It’s true that no matter how much money you have, or how many homes, or how many kids, or how many friends, if you don’t learn how to love yourself, you probably won’t be happy. You can take all the supplements you see advertised on Instagram or go to all the workout classes at your gym, but are you doing these things so you can look good, or because you want to give your body the good health it deserves? Are you doing them because you want to please other people and your ego, or because you truly love yourself? Love is kind and sensitive; ego is undone in love.
Learning to love yourself is a process, one that can take years or even a lifetime. It’s also a practice, meaning it requires ongoing effort. It’s not just about making yourself feel good. That’s gratification. Drugs feel good, but they’re harmful to your body, and pain is the opposite of love.
It’s about being kind, patient, and compassionate with yourself. It’s about understanding you are authentically and wonderfully you, and there’s no need to compare your appearance or achievements to anyone else’s. It’s about being patient with yourself when you gain a few pounds over the holidays and compassionate with yourself when you’re rejected for a job you really want.
Love is expressed through words and actions. When you’re in a relationship with someone, you might tell him you love him or make him dinner or buy him a gift. But do you show yourself the same love? Do your body, mind, and soul feel it?
When you love your body, you take care of it. You appreciate what it does for you and you care for it -- you get enough sleep, eat nourishing foods, drink water, and make time to move. When you love your mind, you make sure you’re feeding it positive, encouraging, and peaceful thoughts. For some, this might mean reading a beautiful book; for others, it might mean listening to an inspiring podcast.
When you love your heart, you take care of it too. You forgive yourself and other people because you don’t want to weigh your soul down with baggage it shouldn’t have to carry.
You surround yourself with the right people. Most mothers don’t want their kids hanging out with people who use and abuse them; this is because most mothers love their kids. Do you hang out with people who use and abuse you? Setting boundaries and removing yourself from relationships or activities that are harmful to your body, mind, or spirit is an important part of loving yourself.
Self-love is not the same thing as self-confidence. You might be confident in what you can achieve; you might feel like a boss at work because you know what to do and you’re good at getting it done. But self-love is about how you perceive your worth despite what you do, despite how you fall short or fail.
When you love yourself, you want to give yourself the gift of doing something that makes you feel blissful. For some, this might be prayer. For others, it might be taking a bath. Or picking up a new hobby. Or taking a nap. Or severing ties with a person who’s negative or critical. Or it might look like pampering yourself with some Thyrst products :)
This moment, this day, this year, this decade, make the love and appreciation for yourself a priority... because beauty truly begins underneath.