Loving Ourselves Madly: Practice Intentional Self-Love
Aug 16, 2019 12:11AM
● By Scott Stabile
It’s not enough to wish for more self-love. We must be intentional about creating it and commit to loving ourselves by practicing these habits every day.
Don’t believe our thoughts.
Our minds lie to us all the time, especially where our self-worth is concerned. The moment we become aware we are mentally abusing ourselves, we can refuse to believe these thoughts. The fact is, we are worthy and enough exactly as we are. Any thoughts that contradict this truth are lies. We must not go to war with our mind, but should definitely get in the habit of challenging our mind’s lies and not believing them when they run amok.
Replace self-abuse with self-love.
Not believing our crueler thoughts is step one. Replacing them with kinder, more compassionate and loving thoughts is step two. When our minds call us ugly, we must sink into our hearts and remind ourselves that we are beautiful, as we are. When our minds insist we’re weak, we must declare our strength. Every single thought and word that speaks to our worth is a powerful and sustaining reflection of self-love. Substitute self-abuse with love as often as possible and then watch our lives change in powerful ways.
Set boundaries and enforce them.
To love ourselves, we have to set clear boundaries with the people in our lives. State what works and what doesn’t work. If we don’t clearly speak our boundaries, people will trample them, and we’ll only have ourselves to blame. Boundaries show respect for all involved. A lack of boundaries will almost certainly lead to resentment.
Make time for happy places.
We all have places that tend to bring us peace and/or joy: a walk among the trees, curled up with a good book, coffee with a close friend. Make time for these experiences. Every second we spend giving energy to the people, places and things that bring us joy is a second of dedicated self-love. It matters. Just as important, pay attention to the people, places and things that are depleting, that feel unhealthy and toxic, and give less energy to them. Knowing what to eliminate can be as impactful as knowing what to add.
How we love ourselves is our responsibility. The greater commitment we make to self-love, the greater chance we create of living a more peaceful, joyful and meaningful life.
Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart.
This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.