5 Ways to Increase Love for Yourself
Self-love is vital for health and happiness. Love is a powerful, positive energy that is necessary for a healthy balance between mind, body and spirit. We cannot recognize love in others unless we have it for ourselves. It allows us something genuine to share with the world, and when you believe you are worthy your life will reflect it.
The concept of self-love should not be confused with narcissism and selfishness. Rather, look to the ancient wisdom of the Buddhists. Self-compassion was emphasized often in Buddhist teachings and can lead us to the steps we need to take towards loving ourselves in a natural, organic and healthy way.
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
Loving ourselves unconditionally exactly the same way we love our children and pets is what we are striving for. Instead, we love ourselves with conditions. We expect to be happy with ourselves only when we get the job we want, or only after getting the house, or losing the weight. Then and only then do we feel worthy of our self-compassion.
Why wait for the outside circumstances to change? Eckhart Tolle tells us that if we “get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” Inside is where our love waits for us.
Here are a few ways to fill our cup of self-love until it overflows, so we may be open to give and receive love freely right now.
1) Be Kind to Yourself
“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care.” Buddha
An essential first step is to improve our self-talk and quiet the inner critic that judges and condemns our actions and feelings. We think we need to be tough on ourselves for motivation, but the opposite is true. Taking care of something we love will gain our attention more easily and we will devote more time than we would on something considered hopeless or unworthy, which is how we tend to think of ourselves.
A great way to begin the process of activating true self-care is to imagine how we speak to a friend who experiences failure or disappointment. We would encourage them and lift their spirits so they don’t take themselves so seriously. There is always a next time.