Happy Valentine's Day!
Do you have a love you're spending the day with today? Do you have someone you wish you were spending your day with today?
I have been taking a number of courses these past six months on relationships, the psychology aspects behind how women think, and how men respond and think in their own ways.
And here we are - the day of LOVE and RELATIONSHIPS. Oh, so many expectations. The perfect evening, the fresh flowers, the box of chocolates. (Yup, I'm speaking about us women) We want the doors opened for us, and to feel special, beautiful and loved unconditionally, yet appreciated for all the effort we put in to our image for this promising date.
We expect perfection. Stimulating and enticing conversations, to be the only one HE has eyes for.
And MEN, you feel the pressure of being the perfect gentleman, pulling the chair out so she can sit without having to pause mid air, to know exactly what kind of flowers she likes, and to find the perfect gift to make her feel special. You want to be the superhero of the evening.
Oh but we are all human beings. And, well, yes, imperfect. Let's take some pressure off, and focus on the heart beneath it all. The INTENTION behind our efforts.
And let's get to reality, for a second, if you will.
How much do we LOVE our own SELVES??
Yup, I went there. Sorry, not Sorry :)
The relationship we cultivate with ourselves is the longest, and most important of all. No matter what, where, how, every evening we look ourselves in the eye and are confronted with our fears, doubts, triggers, joys, loves - in short, all of it. One big package of humanity, wrapped up in the skin that is you.
Do you love what you see? Do you embrace that look in your eyes? Have you heard and acknowledged the voices you've been silencing all day? Because if not, they get oh so loud when we try to get to sleep.
The shadow side of you. Yes, that person we don't want to acknowledge, they are all the aspects of ourselves we do not wish to accept, we do not want to cherish, and we certainly don't want anyone else to meet.
Loving ourselves means we embrace all of ourselves. Not just the parts we enjoy putting the spotlights on to. Not just our shiny selves we present to the world. There is that whole other self, you can feel her or him, hiding within, screaming at us for attention.
If we wish to truly love ourselves, we must acknowledge that shadow self, we need to learn to embrace that self, love it, nurture it, hear it, even speak to it.
Learning to love ourselves is about building a relationship with ourselves. Before we expect someone else to nurture our all, we need to be willing to fill that need from within ourselves. It's not as hard as we think, once we begin.
I'll share a few self loving processes I have found effective and valuable:
1. Love the Self that's Hidden: I tell my shadow self I see her, I hear her, and I love her. I put my own arms around her, and remind her she's not alone, she is worthy of healing, she is worthy of being whole, she is worthy of abundance in all areas. (sometimes I do this out loud, because she's a bit stubborn, sassy and enjoys her back talk)
2. Be Kind to all the Aspects of Self: As a results oriented person, I like to work until I have completed a specific task or goal. I will go 16 hours straight, will forget to eat, hydrate ... and you're right, that's not always beneficial to my ENTIRE self. I am learning to be kind to myself, realizing there are several aspects of my self that I need to care for on a daily basis. And each of those aspects deserves my attention. It is okay to be kind to myself and embrace the art of self love in this way, to take a break from emotionally draining situations, or allow my mind the time to process information and let it sink in while I move on to another part of the day.
3. Embrace all the Feelings of Self: Be it anger, frustration, fear, joy, love, compassion - any feelings that come up throughout the days and nights deserve to be valued. Because I deserve to be valued. (say this out loud to yourself a few times) I can not pick and choose what I will acknowledge if I choose to be a whole person. So yes, each emotion needs to be felt, processed, and then, resolved. The truth is, the feelings we don't care for will only get stronger and louder until they are heard. It's so much easier to embrace them to begin with, and then watch them move on their way, once fully processed.
4. Build a Personal Mantra to Combat Negativity: Negativity causes stress and a host of illnesses or diseases. It is our mortal enemy, and yet we all have it visiting us on a regular basis. Here's the thing, negativity only breeds more negativity, and more to be negative about! Have a mantra ready to repeat to yourself when these visits come out of nowhere. My recent one is: "I am MORE than that" Try it, or build one that works for you. But have the defence ready for when the attack comes.
5. Self Talk: This is an extension of Negativity, because our self talk tends to be a voice that likes to stay within our current paradigms of dissatisfaction - and will hi-light that discontent until our brains feel like they will explode. Here again, build a mantra for yourself, because again, we all hear that voice on a daily basis. Mine will tell me all sorts of things about the future, will remind me of my failures in the past, and will make my present quite miserable, causing insomnia and a general sense of disheartened discouragement.
The mantra I use here is: "God will give me what I want" or, depending on the voice's message in that moment, "God will give me what I need". Build one for you, and teach your self talk to change its tone.
6. Self Love can be approached from the exterior too:
~ Run a bath, taking the time to light a few candles, add some essential oils that make you feel incredible, and play some music you would love to listen to right now.
~ Reading that book you've been meaning to get to but can't find time for.
~ Taking that course that makes you feel alive.
~ Creating something in your life that's just yours to treasure.
~ I like to run a diffuser all day near where I work - with specific oils that will allow me just feel stronger, healthier, happier, energized. (I'm now a lemongrass junkie and don't go a day without it!)
~ Get your nails done, or your hair done. Take care of the physical you and you will begin to feel better on the inside too!
~ Eat healthy! This is huge. The lack of vitamins and fresh foods in your diet will show up in your mood first. You'll be lethargic, your skin will lack glow, and you'll be moody, easily distracted, and more prone to negativity and discontent. Yes, your diet affects your mood greatly!
~ Fresh Air. Walk, Run, or just go outside. I can't repeat this often enough :)
~ Hydrate !!!
~ Breathe!! With purpose! The physical brain can not function without oxygen. So feed it :)
These are a few elements to loving yourself that have proven really valuable in my own life. Try some of them, or all of them, and see how your attitude toward your self can improve.
Relationships with others are lovely, valuable, and can be such a source of joy! But if we don't first love ourselves, and nurture that all important relationship first, we will continually want more, often resulting in relationships crumbling apart, as we stand back and realize something went wrong again and our hearts are broken.
Our partners can not heal that part that we must attend to ourselves. Loving Our Selves is the first step to nurturing healthy relationships in the rest of our lives. So let's start there!
Happy Valentine's Day!! Enjoy FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU !!
Wishing us all a Life Long Healthy Relationship with Your Self,
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Try "Purification" "Lemongrass" "Lemon" and "Rosemary" for an uplifting combo or separate oil!