The Art of Self Love

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Here’s #12 in my ‘Blog a Day’ commitment. I’m writing a new post each weekday for a month.

My daughters grew up the the self esteem generation.

It’s almost a little comical. I remember my youngest’s 8th grade graduation. About 80 kids were graduating that day, we sat through the speeches, and I proudly cheered when Rosie sang a solo dressed in her gorgeous green graduation gown.

And then it was time for the Awards. Again a proud moment when Rosie stepped up for hers.

But…about a half hour in I realized that every single student was going to receive an award for something!

Umm, another version of ‘no child left behind?’

Well-intentioned as they were, I’m not sure these strategies did a whole lot to foster a true sense of self appreciation and self worth. If everyone’s special, then is anyone special?

I’m not knocking it, endless awards were certainly a step up from my generation’s experience. Key phrases that stick in my mind are, “Children are to be seen and not heard,” and “Sit down and shut up!” 

Self esteem was for sissies in those days.

Nowadays, we’ve moved beyond self esteem and the phrases like ‘self care’, ‘self love’ and ‘self compassion’ have taken their place.

They get bandied about so often they might start to sound like cliches… but don’t be fooled. Loving yourself is NOT plugging your ears and navel gazing.

In fact, even the Dalai Lama says, “You must love yourself before you can love others.”

But what does it really mean to love ourselves, and why is it important?

I’ve been on this journey of discovery for more than three years now, and I write about it often here on the blog and elsewhere.

I believe that when we have found the way clear to practice authentic self love, we can then enjoy a much healthier and fulfilling experience with loving others. Our love becomes deeper, truer and brings more joy and solace.

We can’t analyze and think our way into self love though.

This self love thing is an art—not a science.

I may write a whole book about what I’ve learned on this subject—from without and within. Practices. Tips. Remembrances. Baby steps to move from self-loathing to self-love—if I did it, anyone can.

For now I will leave you with this.

Make friends with the mirror.
Gaze into your own eyes and find the light that is so much more than the the little you.
Remember you are stars, you are light, you are held, and you are Divine.
Allow pleasure. Savor pleasure. Appreciate the tiny pleasures, the grand pleasures that you are visited with each day.
Touch your nose to something that smells beautiful. Do it for you.
Feel you body. Stay present inside it and feel.
Bathe. 
Breathe.
Touch.
Play.

 

 

 

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