want to “improve,” or “fix.” Just like you would say to newborn, say to yourself “I love you exactly the way you are, and you don’t have to change a thing.”

 

If you found this exercise difficult, or totally ridiculous, let’s talk about it. You can send me an email or leave a comment below to start a conversation with other readers.