My dear friends,
This year, but particularly, the past few months, have been completely life-changing. I know we all know this, but I just want you to remember that nothing that has happened so far this year has been normal nor precedented, so before we get into today’s topic of self-love, I just want you to remember this truth as you maneuver through your days of 2020.
So much has been turned upside down, and our daily lives feel completely unpredictable and unstable. No matter who you are or where you live, life is different. Our routines are different. Our mindsets are different. Our reality is completely different.
Life is just different, and so our relationships, particularly the relationship we have with ourselves will transform as well.
While these months have certainly been uncomfortable and oftentimes anxiety ridden, I’ve also felt that they’ve provided time and space for deep personal reflection. We are home more, we are social less, there is a quiet and a stillness that has been infused into our lives like never before.
We all know that I am the biggest proponent of personal connection and using mindfulness tools to establish a strong foundation within our selves. I believe that this time in our lives personally, and collectively, is a perfect opportunity to strengthen that connection and really start to understand what it means to love ourselves and to really take care of ourselves.
I’ve written on self-love and self-care and the preconceived notions that tend to miss the mark on what it all actually entails. We tend to see posts on social media of spa days and trips with friends with the hashtag #selfcare. But what does self-care really look like when these external factors are removed and we are truly left with ourselves? How can we love for and take care of ourselves and our needs without searching externally for comfort?
The silver lining of this incredibly difficult time, for me personally, has been the extra time I’ve been able to dedicate to really connecting with myself. I’m alone a lot, so I’ve had the opportunity to check in with myself and my intuition, make aligned choices with who I am and what I want, meditate, journal, cook, organize, clear out clutter, and just be in that space of love in action that makes me feel good, all during a time that has made us all feel so bad.
I want to say that, I know the concept of loving yourself and caring for yourself is hard. We really aren’t taught to do it, and we have ingrained in our minds that it’s selfish to do so. I say this to remind you that this is a lifelong journey and a process, but a worthy one. The journey to self-love is step by step, day by day, making choices and changes that honor who you are and what you want, rather than being influenced externally. The process to self-love is a strengthening of that muscle inside you that reminds you that you are always enough and worthy, and you don’t have to do anything to be that way. The practice of self-care encourages you to choose things that align with your highest good, your goals, your desires, and how you want to feel, instead what you think other people think you should want and do.
Loving yourself is the practice of coming home, every day, honoring the person you are in this moment, and holding the hope that in each new day you find an extra sense of comfort, peace, and joy in it.
Because self-love and self-care can be hard to grasp on to, and as I said before, we aren’t taught this, I’ve provided some questions that you can contemplate, and apply to your life as you see fit. Sit with them, see what answers come to you, and notice how you feel when you start to apply the answers into your life.
Remember, no matter what, you are loved, you are worthy, and you are needed in this world.
How can you honor who you are in this moment?
How can you trust your deepest desires?
What beliefs do you need to release to remember that you are already worthy?
How can you set loving boundaries to protect your energy?
How can you communicate for your needs to be met?
How can you make aligned choices?
How can you release fears that are keeping you from going after your desires in life?
What, in this moment, is the most loving action for me to take?
I encourage you to spend some time ruminating in these questions, and seeing how it feels to make yourself your own priority. Remember, you’re always worth it.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org