When the person I thought I'd marry said, "It's not going to work," I knew I needed to take time for myself. No more jumping into relationships for the sake of validation or fear of being alone. What I needed was a good dose of self-love and to know that I could be happy without a partner.
So I dove into learning about what I wanted, not just in a partner, but in life. I took time to get to know me and why I had such low self-worth. I promised myself I wouldn't get back into dating until I had healed from the inside out.
Although self-love can include pampering sessions and much needed "me" time, it's so much more than that. And it's especially important after cutting ties with someone we love. Whether you're single and learning to love yourself more or in a committed relationship and just need a loving boost, here are some ways to practice deep self-love.
Listen to your mind, body, and soul.
Do you follow the crowd to keep the peace? Do things you don't want to do because it makes others happy? Sure, relationships are about give and take, but if you're always giving how can you receive what nourishes you? Self-love is about listening to your deep needs and wants and standing firm in those desires. Speak up for what you want. Don't skirt around the issue. Sometimes relationships fail because we're afraid of voicing what it is we really need. Give yourself an equal balance of giving and receiving.
Just be you.
This includes wearing what you want to wear, listening to the music you like, decorating your space however you please. Self-love does not mean you compare yourself to others, try to impress anyone by doing things that are uncomfortable, or beating yourself up because you have brown hair and thick hips instead of black hair and tan thighs. You are unique, beautiful, enough. Your quirks and scars are admirable. And I can guarantee you there is someone out there who wishes they were you! On my self-love journey I've learned that I'm most beautiful when I'm being myself. So own your unique beauty and preferences and personality.
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." ~Dita Von Teese
You are not who you used to be and your past does not define you, so stop shoulda, coulda, woulda-ing. Self-love means moving forward with who you want to be and creating a life you love. Leave the past at the doorstep and walk into a bright, new future.
Heal from the inside out.
You have everything you need within you: all the love, adoration, and happiness you require. But to access this you must get in touch with your higher self and leave ego behind. Ego believes you're defined by what you achieve. It's concerned with power, comparison, and winning. Your higher self is aware of who you really are and all the power you hold. This is where healing and infinite possibility begins.
Your higher self if just what it says: higher than your false self, higher than your material physical self. It is the part of you that is aligned with your very Source of being." ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
Allow yourself to grow.
Self-love, like most things in life, is a journey and we're bound to hit a few bumps in the road. That's okay! It's a part of this human experience. Mistakes allow us to learn and grow; some people say they're the best teachers. So give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes. Push up through the dirt and raise your eyes to the sky.