What is self-love and why cultivating self-love is so vital in creating your greatest life experiences.
Self-love means accepting yourself as you are right now. There are no exceptions to the contract, which is an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, accept, and support who you are at this moment. It means living in present time. Many of us look back to the past with regret, thinking of how you could have handled a situation differently or looking into the future to make who you are right now inadequate. The past can only assist us if we remember the times in which we succeeded, creating positive memories. The future can be our friend if envisioning our next step. Not to make ourself wrong because we have not yet achieved our vision. It is important to love who we are now without reservation.
The role that self-love plays in our lives is so powerful! Without self-love, we fail to recognize our greatness and capabilities, and this sets us up for dependency on others. We search for our validation, approval, and reassurance outside ourselves. Whether we get it from people pleasing, or the need for recognition from work, or simply from doing too much to prove ourselves “good enough”, the result are the same. We are looking without for something that can only be found from within — self-love.
The more we cultivate self-love, and the more we focus our attention on appreciating ourselves, the more joy we will experience, and the more complete our lives will become. The more love and appreciation we have for ourselves, the more love and appreciation we give others and the more open we become to receive life’s blessings. That is why we must begin with self-love.
If you could appreciate your uniqueness, see that the path you have chosen is different from anyone else’s, it would be easier to detach from the views of others and follow your own guidance.
One of the way to love ourselves more is to stop comparing ourselves to others. Although we are part of a whole, we are also each an individual self, with our own path.
Why is happiness so elusive?
We make it hard for ourselves to achieve happiness because we have fallen into the trap of the “if and then” model of happiness. If X happens, then I will be happy. If I find a perfect partner, then I will be happy. If I get the perfect job, then I will be happy. And on and on…
Why this model of happiness is not working?
Because it puts happiness outside of our own power. It gives the power to a job, another person, a house, etc. So, you might ask what is the solution? And yes, there is a solution. The solution is to find a life balance that allows you to be happy now, in your journey to where you are going. And you can do that by integrating practices into your daily routines that allow you to feel content and focus on the journey, not the destination. The key is to practice these techniques and make it a daily goal.
Three Powerful practices to cultivate our joy:
1. The Power of Gratitude: Perhaps no single exercise leads to as big a joy boost as the practice of gratitude. So much so that gratitude is getting significant notice in research and scientific circles. The list of scientifically proven benefits for the practice of gratitude includes:
- More energy
- More forgiving attitudes
- Less depression
- Less anxiousness
- Better sleep
2. The power of Yoga, Meditation and mindfulness: Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga. Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your mental and physical health.
3. The Art of forgiveness: Holding onto resentments and anger is the single biggest factor suppressing our higher states of creativity and more relaxed mind. Forgiveness is the act of consciously deciding to let go of resentment or retaliation toward another entity who has harmed you in some way (whether or not they’re actually deserving of that forgiveness), It does not mean having to forget or condone the wrongdoing committed against you.) Fortunately, you can cultivate forgiveness — and can be practiced through different strategies, including developing empathy, looking for the silver linings and properly expressing your feelings.
Here are some of the physical and mental benefits you can reap by learning to forgive:
- Forgiving unconditionally could mean a longer lifespan.
- It gets you out of that angry mode.
- It helps your health across the board (including your sleep!).
- Being a forgiving person could protect against long-term stress.
Your job is to Practice recognizing the simple delights in life. And all of these together support each other in a powerful way, these three Pillars can come together to generate this sense of indestructible well-being that nobody can take away from you, because no one can give it to you. It is who you are.