What does it mean to love yourself?
It is the unshakeable knowledge that you are good enough just as you; no changes needed! You are a gift to this world just as you are; you were meant to be, and there is no other human on this planet like you, you are not repeatable. When you love yourself, you have the capacity to give love without expectations, you no longer give love to get something you simply give love because you have an abundance of it to give! Your internal knowledge of knowing that you are good enough releases you from the need to seek external validation from the world. You no longer do things for others from a stance of wanting to get something back, you give freely, love freely, and live freely without the constraints of needing. You live in a space of knowing that you have all the love you need because it comes through you.
How do you get to the space of loving yourself?
Some people are blessed with parents that instill in us the knowledge that we are good enough and that just being our best selves is all that is needed from us. When this gift is given as a child it allows us to take the bumps and bruises that come our way without damaging how we feel about ourselves. More times than not we are not given this knowledge and constantly struggle with our “inner critic chatter” telling us “we should” or “what if” (and the what if is always something negative) or “if they would just do X” the inner critic chatter never lets up it is a constant insistent chatter of negativity and fear!
Mindfulness is an antidote to the inner critic’s incessant chatter
Once you harness the power of understanding that you get to choose what thoughts are beneficial to you, it gives you the power to put the inner critic on a suspended time out. Mindfulness is a way of being it, it is a practice and a process, it goes beyond techniques and tools; mindfulness leads you to a path of self-discovery allowing you to live in the present moment where true joy is found. This is not to say there will not be moments that are unpleasant or that you will never be angry or afraid again. What it means is will have the capacity to process the moment without being reactionary and allow yourself the space to see the situation as it is and respond if warranted.
Mindfulness is a practice of learning to pay attention to your thoughts in a kind and discerning way without judgement (Shapiro, 2017). When you practice mindfulness and process your thoughts in this way you allow yourself the freedom from constantly judging, criticizing, and blaming yourself and the world around you. Life begins to flow a little easier with the practice of mindfulness you see thoughts as just thoughts; mindfulness gives you the ability to give yourself more grace and kindness knowing that you are doing your best at any given moment. The gift of self-love is truly the gift that never stops giving it is an eternal fountain born from the love you give to yourself!