You know what? I’m sick to death of people feeling guilty about caring for themselves—for showing themselves a little bit of love for a change.
I’m not talking about self-love in the I’m-in-love-with-myself way. I’m talking about that deep sense of connection to oneself, when we realize: “Wow, I’ve been caring for everyone else in my life except myself for a while now.”
I’m talking about self-love in the I-must-love-myself-before-I-can-truly-love-others way.
Look within yourself. What is it that you need?
Self-love and self-care are not selfish. They are necessary. And if you don’t believe me, take some inspiration from the big shots below who have explained self-love with far more eloquence than I could ever hope to.
Allow them to be your muses. Then go ahead and give yourself a lot of love
1. “I have learned that self-mastery and the consistent care of one’s mind body and soul are essential to finding one’s highest self and living the life of one’s dreams. How can you care for others if you cannot even care for yourself? How can you do good if you don’t even feel good? I can’t love you if I cannot love myself.” ~ Robin S. Sharma
2. “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” ~ Charles Bukowski
3. “Love yourself…you can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing.” ~ Ram Dass
4. “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise L. Hay
5. “Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself—what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” ~ Warsan Shire
6. “Self love is the elixir of an immortal heart.” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree
7. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha
8. “I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” ~ Madonna
9. “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde
10. “Self love is an ocean and your heart is a vessel. Make it full, and any excess will spill over into the lives of the people you hold dear. But you must come first.” ~ Beau Taplin
11. “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours—it is an amazing journey—and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ~ Bob Moawad
12. “A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.” ~ Andrew Matthews
13. “Self-love is the source of all our other loves.” ~ Pierre Corneille
14. “Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree
15. “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
16. “It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” ~ Eartha Kitt
17. “When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits—anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” ~ Kim McMillen
18. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
19. “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” ~ Parker Palmer
20. “Stand up for who you are. Respect your Self and ignite the divine sparks in you. Access your powers. Choose your rights and work together with others to bring blessings into the lives.” ~ Amit Ray
How can we show ourselves a little bit of love this week?
Can we resist the urge to give ourselves love in the materialistic or superficial way? (For instance, buying that pair of shoes we can’t live without, or treating ourselves to a second helping of dessert.)
Can we make space and time to nourish our body, mind and soul to cultivate some self-love?
Here are a few ideas:
>> Take a long, luxurious bath.
>> Cancel something from your crazy schedule to simply read a book and drink some tea or coffee.
>> Meet up with a friend who you’ve been too busy to see.
>> Clear time from your work schedule to spend quality time with your partner or kids. (But make sure you’re not working hard—let them dote on you!)
>> Cook something new, something healthy and nourishing—something that you want to eat, and isn’t necessarily a meal that pleases everyone else in your household. (If cooking is something that calms you.)
>> Star gaze.
>> Cloud gaze.
>> Simply lay down, put your legs up the wall and breathe.
>> Listen to some nice music, or some beautiful mantras.
>> Make a vision board all about your wishes and dreams.
>> Write yourself a love letter.
>> Sit in meditation, put your hands over your belly or your heart and emanate a deep gratitude for all that you are.
>> Draw, make a sculpture, take some photos—anything creative.
>> Spend some time in nature; take a walk in that beautiful place that’s really close to your house but you don’t have a chance to get to much.
>> Buy yourself a new book, especially if it’s something that soothes your soul.
>> Light a candle or some incense.
>> Put on your favourite comfy pants and take some time to truly lounge (especially if your life is busy busy busy).
>> Learn something new. (Consider what it is that you love learning about and see if there’s an online course, or even a documentary that you can watch.) It sounds nerdy, but we live to learn and to really stop and think about what interests us is a great way to show ourselves some kind attention.