The active practices of self-love:
Forgiving and having compassion for yourself
We all get it wrong, do things that aren’t good for us, get stuck, hurt people or misjudge a situation sometimes because we are human. When we realise that we all doing the best we can with the information and resources we’ve got at that time, it enables us to be more compassion and forgiving towards both ourselves and others. We can only start from where we are and once we have both more awareness and resources, we are all able to make better decisions and choices.
Saying ouch! Self Preservation and Protection. Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are the bottom line behaviour that you will accept. This includes your finances, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Boundaries keep you safe, well, and confident. They are also inform others how to treat you, and also keep them safe. We do this by communicating how we feel and if harmed take action that protects us.
Look after your body
No dream, interest, goal, person or amount of money is worth killing yourself over. This is something I have to continuously remind myself of and is a learning curve! Long term stress is not funny. It suppresses our immune system, making us susceptible to all sorts of illnesses. You are in control of your life and your schedule; don’t wait until you burn out or have panic attacks to stop. Take breaks, sleep enough, spend time in silence, drink water, breathe. You only have one magnificent, incredible body that is doing it’s best for you. Health is wealth. Take care of it.
Allowing and Expressing your emotions safely
A range of emotions are normal, if you don’t you are either highly medicated or a sociopath 🙂 Emotions work in different ways to thoughts, in that they need to be validated to be let go of. Therefore supressing or trying to get rid of them doesn’t work! It takes more energy and we have to find dysfunctional ways of dealing with our feelings which takes much longer to rectify later on.
Practice feeling your feelings, expressing them safely (without hurt to yourself or others) and then take them as information about what you need to do to feel better.
Learning to receive
This is a biggy that a lot of people struggle with and was a big problem for me! Healthy relationships are an 50%-50% exchange of give and receive. So when we don’t allow ourselves to receive not only does this mean we run on empty and push away sources of suppport, we also reject others and deprive them of the joy of giving.
The right to say no.
Self-love is the right to say no to yourself and others. I’ve noticed that anxiety, panic disorder and bi-polar have been the most searched terms on the counselling directory for a long time. One of the main reasons we are all so stressed out, anxious and overwhelmed, is because we find it hard to say that small but powerful, two letter word, “No”. We don’t want to be the bad guy, or be seen as the flaky person, or to be the first person who leaves the office on time.
The problem is that has catastrophic effects on our lives. If we want life to be more than a series of to-do lists and obligations, we have to be realistic about our limitations and honest about what we need to thrive.
Allowing yourself a voice
Ironically the fear of success can actually sabotage us from being successful, because it means standing out and being different. A lot of us have actually got punished, left out, hurt or attacked for being who we are, which is beautifully unique and different. This creates a real fear of revealing the true us, for fear that we will again face the same pain or trauma. The way to heal this is to move through this fear and give ourselves the permission to be us and chose people, careers, and circumstances that reflect this. You have a right to a voice.
Kindness: having your back
Life is difficult enough without you being your own worst enemy. Whatever happened to make you feel you are not enough, worthy enough or not deserving enough, be willing to heal it. Say nice words about yourself, be on your side, motivate yourself with passion not criticism. Believe in yourself. Make decisions that are nurturing. Go after your dreams. Nothing will change until you change. Gift yourself a nicer world and as a result make it better for us all.
Sending you lots of love this month- go and shine, Ismene xxx