I usually talk about design-related issues on this blog but I wanted to touch on something a little bit different today – and it’s a doozy.
When I look at the world around me, self-love seems to be in rather short supply. Instead, I see the opposite: behaviors that are a result of intrinsic low self-esteem.
But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how self-loathing manifests in different ways. Addiction the most obvious one – and that includes addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, drama, shopping, paparazzi attention. (I’m talking to you Lindsay Lohan)! And there are less obvious ones too: think yoyo dieting, chronically dating dudes that don’t want to settle down (when you do), staying in a workspace that just doesn’t jive with you.
These sorts of numbing behaviors are ultimately covering up some dark thoughts, those things we have pushed to the back of our mind, those things that we are trying desperately to avoid confronting.
Those thoughts typically go something like this:
We’re a fraud. We’re not lovable. We don’t really deserve to be happy. We don’t even believe in true happiness! We feel abandoned. No one understands us. We don’t think good things will ever happen to us ever again. Etc. Etc. Etc.
If this all sounds familiar, that’s because we are all there – at least some of the time. We seem to be hardwired to think these negative thoughts! But that nasty voice in our head is only an illusion. Those hateful words that we obsess over time and time again are not actually a part of us. And they are definitely not telling us the truth.
You are not your thoughts.
Once you get this one it’s a BIG step forward. (And don’t worry–it will take a little while before it really starts to sink in.)
But for now, we can start to practice detaching ourselves from those voices.
We can stop engaging in those destructive behaviors (one small step at a time).
And we can choose to show ourselves some love instead of subtle aggression.
As you know from the rest of this blog, my favorite ways to create self-love involve taking care of the space around us. This is a highly important action because we cannot help but respond to our environment. Plus we since we can make changes to our space so easily, it’s a great starting point on the path towards alignment.
But you can also create self-love in other ways: Take a bubble bath. (It’s a cliche for a reason.) Buy yourself a new pair of running shoes. Take the time to make a healthy home-cooked meal. Begin a regular meditation practice (just five minutes a day!). Book a massage.
Want more? Click the link below to see my list of 10 ways you can show yourself some love and attention.
Self-love is an ongoing practice. There will be ups and downs, times when it’s easy and times when it’s tough. And if you are typically existing in a place of self-loathing, it’s not just going to come to you magically overnight.
But by cultivating tiny-yet-totes-doable habits, you will begin to feel the difference between love and loathing. And eventually, it will become second nature to choose the loving feeling over the loathing one.
So tell me: how are you going show yourself some love today? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about why you need a self-care practice or this one about elevating the mundane.