By Wendy Reese
If ever there were one month dedicated to love, it would have to be February. Often, though, the focus is on external love. The only partner you have from birth to death is yourself. In essence, the truest love of all is you. Yet, more many people, they do not treat themselves as well as the treat friends or romantic interests. They spend more time getting to know others than themselves, too. Here are 3 simple tips for increasing self-love and investing in your authenticity.
- Date yourself. Seriously. You would take the time to put your best foot forward on a date with someone you are interested in, asking questions, getting to them them. Do it for yourself. Start with, “Who are you?” This is a trick question. You give list all the roles you play from friend to family member, your job to gender. You can even tell your story of why you are the person your are today. What drives you to keep living? What do you love more than anything? What makes you feel so alive that all five senses are simultaneously engaged? What pushes your buttons? What do you never want to feel again and why? What would you regret if you didn’t do it before you died? Who is your best friend and why? Who do you admire most and why? These are all great foundational questions. At the core, though, who are you? What is your connection to Source? What is your power? Do you know your Divinity? Do you remember the energy you were before entering your body? And if you can answer those, what are you doing with that knowledge?
- Get the relationship between your heart and head healthy. Your mind is an amazing tool that can get the heart’s work done effectively and efficiently, if they are communicating. This may require some work to harmonize the fear, dissolve the limiting beliefs, or embrace what you most resist that keeps you stuck. Until you do that work, you will continually face the limitation. It may arrive in a slightly different look than on previous occasions, make no mistake, its core is the same. When you move into the old familiar limitation, perhaps showing as fear, doubt, unworthiness, or some label you are avoiding, be present with it. Ah, yes, the old pals fear and doubt, sit down, let’s talk this out. What does your heart need in order to make peace with these emotions? Perhaps it is as simple as returning to the first time you played in the limitation of not being enough. Is it true that you’re not enough or was some projecting their own insecurities on you and you adopted them as a belief? Would you be willing now to release that belief? What would you need in order to release it? Will you imagine what it would be like to not have that belief? How much fun would it be to play there?
- Treat yourself with kindness. Too many people speak and act cruelly towards themselves. If someone witnesses a child or animal being treated the way many people treat themselves, they would likely report abuse. Yet, day in and day out, such behavior is a norm. We teach people how to treat us. You will attract people who will validate your beliefs. Breaking the cycle of self-violence starts with awareness. As you recognize a pattern, rather than judging, simply send a little love to yourself, pivot and do something different. Maybe an apology is necessary. Have a conversation with the heart to see how things could be different in the future. Work as partners to make the shift.
Self love is a challenge for anyone who has been so hurt that they shut a piece of their essence off, lock their soul up, play less than or not enough until eventually they believe it. Like a toddle learning to walk, you may find yourself successfully completing a step or two towards self-love and suddenly tumble back into the familiarity of self-judgment. Most times, you can simply be aware and start again. Others, you may need a point person to remind you that you are lovable and worthy of starting again. Eventually, the stumbles lessen, the walking is consistent, and you begin to trust yourself. You act out of authenticity. One day, after much persistence, you find yourself running, not walking, toward self-love and authenticity.