“Loving yourself means accepting yourself as you are right now.” – Orin
What is Self-Love?
Simply, self-love is the love of one’s self.
Self‐love is appreciating who you are, feeling good about yourself, directing loving thoughts inward, and taking care of yourself through your actions.
Additionally, many people reference self-esteem, self respect, self regard and self care as important components of self-love.
Each of us may have slightly different ideas of what self‐love is and what it looks like for ourselves. Regardless of the differences, it’s important to become familiar with your interpretation of self‐love.
What Does Self-Love Feel Like?
Think of something or someone you love completely and unconditionally. It could be your pet, your child, God, a beautiful sunset, or whatever connects you to the feeling of complete and unconditional love. With that in mind, imagine feeling that same way about yourself. That’s what self-love feels like.
It might be difficult for you to feel love and appreciation for yourself because you have unwittingly let people who are disconnected from Source/God train you into how you see yourself. You may have developed your self opinions by seeing yourself through the eyes of other disconnected people, rather than through the eyes of Source/God.
In addition, while you were growing up you may have also picked up the message that you were apparently responsible for others’ happiness. Whether it was your relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors, etc., you may have picked up that your behavior could greatly impact others’ well-being and peace of mind. You may have come to believe that other people’s happiness is more important than your own and lived your life for others, thinking you were succeeding at making them happy in the process. As a result, you neglected yourself and lost touch with your own happiness and well-being.
As a side note, there’s a big difference between self‐love and the qualities of narcissism, arrogance and selfishness. Loving yourself does not mean you think you’re better than others or are more deserving. It doesn’t mean you stop caring for others or hold yourself in higher regard.
Self-love means you recognize your true value and worth. It means you regard yourself highly and appreciate who you are. It also means you treat yourself well in thought and action.
Why is Self-Love Important?
For starters, self-love is important because it just plain feels good. If that’s not enough, here are some other reasons to make self-love a priority:
>> Self-love is how you create vibrational alignment to manifest your desires. If you want the Universe to be good to you, you have to set the vibrational tone by being good to yourself. The Universe can only be as good to you as you are to yourself.
“The Universal laws demand that you engage in genuine self‐love, honoring who and what you are. This isn’t just a vague ideal; it’s based in the quantum mechanics of your own consciousness. Your energy determines your reality.” – Sandra Anne Taylor
>> It’s your natural state of being. The basis of who you are is worthy of love – always was, always will be – no matter what. You are an extension of the powerful energy that creates all things; it’s divine, perfect and eternal. When you are practicing self-love, you are in alignment with who you really are.
>> The more you love yourself, by the law of attraction, the more the rest of the world will too.
Consider this quote by Abraham-Hicks as to how important self-love is:
“Appreciation of others and the appreciation of yourself are the closest vibrational matches to Source Energy of anything we have ever witnessed anywhere in this Universe.”
How to Practice Self-Love
There are many ways you can love yourself and everything that happens to you is an opportunity to have a self-love experience. Seen in the right perspective, anything can provide you with an occasion to love yourself.
Here are some ways you can practice self-love:
Stop comparing yourself with others. Although you are part of a whole, you are also an individual self, with your own path. The family and group belief systems that you have taken on as your own can be obstacles to your self-love. The challenge of loving yourself is to put aside everything people tell you and ask, “Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?” Ultimately your own experience is what counts.
Let go of guilt. People may try to persuade, convince, control, and manipulate you. They want you to think and act in certain ways to fit their pictures, so they try to gain power over you through guilt. Loving yourself means stepping outside of these kinds of relationships and letting go of guilt.
Be strong and take charge of your life. When you feel a lack of control, you may feel you have to manipulate or engage in power struggles to get what you want. You might think you have to make excuses for your behavior or tell white lies to protect other people’s feelings. When you act this way, you are not loving to yourself; instead you give your subconscious the message that who you are is not enough or acceptable to other people. Instead, stand in your power and let it come from your heart.
Loving yourself means asserting yourself with compassion. You can learn to detach from the reactions of others and from your own emotions if they take you out of a calm, clear center. When you are willing to show others who you are, you open the door for them to expose their real selves also.
Let go of judgment. Judgment is an obstacle to self-love. Every time you judge, you separate. When you form opinions about another person you send a message to your subconscious that the world is a place where you better act in certain ways if you want to be accepted. When you reject other people through your judgments, you are telling your own subconscious that you are only going to accept yourself under certain conditions. This leads to an inner dialogue of self-criticism. It can also attract negative images from the outer world, for when you send out these pictures, you create a pathway for them to come back.
Forgive yourself and others. Your Higher Self only knows forgiveness. When you hang on to anger, hurt, or a negative feeling about yourself or another, then you are keeping it in your aura. The person you are mad at is affected, but not as much as you will be. Any energy or feelings you have toward another person sits in your aura and acts as a magnet for more of the same. There is definitely a reason for forgiveness – it cleanses and heals you and changes the circumstances you draw to yourself for the better.
Practice humility. Self-love also involves humility, which is self-expression from the heart and not from the ego. Humility is being open, willing to listen and admitting you may not have all the answers. Humility implies openness and is a quality that will allow you to receive more. It does not imply a lack of self-confidence, but a great amount of faith and trust in yourself. Only those who feel good about who they are can express humility. If you know people who seem to be wise and yet put others down and make people feel bad about themselves, you can be sure they do not love themselves.
Have faith, trust and belief in who you are. And have a willingness to act upon your trust in yourself. It’s not enough to feel that faith and trust; you need to experience it in your outer world. The ultimate challenge of self-love is to act upon it, to speak up to people and to create in the world your heaven on Earth.
Receive love from others. It is not enough just to give and radiate love; loving yourself comes from receiving love also. If you are giving love to people but they can’t receive it, then it has no place to go. You do everyone a great service by being willing to receive their love. Opening to their love is one of the greatest gifts you can give others. To experience more love in your life, be willing to receive offerings of love, as well as gifts, friendship, and support.
Respect yourself and live in higher purpose. When you value and respect yourself, your time, and your vision, so will others. Speaking your truth about who you are and taking appropriate actions, not only do you evolve yourself, but you assist others by your example. The inability to say no to people reflects a worldview that says other people’s feelings are more important than yours, that their rights are more significant, and that you should consider their feelings first. When you do this you create energy blocks within yourself, backing up resentment, hurt, and anger, which then sit in your aura and attract more of the same.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t go right. Laugh and play! Humor is perhaps one of the greatest doorways to self-love. The ability to laugh, to smile at others, and to put your problems into perspective is an evolved skill. Those who have a high level of self-love are often humorous, witty, and love to bring out the childlike playfulness in others. They are willing to be spontaneous, often find reasons to smile, and are able to make others feel at ease and to be happy themselves.
Speak kindly to yourself. Part of self‐love is paying close attention to how you talk to and about yourself, and adjusting that self talk where you see room for improvement. You may notice you’re saying things to yourself that you wouldn’t dream of saying to someone you love – things like “You’re too old for this,” “You didn’t do it right,” “You don’t know what you’re doing,” “When are you going to learn?” “He/She/They wouldn’t be interested in you.” If you catch yourself in negative self-talk, stop and speak positive, loving words instead. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love 100% unconditionally and edit where you need improvement.
Practical Ideas for Self-love
Below is a list of practical ideas to help you get the ball rolling on your self-love practice.
Get a notepad or journal and write a page a day of an affirmation or a variety of affirmations that reinforces your worthiness and/or love for self. Here are a few examples:
- I am worthy of… (happiness, true love, a healthy body, financial success, great friends, etc.)
- I do things that are loving to myself.
- I release anything that is not for my higher good.
- I appreciate, value, and accept myself for who I am.
- I am the authority of what is good for me.
- I assert myself with confidence and compassion.
- I believe in myself.
- I forgive myself, knowing I am always doing the best I know how.
- I receive love easily, and others give it to me generously.
Proper self care is the very basic, bare minimum of self‐love. Give yourself the self care you require in order to thrive. This means getting proper sleep, food, exercise, and mental stimulation. Know what works best for you and practice it. Release any limiting beliefs you might have about what that means so you don’t have conflicting thoughts that prevent you from thriving.
Examine Your Environment
Check your environment, whether it’s your desk, car, closet, bedroom, basement, neighborhood – whatever spaces you spend time in – for how they feel to you. The spaces that don’t feel great are opportunities to practice self‐love by upgrading the vibe of the space. It doesn’t have to be a big action. You can change the energy of your environment by cleaning, reorganizing, hanging a picture, finding new accessories, clearing the space by smudging ‐whatever helps you improve the feel of the places you hang out in.
Do Things You Love
Write a list of things you love to do and that makes you feel joyful when you do them. They can be anything — lying in the sun, taking a trip, getting a massage, accomplishing a goal, exercising, reading a book, listening to music, taking a walk. Make a commitment to yourself to make time to do at least one thing on the list every day.
Make an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, accept, and support who you are at any given moment. Practice living in present time. Let go of the past and any regrets you might have about how you could have handled situations differently. Love and accept yourself as you are right now. Make self-love a priority and live happily ever after.
For more on self-love, I recommend Living With Joy (Chapter 4 – The Art of Self-Love) by Sanaya Roman and The Art of Self-Love by Jeannette Maw.