“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” -Buddha
The deepest love you can ever endure is love for yourself. This September as we end our SCS Challenge, we learn to fall in love with ourselves through the power of self care. Self love isn't just something you cultivate over night, it is a gradual step by step process you take. Through every rough patch or emotional darkness I have experienced I had to cultivate self love by allowing myself to feel pain or trauma or any experiences that I am feeling and not be so hard on myself when I feel them.
Most of us in the Western world have cultivated the art of perfectionism. We are raised to believe perfectionism is something to be praised or seen as a great thing. When in fact, perfectionism is what often harms us or causes us to suffer mentally and emotionally.
In order to steer away from this Western world thinking, we must acknowledge that perfectionism or being hard on ourselves is toxic. You may be that strong person people look up to or the person everyone counts on because on the outside everything seems "perfect." Gradually this causes you to believe that you have to be this perfect person who always knows what to say, what to do, or always saying YES. Acknowledge that perfectionism is not always good and cultivate a way understanding what it means to just be you!
Resist beating yourself up for not getting things right and also avoid saying YES to everything. The power of saying no really allows you as a person to fall deeply in love with yourself more. When you've spent years cultivating this inner critic, you develop an unconscious reflex to put yourself down for every minor thing. DON'T. Recognize that it is okay to make mistakes and show yourself more compassion!
Lastly, it is okay to be selfish. Not meaning lacking consideration for others, but to put your mental and emotional health first before anything else. You can be kind and compassionate towards others and not have to over extend yourself or beat yourself up for small things. Compassion to yourself first helps you expand your compassion to others. So don't feel that you are a bad person for giving yourself that time and energy you need to recover your body, mind and spirit. Instead, celebrate your growth and be unapologetic about it!
How do you practice self love?