Self Love is the key to long term happiness.
I’m not referring to when you are full-of-yourself and think-you-can-do-no-wrong.
You love yourself when you make a mistake.
When you wear your full band outfit to a practice graduation rehearsal, you don’t say,
“You’re so stupid, Ed!”,
you instead think, “Well, that wasn’t your smartest move Ed. You are so embarrassed, you won’t likely every do this again! But I love your goofy self!“
Side note, this was an actual thing. I looked like this:
In front of a crowd like this:
As such, it’s rather hard to embarrass me now 🙂
By capturing the power of self love, you allow for healing yourself and truly supporting your friends and family. Let’s talk about five ways to do this:
1. Allow yourself to fail and don’t chastise yourself negatively
If you can love yourself when you fail or make a mistake, you will be able to support yourself in any moment. Think of the way you react when something bad happens or you make a big mistake. Now, imagine if you were the kindest person you’ve ever met. Then imagine that person tell you it’s ok — everyone makes a mistake.
2. But when you forgive yourself, make yourself a promise!
I learned this idea from a catholic priest when I was younger. I wasn’t catholic, but he was a close mentor of mine in many ways. He taught me to not hate myself, but also only forgive myself on the condition of changed behavior. Ask yourself questions like,
“Did you try your best?”
“Was the issue intentional?”
“What could you do to prevent this issue next time?”
If you are doing your best and you learned from the experience:
THAT IS ALL WE CAN ASK OURSELVES!
Give yourself some love and move on.
What would be the gain in continuing to castigate yourself?
Which is why…
3. You deserve to be happy and have the best life you can possibly imagine
Deserve is a very dangerous word.
In my opinion, it can make people incredibly miserable.
For a really long time, I thought I didn’t deserve to be with someone I loved because I was quiet and felt like I never had anything to say.
But that’s just who I am.
I often think deeply and don’t have much small talk to share. I eventually accepted that part of me and gave myself permission to be the best quiet, happy nerd I could be. Until you give yourself permission, it’s really hard to love who you are.
4. Love yourself, even when you don’t
But what if you don’t like yourself?
Fake it till you make it.
Think about a mindset of growth.
What are the specific things you lack?
I challenge you to try to imagine someone who could love you.
If you can’t visualize that, then imagine a super hero!
I guarantee that there is no person in the world that is beyond loving. If you have the will to forgive yourself and the attitude to do better, that is all it takes! Be your own super hero and accept yourself for who you are.
5. If you love yourself, you can love others even more
If you have hesitations about yourself, it can be hard to fully support others.
But if you love yourself, you can spend more of your energy loving and supporting those around you. It will also open people up to you. People are able to see clearly when you love yourself for who you are. I’m actually grateful it took me awhile to find my wife because I was exactly the person I needed to be to fully feel the love she had to share.
This makes you a great supportive friend because you have extra energy to share your empathy and compassion.
For example, at work, people often tell me I am the most approaching, loving person they see. It’s because I’m incredibly comfortable with who I am. Additionally, people will be able to find you — people who will support you for who you are — because they can see that you’ve accepted yourself. These are the sort of people you want in your life: they support your dreams, love you for who you are, and love themselves, too.
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