Self-love is the answer to so many of life’s challenges. We hear about it frequently but struggle to know how to achieve a state so alien to most of us. Human Givens Counsellor, Lee Pycroft, shares how to open your heart to yourself this month.
Self-love is based on a set of actions that support you in mind, body and spirit. It requires your focus and attention to grow and evolve, and for you to mature in the belief of your value and worthiness.
It calls for humility, courage and gentleness of spirit to best support yourself on this journey. This might sound daunting, but the following four mantras will help you to achieve this.
Open Your Heart
If you have been hurt, heartbroken or let down, it can be tempting to seal yourself off to others – and even to yourself. The fact is, there are no guarantees in life, but there is always the possibility of change. If this change has been a negative one, sometimes it requires an act of faith and some small steps to reclaim your self-love. Whatever has happened in the past, choose to see something that came from it that helped you grow in your personal experience of the world. Making a decision to care about yourself and move forwards could be the most courageous gift you give to yourself.
Cultivate Self Respect
Self-respect is about defending what you stand for and behaving with dignity, whilst still maintaining care for those around you. It is tending to the environment you live in as a vehicle for your physical and emotional health. Make sure your home is in order, that you are eating food that nourishes your body and feeding your mind with supportive and joyful content. This will help lay the foundation from which you can grow.
Practice Placing Boundaries
To protect your emotional health you need to be aware of who you are spending time with, and what you agree to accommodate. This is key to staying emotionally balanced. Without personal boundaries we can confuse our own needs and wants with those of others, potentially leading to co-dependent behaviours. If you struggle to say ‘no’ to people, remember that we teach people how to treat us by how showing them our standards of acceptable behaviour, and teaching them what your limits are. If you struggle with this, then start by laying down a small boundary, one that feels achievable, and develop the skill from there. This is a great way to stop people taking advantage of you over and over.
Total self-acceptance can be difficult to deal with. It is natural to want to highlight the best parts of ourselves, or to be self-accepting only when we have achieved our next goal. Unconditional self-acceptance means acknowledging our perceived flaws and less desirable traits too. This does not need to limit you. If you want to improve or modify certain behaviours, do it whilst remembering to be more mindful and kind to yourself as you evolve. It is difficult to make changes when we are at war with ourselves, so always look for the positive intention behind any less worthy behaviour as this can help create more awareness regarding other possible ways forward.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
May yours be a worthy one.
Written by: Lee Pycroft | Wellbeing Editor
Lee is a renowned make-up artist and psychotherapist dispensing sound advice on all aspects of make-up and emotional wellbeing.