When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you celebrate the reflection looking back at you? Or do you spend time picking that image apart? God made us in His image for a reason, but a lot of us don’t love what we see. Why is that? In Mark 12:31, Jesus talked about the second greatest commandment: You should love your neighbor as yourself. There’s an important message here that can easily be missed. You cannot give something to your neighbor that you don’t possess inside of you. In other words, how can you love someone else if you don’t have love for yourself?
We’re often told that we need to love ourselves despite our weaknesses, imperfections or feelings of inadequacy. This can be easier said than done. It’s difficult to embrace who we are when the world is constantly reminding us of who we aren’t. And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to block out that noise. But self-love is worth fighting for because it is the core of our well-being, self-empowerment, and authentic happiness.
Here are some tips that have helped me love myself more:
1. Listen to yourself
How many times have you been your own worst critic? If we could record our inner dialogue, some of us would be surprised at what we hear. It’s easy to think “I’m not pretty enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m not skinny enough,” or “I’m not rich enough.” The negative dialogue is much easier to believe than the positive ones. But don’t allow self-defeating thoughts to play in your mind. Listen to yourself and when a negative tune is playing, just change the channel.
2. Do Daily Check ups
When you’re feeling ill or coming down with a cold, you may check your temperature to see if there’s a fever, right? A similar approach should be followed when monitoring your emotional health. Periodically throughout the day, check your emotional temperature to see how you’re feeling. Are you happy? Sad? Neutral? Just like a cold, you need to stop negative symptoms in its tracks before it gets any worse. If you find yourself feeling down, trace back to what caused that emotion. Addressing these triggers at the core can help keep these negative attitudes from taking root into our mental routines.
3. Watch out for road blocks
One of the biggest road blocks on the journey to self-love is comparing yourself to others. You know what I’m talking about. Staying on this track is the quickest detour toward the road of despair. Whenever this happens, take a moment to celebrate your small victories throughout that day or make a list of your blessings from that day. Counting your blessings may sound basic, but sometimes we need to go back to basics in order to appreciate who we are. At times we get so wrapped up in what we don’t have that we forget to be thankful for what we do have.
4. Say Yes instead of No for a change
Yes is one of the most positive words in our vocabulary. That simple word has the power to break through all of our fears, negative feelings and discouraging thoughts. Say yes to trying something new that you’ve been too afraid to do. Say yes to nurturing yourself at the spa, in yoga class or going out dancing. Say yes to spend a day just to spoil you. The more you say yes to living, the more you are unlocking the well-being within you.
Are you willing to try these tips to love your self more? What do you currently do to love you? Where is improvement needed?