By Cristina Utti
Learning how to love ourselves may sound like the easiest thing in the world, like it should come naturally. Usually, the messes we find ourselves in, from addiction problems, to bad relationships, to the wrong job, stem from fear and not loving ourselves enough to do what is right and healthy for our own well-being. Some people may think that loving one self is conceited, but there is a difference. Most people that are conceited put on a front because they do not like themselves. If you love yourself, you do not have to have a huge ego in front of the world because you have inner peace that emanates to the world without even using a spoken word.
One strategy that I have used, and recommend to any newly recovering person is to keep an ongoing “love” list. Every morning, write down at least three things that you love about yourself, and there can be no repeats. I’ve done this for myself, and was surprised at how difficult it was! We are our own worst critics.
What we are at our core is Love. Love is the connecting spirit of all humanity. Reaching within, finding and feeling this love for your self is what life is all about. Unfortunately, in our society, this is not something that is taught. We are all a work in progress from the day we enter this earth, until the day we leave it. It is never too early nor too late to begin loving your self. Here are some truths to keep in mind in your journey of self-love.
- You are not as fat as you think you are. Our culture once thought ‘twiggy’ was beautiful. That was years ago, and things are changing. As a matter of fact, there are many cultures around the world that do not view being thin as beautiful. Listen to your body. If we eat when we are hungry, and not just because the clock says that it is lunchtime (or dinnertime, etc.), our bodies will be happier and we will maintain the weight that is just perfect for our own body.
- Incorporate some physical activity into your life not just to get fit on the outside, but because it is good for your soul. Exercising releases endorphins that make us feel good.
- Take Vitamins. The healthier we are, the happier we will feel.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all unique. Appreciate and love the good things about your self.
- Listen to your feelings. Most of us are attuned to taking in the feelings of everyone around us, but get confused or baffled with our own feelings. Get to know yourself. Stand up for what you feel. No one can take away your feelings, or tell you that they are wrong. Embrace what you feel, and love yourself for being who you are.
- Find work that you love. Most of our daily hours are filled with what we do to earn a living. Find work you love, even if it means a pay cut. Making a lot of money may be nice, but what good is it if we are miserable?
- Balance is the key to life. Find balance between spending time doing things for your self, and what you need to do for others in your life. All work and no play, or all play and no work can create anxiety. Find balance between work and nurturing your body and soul.
- Take responsibility. Be responsible for creating love in your life, beginning with yourself. If we are seeking some kind of outside love to fill us, it will never work. The saying is true—we cannot truly love another until we first love ourselves.
- Do things you enjoy. Give yourself permission to do the things you love to do. Time is something that we can never get back. If you prefer reading a book, or taking a stroll instead of cleaning the kitchen floor, go ahead and do it! Just remember #7, because no one will be happy living in a mess either!
- No one is perfect. Give yourself a break. If you set a goal, and at first don’t succeed, try again.
Love yourself. Be grateful for every day. Life is short. Fill yourself with love and more love will come your way!
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, please contact us today at 800.218.6727. Help is available 24/7.