Many times throughout our journeys, we hear people say things along the lines of… “You need to love yourself” or “You deserve better, love yourself!”. However, the term, “love yourself” can be foreign to us if we do not actually learn how to. Depending on each individual’s journey, loving one’s self is a process and sometimes we can’t effectively love ourselves if we don’t come to know who we are first. Loving yourself and self-care is not always relaxing in a bubble bath and/or treating yourself to a pedicure/manicure. It’s getting to know your inner child and nurturing the inner you who has been hurt or who has felt neglected in the past.
Although there are many acts of self-love and self-care, one practice I find very effective is: Strengthening awareness of your thoughts (i.e., inner-dialogue) and reframing the thoughts that don’t serve your Highest Good.
There are many thoughts passing through our mind throughout the day that we don’t recognize until we actually gain self-awareness. Thoughts like, “I can’t believe I am feeling sad again, wow!”; “I’m such an idiot” (even saying this jokingly is detrimental because our spirit doesn’t know the difference); “I am difficult to deal with”; “I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I’m trippin’”; “I look gross”; etc. Many of our thoughts can be existent on either a conscious or subconscious level, which is why meditation is important in order to gain awareness of those happening on a more subconscious level. These thoughts going through our head may have been engrained in our minds from past lovers, friends, parents, or we made ourselves believe these things due to certain life experiences. Gaining self-awareness of our thoughts and reframing them to ones of more kindness and compassion is a beautiful act of self-love.
It’s important to know that not all thoughts should be reframed right from the jump. For instance, there are times where a thought or form of inner-dialogue is a cry for love from our inner child or a younger version of ourselves. As we recognize these certain thoughts that don’t serve us, we can then distinguish the root of it (e.g., an emotion); then, we can do shadow work to send light to these aspects of ourselves rather than focusing on the thought right off the bat.
At times, we may even identify with our thoughts (e.g., allow them to define us, believe them to be true, get lost in them). As we stay aware of our thoughts rather than automatically identifying with them, we gain a deeper level of understanding for ourselves. In result, we learn to nurture our past selves or our inner child more effectively. We can then provide love and meet our needs that may have not been met in the past. As we practice and gain more self-love for ourselves, we then attract partners, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that see us the way we see ourselves, and most importantly, love us the way we deserve to be loved.