“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
There is one common trait and shared belief many spiritual gurus live by; if you want to heal your life and reach your full potential, you must practice self-love.
This is something that doesn’t necessarily come easy. Especially for those who’ve faced any type of abuse or neglect in life.
Self -love may not come easy, but from my personal experience it’s a foundation for achieving successful relationships, healthy habits and bliss in life.
The first I heard of this notion; practicing self-love, was when I picked up and read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I learnt that to properly love another, I had to dig deep, and learn how to love myself first.
This required a lot of exercises, one of the first – looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself I was worthy of love, loved, and accepted my true self.
Sounds easy right? Well, it took me a week of trying every night to achieve saying this without bursting into tears.
Along with the mirror exercise, I said self-made affirmations twice a day (as I woke and before bed) to instill my self-worth. These affirmations went something like, “I am worthy”, “I am enough”, “I am loved”.
The key to doing these exercises, and others, instructed by Louise Hay, is believing in the words and setting the intention of self-love.
After I’d read this book twice, I really started to notice a difference in myself, and so did everyone else. My soul and heart were smiling, and everyone could see it.
I was more in tune with myself, and the greatest reflection of this was my attitude toward myself. I started eating better, exercising, and developed a deep love for all living things.
I was craving being out in nature and enjoying the simple things, like reading a book and spending time with my younger siblings without the distractions of technology.
I felt truly blissful with all I had.
This sounds like a self-love fairy tale, and I wish is was. But the truth is, I’ve let life get in the way of practicing self-love.
In the past 6 months, there’s been nothing but excuses as to why I can’t exercise or why I don’t spend the time to make food that nourishes my body and nurtures my soul.
So for me, it’s back to the drawing board.
I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now, and already feel like the words are making my soul shine and heart smile. It’s so nice to have that familiar grounding feeling back!
In my understanding, self-love is fundamental to enlightenment. Without self-love, how are you to understand your full potential, know true bliss and essentially achieve enlightenment?
I feel like I’m honoring myself and practicing self-love when I’m making space and time for the following:
- Surrounding myself in nature
- Exercising at a moderate intensity
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Studying the teachings of spiritual gurus
- Eating nourishing, unprocessed and organic food
So my question to you is, what are you doing in your life that makes your soul shine?