Love is the greatest motivator of all. When we love someone, or when we feel loved by someone, we are naturally driven to make the most of ourselves in every situation, and to progress in all aspects of life. This is especially true when a person is largely driven by emotion. I, myself find it easier to get and stay motivated when I feel love, because my emotions rule my world. Therefore, it is really important to learn to control those emotions and to learn to love ourselves, so that we can thrive in any situation. I’ve touched upon this topic before, when I wrote about my shift from publicly sharing every aspect of my life, to writing a private journal instead. But now, I really want to emphasize on the importance of self-love.
The main reason we seek fame, unnecessary material possession, or any type of validation such as selfie likes, large numbers of twitter or Facebook followers, etc. is because we do not love ourselves enough to not require any of these things. There is a difference between vanity and healthy self-love; vanity isn’t healthy self-love. Vanity is the false pretense that a person holds to make themselves feel better due to an extreme lack of love or healthy self-love. There’s also a fine line between providing entertainment and inspiration, and shamelessly fishing for love and validation. Admittedly, I sometimes find myself seeking love or validation by sharing semi-nude selfies or complaining about personal issues. I’m not saying that seeking love and validation from others is wrong; we all want love and we all need love. Some of us are fortunate enough to have met a great partner who provides us with all the love that we need. Others get love and inspiration from their fans and followers. Some even use imaginary friends (God) to make themselves feel loved. But imagine what we could accomplish if we loved ourselves enough that we didn’t need to rely purely on external sources of love for motivation?
What it Means to Truly Love Yourself
Loving yourself means, acknowledging the fact that you are a normal human being, just like everyone else. It means that you accept your flaws and learn to embrace the fact that they make you uniquely you. Loving yourself means, that you do not need to break others down, or wrongfully judge others in order to make you feel better about yourself. Loving yourself means, forgiving yourself for your past mistakes and seeing them as constructive life lessons, instead of brooding upon them and letting them ruin your future. Loving yourself means, caring for yourself enough to want to provide yourself with the best life possible, thereby motivating you to break through any obstacles and to make the best of any situation. Loving yourself means, taking care of your mind and body by constantly learning new things, and living a physically active, healthy lifestyle. Loving yourself means, staying away from anything that harms your mind or your body in any way. Loving yourself means, surrounding yourself with people who lift you higher. Loving yourself means, doing what you love, not just doing something because you feel that you need to do it, even though you really hate it. Loving yourself means, working the job that you love, and enjoying every moment of it. From this explanation of healthy self-love, you can see that not many people truly love themselves in a healthy way, myself included. Learning to love yourself is all about diverting focus away from negativity, accepting flaws, forgiving yourself, and focussing on what you do love about yourself. I’m still working towards building a healthy self-love mentality. Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s been working for me thus far…
Forgiveness of Self and Others
Regret and resentment is one of the most harmful things in life, because it creates fear and hate of self and others. The most important step towards learning to love yourself, is first learning to forgive yourself and those who have previously harmed you in any way. Forgiveness of self and others is the greatest gift that you can give yourself. Forgiveness sets you free from regret and resentment, and enables you to turn a new leaf, start fresh, and forge a new path focussed around joy and love. Forgiveness means, giving yourself another chance at true happiness.
Every mistake, regret, or feeling of resentment is a lesson learned. Every time you fucked up or got hurt, the experience should’ve taught you a valuable life lesson. Acknowledging this, you can easily forgive yourself and others because instead of feeling resentment, you can feel gratitude for the lessons learned. Whatever it is that caused the feeling of regret or resentment, if you sit down and think about it carefully, you will be able to find a valuable life lesson therefrom. If you hate yourself for something you’ve done, or if you have any kind of regret, then perhaps the lesson is to take a different approach or to not do it again. If someone hurt you, then perhaps the lesson is to be more careful or guard your feelings in a better way. Whatever it is, there is always a valuable life lesson hidden inside the drama and disaster. Discovering that lesson will allow you to forgive. Forgiving yourself and others, and being grateful for lessons learned, will set you free. Once you are free from regret and resentment, there will be no place for fear or hate. Now you can work on learning to love yourself.
I found that positive affirmations about myself really helped me to start loving myself. Maybe this simple practice can help you learn to love yourself. It’s quite simple really. Every time you find yourself feeling or thinking anything negative about yourself, force yourself to stop that thought, and counter it with a positive affirmation. For example, I sometimes have negative thoughts pop into my head about my body Image. I find myself thinking, “Ew why do I have so many moles? Why am I so skinny? Why does this wrinkle look like a vagina is growing on my forehead?” Whenever I find myself thinking of this nonsense, I acknowledge the negativity, stop it, and counter it by affirming to myself that, “I forgive myself for these negative thoughts. I accept my flaws as part of what makes me special. I love myself and I love my body. I approve of myself and I am beautiful just the way that I am.” Saying these things to myself felt really silly. But affirm this to yourself enough and eventually you will believe it, and you should believe it, because it is true! My affirmations might not work for you, but the exact wording isn’t important. What’s important is, that you affirm positive things about yourself and your life to yourself. By repetitively affirming positives, you are actively embedding those positives into your subconscious, and eventually they will become a part of who you are. Make sure that whatever you’re embedding into your subconscious through repetitive affirmation is positive and contains nothing but healthy self-love!
Your flaws make you special and unique! You are beautiful just the way that you are! You are capable of doing anything that you want to do! You have a brilliant mind! Do not limit yourself by fostering hate towards yourself or others! Do not limit yourself by living a life of regret! Do not degrade yourself by focussing on seemingly negative aspects of yourself! Forgive, learn, affirm positives, and love yourself, because you are a unique and beautiful human being with the power to change the world! Start by changing yourself from hating yourself, to loving yourself! I’m still on my journey towards strong, healthy self-love. Join me! Love yourself! xoxo
JOIN THE MAILING LIST
Subscribe to the DAVIDVENTER.NET Email Newsletter, delivered every Friday.
Get the latest articles, release notifications, and product & service announcements.