When we fall in love or have a crush on someone, we are elated, infatuated. This can be with a spouse, a child, family member or friend! We cheer them on and root for them in their endeavors because we love them. We support them through struggle, pick them up when they fall. We see the best in that person and their shortcomings or faults roll off our shoulders. When they are sick, we encourage them to take care of themselves, to try new things. The practice of self love is this idea of taking the psychology of falling in love and applying that same beautiful concern, that positive outlook and benefit of the doubt to ourselves. Practice self love through activities that cultivate self awareness such as meditation, yoga, martial arts, massage, reiki, journaling, praying (even if you don’t have a strong set of beliefs, connecting to a greater sense of energy), taking care of yourself when you’re sick mentally or physically, travel (even if it’s simply a walk through a neighborhood you’ve never been through). Allow yourself to become aware of the communication you are involved in and the decisions that you are making every day, asking yourself, is this feeding my purpose and nourishing my happiness? Next time you are hard on yourself, judging yourself and the way you look or thinking too deeply into how others think of you, consciously release that judgement and see yourself through the same lens of love you would see a spouse or your child. Become aware of the thoughts you are allowing yourself to perpetuate in your head, aware enough to brush negative thought patterns out of your mind with the same fierceness you would defend someone you love if another person was spewing negativity at them. If someone screaming at your lover that they are less-than and not good enough would stir you to defend them, your own self doubt, fear or negativity should stir the same call to action. Self awareness is self love. Oh, and be careful how much control you give others over your happiness! So go ahead, practice loving yourself!
-Kathleen J Kweskin LMT RYT
Owner of Grow Wellness