I could begin this topic of self love with the usual statements about how to take care of yourself, the time you spend on yourself is just as important as the time you spend on others etc. etc.
When I started writing this blog I felt a distinct need to shine a light on those things that perhaps we don’t love, the things we wish were different about us, our bodies, our faces or our negative mental habits. All of those things that we would change if we could. Why did we end up this way? Why is it so hard to get to that perfect place in our minds and bodies that we are in a state of acceptance, ready to embrace and learn from what we find difficult to accept. This is the crux of the issue.
The saying “self love” brings all kinds of assumptions to mind, predictable ones that we know we should embrace but ultimately haven’t because those concepts still reside somewhere outside of our habits, lifestyle and reality. Regardless of where we got the thought or idea of what self love looks like to us we are still inundated by a lot of what self love looks like to everyone else.
More often than not how we perceive self love may match some hybrid, super idealistic image from a time in our lives when we were super impressionable, usually in our youth. We picture ourselves getting a massage, eating anything we want or taking an expensive trip somewhere. And although these images seem very self loving, they can be detrimental in other ways and if we can’t find time or the money to do these things we may feel perhaps we aren’t really hitting that mental marker that “self love” really is supposed to hit. In any case, these are the images that can predetermine our happiness and self acceptance factors.
This is true of our mental images of how we look too, which may also subconsciously affect our perceived self love worthiness. Our culture has a hard time identifying different faces, body types, or mindsets as being perfect or at least great for us. It is harder to say those large hips, chubby upper arms or big nose are all perfect when we are faced with lots of the opposite on a daily basis. We don’t even realize that we are harboring these images within our minds until someone (like myself) points it out.
So I say let self-love (The #10 of The Top Ten Things You Need To Lose Weight) begin with identifying your unique traits, your voice, appearance, your shortfalls, your hurdles and thought processes as beautifully perfect for you and your personal development. By that I mean, there is possibly a very different purpose to how you look visually or how you think. These traits are actually your sign posts for something else, something possibly far more spiritual or esoteric than the one (or two things that) annoy you and make you judge yourself. Yes, they serve you in a very specific way to bring your attention to that which you need to address most. We need to start loving ourselves not just because we are or are not fitting our cultures ideal but because our minds and bodies are strategic, super intelligent and complex machines build specifically for our spiritual evolution. That means everything you are right now is perfect for you and your growth.
So if you have a big nose and you notice your girlfriend who happens to have a very small nose gets a lot more attention than you do. I’d say your issue is not your big nose, instead I’d be considering why you need more attention. If you find you cringe while trying on jeans because your thighs are much bigger than everything else on your body. I’d take a look at why you are cringing, is it because or it’s because you haven’t actually grown into the understanding that large thighs means you have substantial power to ground yourself and are super giving in relationships? Do you hide your stomach under your baggy shirts because you feel you look fat and want to lose weight or because you have way too much anxiety at work and feel less confident about your abilities than your co-workers?
Consider for the moment that the very thing you hate or judge about yourself makes you entirely perfect. ….. Let’s sit with this for a moment… say it with me “This thing I hate makes me …...uh ..perfect?”
The traits we are born with and the experiences we’ve had as we grow up (that make us judge ourselves) are specifically designed to help you see your amazing uniqueness as well as give you specific ways to overcome debilitating personality imbalances that make you judge yourself.
This is GENIUS! What better way to improve our thought processes about ourselves while engendering a sense of personal peace in our own perfection. This is how Spirit works, there is genius in our personal dilemmas, there is a far more intricate system of learning, understanding and opportunities for mastery ingrained in our minds and bodies that we can possibly imagine. And it is this little detail that I call our “divine template” and that we can love unconditionally! That our bodies and minds have the perfect set of circumstances to grow our souls exactly the way we need to in order to evolve and that is worth LOVING ENTIRELY!
Try not to confuse self love with self loathing. What?! You may ask, what do you mean? I see a lot of people using “self love” or care as an excuse to indulge in things that won’t necessarily translate as self love to the mind and body. Eating the wrong foods, ice cream or TV episode binging, drinking alcohol in excess, or dabbling in drugs doesn’t mean you have cultivated a self loving habit. It just means you are more interested in obliterating those feelings you have for those things you dislike about yourself. Burying those traits you dislike only serves to make them more of an issue later on in life. Identify your self love with what will actually nourish your mind and body evolution. That may be something entirely different than what you had thought.
Perhaps your particular self love journey involves a silent retreat, learning how to swim, getting tools to better organize yourself or put a positive spin on your thought processes or learning how to say “no”. Of course, thinking and loving yourself in this way is a very different way of using your time and energy but it’s worth it!
Giving your special inequities opportunities to “speak” to you may be the perfect way to say “I love me”.
To learn more about self love and it’s practical applications to your fitness or weight loss goals go to my online course “Lose Weight With MindBody Mastery” on MindBodyMastery.Teachable.com