“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi
Love definitely plays a central role in everyone’s lives. We all want it and cannot live without it. Books, movies, songs—so many things praise and describe the importance of the vital feeling of union and belonging.
Some of us spend a lifetime searching for love or getting over it. But we often forget that love is within us and can be cultivated as such.
I also have lived my struggles with love. When it comes to romantic relationships I had a great tendency to choose my partner for all the wrong reasons and then my heart would get broken.
In the process, the love for myself got diluted in the mists of pains and aches of the heart and I had to rediscover what it meant to love myself before I love others.
My biggest discovery was that I can only love others fully once I started to truly and deeply love myself. Louise Hay is a teacher on self-love and how to regain our self-esteem. I often use her affirmations and mirror work to daily nurture my own inner love.
It does not always come easily. Some days it is hard to look ourselves in the mirror and say that we love ourselves. But I keep in mind that if on the hard days I cannot say “I love you” to myself then who will?
Making myself my own number one priority was necessary, but I struggled with the feeling of being selfish. With time I learned that I had to. It was time to love me so that I could love others selflessly. So I decided to start pampering myself and finding ways to nurture and blossom my own inner love.
Here are a couple of ideas on how you can also embrace the longest loving relationship you will ever have: the one with yourself.
1. Daily affirm how much you love yourself and how wonderful you are—do it in front of your mirror for better results. It might be hard in the beginning, but persistence will bring its results.
2. Treat yourself to a daily pleasure—it can be a nice bath, that hot beverage you are craving, a nice new purchase for your inner goddess to shine through, etc.
3. Relax and pamper yourself—baths, massages, clothes and accessories that make you feel beautiful are the most loving way to ensure that you feel amazing in your own skin. For those on a budget, remember a nice warm bath with sea salt and your favorite essential oil is very affordable and that there are more and more discounts for delicious massages.
4. Your body is your temple—find a form of exercise that suits you the most and make it a priority. A happy body always makes for a happy mind. Yoga, walking in nature or the city, biking, swimming—the options are endless and 30 minutes a day are easy for anyone to fit into their schedules.
5. Write it down—don’t be afraid to release your thoughts and worries. Daily journaling is a great tool to get them out of your chest with no judgment or fear. This journal is yours only and it is your space to daily go through everything that is going on in your life and heart. Write freely and don’t overthink the words. Relinquish your mind and thought process—let your feelings speak.
6. Get the right “fuel”—treasure your body and treat it like the vessel of your soul. Nurture it with the right “fuel” and use no excuses to inundate it with foods that get your health, energy and beauty low. Healthy eating is not a trend or buzzword. It is a priority if you want to feel well and loving on the inside and outside. Take the necessary steps to eat healthy foods and notice how your body will lovingly respond with happiness, more energy and an overall glow.
7. Love yourself no matter what—life will always throw you some curve balls, but a daily “practice” of loving yourself will be there for you through the thick and thin.
Put those barriers down and find out how beautiful you are. Love yourself so that you can always love others. And never, never be afraid to make it a priority to love yourself.
Don’t seek love outside of you. It is already inside of you, waiting for you to find and nurture it. Enjoy it, because you are beautiful!
Claudia Fortes is a writer who loves everything related to well-being, traveling, yoga and happiness. A Portuguese native who has been living abroad for over a decade, Claudia loves writing, traveling the world, practicing yoga, going for long walks, beach and sunshine, movies and reading.
Editor: Malin Bergman
Like elephant love on Facebook.