The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Danielle Dowling.
What does self-love mean?
It means recognizing your value.
It means taking the time and effort to give yourself the affection and patience you give others.
It means quieting the voice in your head that says things that are less than kind.
Self-love isn’t about being narcissistic.
It’s about looking at ourselves with eyes of kindness and owning our power. Self-love allows us to pursue the life we want and surround ourselves with people who reflect that love and support.
There are heaps of benefits to loving that gorgeous, clever person in the mirror.
When we love ourselves:
1. We become responsible and accountable for our lives.
We recognize that we are our own source of happiness. We have the power to change our thoughts, our relationships, and our careers. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you’re the one driving this car?
Even better, other people in our lives – our partners, children, friends, and parents can make this discovery vicariously. They can’t help but be inspired by the changes you’re making!
2. We believe in our power.
It doesn’t matter what others say or think about us; what matters is how we feel about ourselves. Someone says something snarky about your latest project? It’s water off your back because you know how hard you worked. Unkind comment about your outfit? You’re not fussed because you think you look amaaaaazing. Who cares what someone else thinks?
3. We allow ourselves to suit up and show up in the world to live our purpose.
If you know your purpose in life is to create healthy meals from local produce, it doesn’t matter that your dad wants you to be a trial lawyer. You know your purpose is teaching middle school science? Then you’re not bothered when someone suggests you should become an accountant. No thanks, I know I’m doing what’s right for me.
4. We know that we’re enough and we can release the need to prove ourselves to others.
Doesn’t it feel good to lean back, relax, and stop trying to prove that you’re awesome? Let someone else brag about their vacation/raise/engagement ring. You know you’re on the right path.
5. We know that on the other side of choosing love lies the life we most desire.
When you love yourself, you’re no longer ruled by fear. When we choose love over fear, we relax into our innate happiness.
6. We accept reality instead of fighting it or blaming others.
When you show yourself love, you trust that everything that happens does so for our highest good. Even the breakups, the layoff, the failed friendship, your child’s F in Biology, that business idea that didn’t pan out. When we have self-love (and patience) we know that it will really, truly will work out for the best.
7. We let go of anger, shame and blame.
All that negativity weighs you down and affects your life in ways you probably don’t realize. Those snarky thoughts – whether they’re directed at yourself or others – benefit no one. When we let them go, we create space in our lives, minds, and hearts for better things.
8. We approve of ourselves unconditionally – strengths and weaknesses included.
You’ve probably realized by now that no one is perfect, so why would you expect yourself to be? Every single person in the world has shortcomings and skills; you’re no exception. When we make peace with who we are, warts and all, we can experience even-mindedness and feel at peace.
9. We find courage to accept our failures.
You know you can’t change the past, right? Of course you do. So why spend time thinking about times you failed or moments of weakness? When we love ourselves we can learn from our mistakes and move forward.
10. We feel safe because we realize that we are our own best friends.
A good friend gives you pep talks when you’re down, points you in the right direction when you’re struggling, calls you on your bullshit, and won’t let you say mean things about your hair. When you love who you are, you can do all of those things for yourself.
11. We attract peace, expansion, and gratitude in our relationships.
You know who doesn’t put up with drama or foolishness? A woman who loves herself. When you know your value, you surround yourself with people who know it, too. You create a circle of loving, inspiring, downright wonderful humans, minus the shenanigans.
12. When we love ourselves, we choose to become aware of our anxiety and how we react when we are under stress.
When we have self-love, we have the space to question the truthfulness of our anxiety. We can ask ourselves: Is this thought based in reality? Or is this coming from a place of fear? We can take a step back, turn anxious thoughts around, and invite contentment and deep breaths instead.
With life-changing, heart-quaking benefits like these, why wouldn’t you add a bit more self-love to your life? You are absolutely worth it.
Dr. Danielle Dowling is a life coach, psychologist and blogger. She’s an intuitive strategist working with women leaders who are ready to stop compromising on the things that matter most — self-realization, soulful companionship and accessing innate power.