When it comes to self love, each and everyone of us tend to have our own definitions. I think the purse of self love and acceptance has been quite prevalent in the past few years. I’ve observed that there is a big cultural movement for self acceptance, practicing self care and bettering relationships with oneself.
Self love requires discipline and perseverance as the driving force for our journey to a meaningful relationship with ourselves.
But in the effort of pursuing self love, life tends to throw curve balls and derail our progress. After several months of recouping, learning from others wisdom, and listening attentively to others around me. I have arrived at five things that better shaped my definition of self love.
These five tips are now the foundation of my journey, especially when obstacles come along. They require discipline and perseverance in order to build a meaningful relationship with ourselves because at the end of the day, we are the only people who are responsible for our own happiness.
Allowing Yourself to Chase After Your Dream
When was the last time we thought about our dreams? How many times have we swept our dreams under the carpet? These are true questions that many of us face because reality isn’t always accepting of our dreams. Whether it is to becoming an artist, starting a business or traveling the world. There are always life events that put our journey on hold while we take an alternative route or simply settle.
It’s okay to be scared, but I rather do it scared than not doing it at all.
Why is this a part of self love? I think it requires a huge amount of bravery and dedication to pursue our dreams. Bravery to take the first step, especially if we are chartering into unknown territories. Dedication to keep going, even if there is no one on our team. It can be daunting but being able to fulfill our dreams and life purposes add values to who we are.
Becoming Financial Responsible to Your Current and Future Self
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.Ayn Rand
When I was young, my first instinct when it came to problems is to run away. But running away from problems or ignoring it will not make it go away, we’re simply delaying the process, in the case of money, it will drive us into a hole. Debt interest can grow overtime, meaning we will have to pay more money back than the amount we actually borrow. Not paying bills on time will be detrimental to our credit, especially if we plan on buying a house or a new car in the future. So whether we like it or not, money is involved in major aspects of our lives.
The best way to bring peace to our financial life now and future self is through financial literacy.
I’ve made so many financial mistakes during my college years, and I want to save you from those headaches. My recommendation is financial literacy. Some of my favorite teachers include Dave Ramsey, The Financial Diet and Graham Stephan. Financial literacy is a pair of scissors that we use for cutting away the string holding a sword over our heads, freeing us from discomfort.
I wish my college education included a course in money management, literally one of the most useful skills in real life. The best way to combat money stress and bringing peace to us and our future selves is by learning financial literacy. There are so many resources out there that can teach us how to manage our daily budget, how to pay off debt, and how to invest.
Being Protective of Your Boundaries
Depending on our individual histories, our boundaries can range from no boundaries at all, to being selective or brick walls. Establishing boundaries within relationships will prevent the feelings of resentment towards our loved ones. I think it establishes a guideline on how we prefer to be treated, our triggers, and self respect.
When we allow for too many boundaries to be crossed, it can be detrimental to a relationship because we have allowed for our discomfort to bottle up for too long. Self respect can also be damage if we are not standing up for ourselves, by allowing for mistreatments.
Setting boundaries early on will help prevent us from misunderstanding through communicating our needs. Often people will respect us even more when we stand firm on our boundaries for how we should be treated in a relationship. Practice makes perfect so make setting boundaries a new habit for yourself.
Taking Care of Your Temple
Finding an effective exercising routine that we can stick to without feeling dreadful is a good place to start. I used to go to the gym everyday, but since I started working and quarantine happened, it has been so difficult to pick up exercising. My solution was to start with the simplest thing that I enjoy, walking. So I started walking every other day with my dog, then I started walking once everyday in the morning, and I grew my progress from there.
Training our bodies to get used to physical movements, eating healthier food, adapting to a better sleeping ritual and finding a healthy routine takes time and patience. Give ourselves room to breath if we accidentally fall of the wagon, and gently pull ourselves back without personal judgement.
My favorite physical transformation to follow for the past several weeks is Casey Ho’s from Blogilates. I think it is so inspiring to watch her journey back to wellness and feeling good about herself. Even with someone like her, who is a professional fitness coach, progress take time and practice. By no mean should we compare ourselves to anyone else’s journey, but I hope this will put things into perspective and take the pressure off. Check out her story here!
Similar to taking care of body by feeding it with nutrients filled food, we can take care our mind by providing it with visual arts, traveling to a new destination, inspirational teachings or my favorite of all, Mother Nature. Seriously, taking a walk in nature is so healing to the mind and we can often find many creative inspirations from nature.
Also, we can prevent pollution of our mind by avoiding gossip and drama. It can be easy to fall into the trap of putting others down by talking behind their back, but it will only do more damage to ourselves for projecting our insecurities onto them. Actively avoid situations, whether it be through voicing our opinion, changing the topic or removing ourselves from those toxic relationships.
Cultivate our spirit by bringing stillness to our mind through practicing mindfulness. This can be achieve through meditation, where we can train our mind to be still. We can also work on being in the present in the moment by embracing the presence moment without any physical or mental distractions.
I highly encourage us to also be aware of energy parasites, those who tend to be negative towards us or the things around them. If they are our friends or family, we need to be mindful of our energy first by asking ourselves whether or not we have enough to share.
Mindfulness in The Things We Tell Ourselves
I have a confession, I am very critical of myself and I hold myself to an extremely high standard. Phew, that was difficult to admit! My inner critic is not the nicest and it is so easy for her to say hurtful things when I fail, but she’s brief when it comes to giving compliment. Imagine having a friend like that, I bet they will not be your friend anymore after one week.
It took me a while to learn that harsh words come from a good place because I’m such an overachiever that I fear anything less than perfection. Words cut deep, and I have inflicted so many wounds self deprecating wounds onto myself, and it still bring tears till this day whenever I think about it. So many years spent thinking that ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘I’m only a burden to others around me’. It is a dangerous place to be especially when I get so scared that those things were true that I withdrew myself from the people around me. So the next time when we encounter it, remember to ask if this is really how we feel, is it really true? and why do we have these types of thoughts.
Practicing self love is like taking care of our inner child. It requires patience, time and dedication. It doesn’t grow over night and sometimes take years to realize. I have been on this journey many times, it wasn’t perfect nor was it always continuous because life happens. Sometimes we may feel like we haven’t made progress at all, and it is due to the fact that there are new lessons that we must cultivate in order for us to elevate onward.
My time of idling has helped me arrived at learning to be mindful of my boundaries and the things I tell myself, becoming responsible for my financial wellbeing, and realizing my dreams and goals. These are valuable lessons that anyone can benefit from, so start working on yourself today!