Self-love is a big topic nowadays. Everyone and their cat talks about how you must love yourself, put yourself first, and spend time taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. However, for many of us, it is not something that comes easily or naturally. In fact, in many cases, it’s damn difficult to do. Self-love is a choice that can only be made by us, so why do we give that power away? As an empath, I know how difficult it can be to sometimes put yourself first and how easy it is to disregard your own feelings. In this day and age, we rarely give ourselves a moment to stop and ask ‘what do I really need right now?’. I know how many of you are just starting to embark on the self-love journey. That is exactly why I wanted to write about Self-Love for Beginners. I want to inspire you to let go of your fears and share some proactive tips that have helped me along my own journey.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the world of self-love.
WHAT IS SELF-LOVE?
If you would ask what does self-love means to me, my answer would sound something like this:
Self-love is acknowledging your own needs and setting healthy boundaries between yourself and other people. It is the ability to be selfish and stand up for yourself without being narcissistic. Self-love means having compassion for yourself and forgiving yourself of past mistakes. As true love knows no boundaries, it spreads. It quickly becomes not only self-love but love for other people and organisms. Self-love means loving not only yourself but this whole entire experience here on Earth.
THE COMPLEXITY OF SELF-LOVE
Self-love can be an extremely complex topic. Some people believe that you have to love yourself before you love others. Some people believe that your love for yourself has no connection to your love for others. Others believe that self-love is overrated. Whatever your belief is, I am not here to tell you not to feel that way.
I personally see self-love as multilayered. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have your bad days or days when it feels like you simply cannot go on anymore. Self-love doesn’t mean being ignorant towards your own actions and having a total disregard for how it affects others. Basically, self-love doesn’t mean being hit on your head and pretending to be unaware of what’s happening around you.
Sometimes we will have to put others first. At times, we will have to sacrifice our own well-being in order to show up for another person. All in all, as I already mentioned, I do believe that self-love and love for others are intertwined. One cannot fully exist without another. In order to truly love and respect someone else, you have to love and respect yourself and vice versa.
WHY IS SELF-LOVE SO DIFFICULT?
Self-love sounds great but for many of us it can bring up all sorts of uncomfortable connotations. Someone who grew up in a loving environment and was put as a priority will find it easier to prioritize themselves in the future. Unfortunately, throughout our lives, we go through all kinds of experiences. As children, some of us start associating self-love with being cocky, arrogant, lazy, and selfish. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to address the complexity of self-love earlier in this post.
In the most simple way, someone who is loving, kind, and compassionate towards others is considered good, right? Therefore, why do we automatically put self-love on the opposite side of the spectrum as if it cannot co-exist with love for other people and organisms?
Self-love and self-care is something that many of us have to learn or re-learn once we step into adulthood or many years after. If we are taught these values when we are young, it is way easier to learn them as our minds are like a fresh piece of paper. ‘Breaking your mind’ on the other hand is definitely more difficult but more than possible.
WHY SELF-LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT?
I see self-love as important for three major reasons. As this is a post about self-love for beginners, I truly believe that understanding the importance of self-love plays an important role here.
To begin, self-love is important for your inner balance. In the same way, we give to others, we need to be able to give to ourselves. Whether it’s accepting help or learning to say ‘no’, self-love comes in many forms. If a person is not able to receive love (from themselves or others), this will usually manifest as an imbalance in one (or more) of their chakras. Additionally, their left side which is the receiving side is going to be imbalanced as well.
CULTIVATING LOVE & UNDERSTANDING
As I already mentioned previously, I see love for others and self-love as intertwined. To feel unconditional love for others, you have to love yourself unconditionally first and vice versa. Remember, we are not talking about arrogant and narcissistic love.
You may think to yourself ‘I truly love others, but I struggle with appreciating and loving myself’. Yes, there are thousands of amazing people around the world who struggle with self-love but they feel love for children, their partners, their friends. However, I want you to see love as limitless, something that can grow and never reach its limit. Once we start appreciating ourselves, once we fall in love with ourselves, it suddenly becomes easier to understand others. Your patience, compassion, kindness, it all grows. You become a better parent, a better partner, a better friend, and a better stranger.
I also truly believe that self-love can help us stop comparing ourselves to others. As a consequence, this releases anger, envy, and many other unpleasant emotions.
MANIFESTING ABILITIES & healthy relationships
Circling back to the topic of chakras and inner balance, I want to emphasize how our inability to receive can impact our ability to manifest. When we feel worthy of love and acknowledge our own magic, we are open to receive the gifts from the Universe as well. When we are unable to receive, we are closed off to the abundance that would otherwise enter our home. This is the base of the Law of Attraction. You attract what you are.
This is also very prominent in attracting healthy relationships and gaining respect from others. If we do not love and respect ourselves, how can we expect others to do that for us? We lead by example and those who practice self-love usually are honoured by the people around them as well.
If we do not love and respect ourselves, how can we expect others to do that for us? We lead by example and those who practice self-love usually are honoured by the people around them as well.
HOW TO START CULTIVATING SELF-LOVE?
As a ‘self-love for beginners’ post, it demands some powerful tips on how we can all start cultivating a little more self-appreciation and love in our lives, right?
1. LEARNING TO SAY 'NO'
This is one of the things you need to start getting comfortable with, especially if you know that this is an area you have to work on. Recognizing your own needs and respecting your own time is an important component when it comes to self-love. Sure, in the beginning, it might feel extremely uncomfortable and it may spark feelings of guilt as well. However, you will soon grow this ‘muscle’ and start getting in tune with your own needs.
2. CARVING OUT SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF
Having some personal time for yourself is important and of course, it is easier to find that time if you do not have people depending on you. Some of us have children or are taking care of our family members, therefore our personal time becomes very limited. Nonetheless, try your very best to carve out some special time for yourself. Whether that would be having a 5-minute meditation session or scheduling a Yoga class which you cannot skip, do what you can to find time JUST for yourself. Prioritize YOU.
3. LOVING MIRROR EXERCISE
I’ve spoken about this exercise before and I think it can do wonders for your self-esteem. I have it included in my morning routine and it can be as short or as long as you would like it to be. Simply stand in front of the mirror and admire yourself and your features, give thanks to your body and its health. You can do this naked or clothed, whatever feels more comfortable for you. You can also talk to yourself, however make sure to do this in the most loving way possible. Even a simple ‘you can do this’ is already a beginning.
4. REIKI & CHAKRA HEALING
Reiki and chakra healing can improve your health immensely. This is where we work with our subtle body, therefore for those of you who are a bit skeptical, this may seem totally useless. However, I promise you, it works! The balance within your chakras can help bring confidence and love into your life (and so much more). You can always read my Chakras For Beginners Guide to learn more.
Reiki is a Japanese form of holistic healing and it can help bring balance between your left (receiving) side and your right (giving) sides. While practicing Reiki, we work with chakras as well. In fact, these energy points are extremely important whilst performing Reiki. You can either do self Reiki or book a session with a Reiki master.
5. HONOUR YOUR BODY
Honour your body through physical exercise and healthy foods. Choose an activity that you like or could potentially like and build a routine. It can be something as simple as walking because showing up for yourself in any shape or form is better than not showing up at all. Consider the foods that you put into your body. It’s okay to have unhealthy crap from time to time, however, make sure that you always keep a balance. Remember, that foods hold energy as well. The more processed something is, the less value it gives us. If you choose to consume animal products, please be mindful of where they come from. Most importantly, give thanks to your food, especially when it’s an animal.
6. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
I have an entire blog post dedicated just to this topic and I try to practice what I preach every single day. It’s not always easy but the more you catch yourself doing it, the easier it becomes. Understand that your uniqueness is your power and there’s no point in trying to fit in. Moreover, everyone’s circumstances are different and you need to focus on your own journey. The truth is, if you try, you will always find somebody in a better (or worse) situation than you are. Therefore, instead of putting your attention on others, come back to yourself. Work on your own betterment. I promise, your life is going to change.
Remember, though, there is nothing wrong with admiring other people. However, contrary to comparison, admiration tends to create a positive feeling.
7. LIMIT THE TIME SPENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
As I’m concentrating on the self-love for beginners topic, I cannot skip this advice. Even if you think you do not spend that much time on social media, be mindful of how and when you use it. Do you find yourself scrolling through empty content when you’re on a bus? Do you bring your phone with you to bed?
The truth is, social media is the number one reason why so many people experience issues with their confidence. I, myself, am going through a mini social media cleanse at the moment. I haven’t deleted my apps but I only use them to reply to the messages. You can try something similar and tailor it to your own needs.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about self-love for beginners. I hope this has sparked new ideas not only for someone who is just starting this journey but for someone who has been practicing self-love for a while now.
Namaste. I am proud of you.