“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne WilliamsonYou’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating here: self-love is the key to everything you could ever possibly want in life. Sounds great, right? But what the heck is self-love and how do you love yourself, especially when we’ve been taught our whole lives that love is for others?
Loving yourself means that you value and appreciate yourself, exactly as you are. It means recognizing that you are worthy of all the good things that life has to offer, just for being you! You are aware of all your strengths and positive aspects, and use them to your advantage. You are also mindful of your weaknesses and flaws, but you treat yourself kindly in spite of them. You realize that these are just qualities that you’re still working on and developing. :)
Above all, to me, loving yourself means expressing yourself, your entire self, authentically and without reserve, whether or not the world around you agrees with you. It means sticking to your path, even if you’re the only one currently on it. It means being the person you know deep down you are meant to be, even if the people around you would rather you be someone else entirely! Sure, there are times when fully expressing yourself is not appropriate to the situation at hand. On the whole, however, I believe it is extremely important to authentically be yourself as much as humanly possible.
Deep down, all of us have these amazing gifts, talents, and passions that we were born with and are meant to bring to the world. In fact, we have actually been given these specific passions and special gifts because we are *supposed* to be expressing them in our lives! So many of us stifle our self-expression, though, and just stick to the daily grind, doing the same thing day in and day out, and then wonder why things aren’t working out for us.
Here are some ways you can start loving yourself more today:
• Indulge in your passions, even if your family and friends don’t understand them or agree with them;
• Find a way to make money doing what you love, so you can ultimately pursue a career that truly gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment;
• Say no to activities that you really don't feel like doing, and instead spend the time at home relaxing or doing something you do feel like doing;
• Stop spending time with people you have nothing in common with, and start cultivating friendships with people you do share comment interests with;
• Surround yourself with friends who not only love and appreciate you as a person, but encourage you to go for your biggest dreams;
• Only entertain romantic relationships in which you are allowed to be the best possible version of yourself and shine your light freely, rather than having to hide who you truly are or play small to accommodate the other person.
These are a just a handful of suggestions to start loving yourself, but even implementing a fraction of any them will bring huge changes to your life! Not to mention, as explained in the above quote from Marianne Williamson, loving yourself and expressing yourself fully actually gives people around you permission to do the same. Rather than a world where everyone tries to play small to fit in and be liked by others, wouldn't the world be a much better place if we were all allowed to shine our light brightly, authentically be who we truly are, and freely use our unique gifts and talents to create lives we are truly passionate about?
I think so! :)
For more self-love tips and resources, be sure to check out the
self-love page of my website.