How to practise Self Love.
If you hear any internal chatter that sounds like "Why would they like me?", "I look awful no matter what I wear!" or "I'll never be as awesome as them..." then you may need to practise a little bit of self love. It can be easy to love our friends, family and partner - but we can forget that we need to show ourselves lots of lovin' too! So why don't we? It's just not a priority. Which is sad, because it leads to people having low self-esteem, other people are discontent with their lives, and there are those who just feel like they're not totally thrilled with themselves in general. Maybe you're one of these people! Maybe you're not sure.
Now, I wasn't aways a master of self love. It can be a hard one to wrangle. But it's like anything, the more you practise - the easier it gets - and the better you are! At points in my life I've had low self-esteem, just like most people. I often used to find myself thinking "I'm a fraud, what if everyone realises I'm not as great as they think I am?" I would find myself terrified that people would suddenly realise I'm not that smart, or funny or likeable. And I'd be thrown to the curb like a half eaten kebab with no meat left in it. Which sounds pretty brutal, but how many of you have casually thought the same thing?
It can be so easy to turn from seemingly self-loving to self-loathing in the blink of an eye. Sometimes all it takes is a bad hair day, a breakup or a redundancy to shatter your self esteem. Which means that your self love wasn't that solid to begin with. In fact, the other day I was out shopping for a dress - tried about 20 damn things on. And guess what? They all looked so awful on me that I nearly cried. Cried! How ridiculous is that. In the end I chalked it up to hormones, but even my iron clad self love has moments of weakness.
It's only in the last few years of my life that I've truly started loving myself. Unconditionally. That's the key to a solid foundation of self love. You need to love yourself no matter what. Like, seriously. Sucking at life today? Love yourself. Ate a whole pack of Tim Tams when you really shouldn't? Love yourself. Fight with your partner? Love yourself. Not sure what to do with your life? Love yourself. Rejected by that girl at the bar? Love yourself.
And you know what? It feels good. You've got your back. No matter what happens, you'll be there to love yourself. But, Erika, I hate myself! How do I suddenly switch that to love? Well, I'm glad you asked.
How do you show love to your friends, family and partner? You might take your friend to a movie you know they really want to see. Or perhaps take a romantic stroll along the beach with your significant other. Or make your Mum tacos for dinner (Because oh boy, does she love tacos). It might be a hug or a kiss, a compliment or a gift. Think of how you show love to other people, and then apply it to yourself.
If it sounds daunting, start small and get bigger once you get the hang of it. I do lots of little things on a daily basis to show myself a little TLC. Each and every day I got for a walk -- to clear my head, to get my blood pumping and to show my body that I care. I'll do things that fulfil my creative needs - like painting, writing or cooking. And if things don't go according to plan - I forgive myself readily. Eventually, when you put them all together, one day you'll realise that you truly love yourself. And it feels great.
People have been asking me why I have a love heart on the side of my head now, and I'm telling them it's because I love myself ;) Just in case I forget.