“Love yourself first” is one of the most common prescriptions for healing a broken heart, mending a broken spirit, curing depression and generally living a more joyous, abundant and love-filled life. It kind of makes sense, but given the battle scars we all wear as a mark of our journey through life, the concept of self-love is often met with the question of how?
In my inbox this morning were two messages about self-love that made perfect sense in navigating the ‘how to’ of self-love.
The first was from Tantric and Sacred Sexual Dance teacher, Roxanna Minnona (Roxy). Through her work Roxy supports women in reconnecting to our divine, Feminine and orgasmic nature by releasing our societal conditioning and exploring our true nature as women. One of the ways she says to do this is through ‘the Ceremony of Bleeding’ – a personal, monthly ritual of self-care and self-love during menstruation. She says:
The simple act of stopping and being with yourself, especially during your time of menstruation, is the single most powerful thing a woman can do to love herself.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see women make in our modern world is forgetting to value themselves. How can we expect anyone to love us if we are unwilling to love ourselves? How can YOU be anything other than the first priority in YOUR life?” she said.
Roxy believes that honouring ourselves with a monthly bleeding ceremony is the most powerful spiritual practice that any woman can embrace, because, “The simple act of giving full attention to our needs without the allure of distraction brings us closer to who we really are and what we need at the level of body, mind and spirit.”
12 Ways You Can Love Yourself Now
The second email was from my dear friend Gareth. His wife had pointed him in the direction of helpful tips for self-love from Louise L. Hay and he decided to share the love. According to the wonderful Ms. Hay:
I have found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself. When people start to love themselves more each day, it’s amazing how their lives get better. They feel better. They get the jobs they want. They have the money they need. Their relationships either improve, or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin. Loving yourself is a wonderful adventure; it’s like learning to fly. Imagine if we all had the power to fly at will? How exciting it would be! Let’s begin to love ourselves now.
Her 12 Commandments to help you learn how to love yourself are:
- Stop All Criticism
Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.
- Forgive Yourself
Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently.
- Don’t Scare Yourself
Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.
- Be Gentle and Kind and Patient
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.
- Be Kind to Your Mind
Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.
- Praise Yourself
Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.
- Support Yourself
Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
- Be Loving to Your Negatives
Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.
- Take Care of Your Body
Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need in order to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.
- Do Mirror Work
Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents while looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day, say, “I love you, I really love you!”
- Love Yourself . . . Do It Now
Don’t wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or find the new relationship. Begin now—and do the best you can.
- Have Fun
Remember the things that gave you joy as a child. Incorporate them into your life now. Find a way to have fun with everything you do. Let yourself express the joy of living. Smile. Laugh. Rejoice, and the Universe rejoices with you!