Now there are two ways to find love or feel loved: external source and internal source. External; finding love elsewhere. From another person, many find happiness and feel loved from pets. That is indeed a good way, well work for many people. But it does not always last. Then what does?
Another question is what is self-love?
It could be pampering oneself with a good bath, or a manicure, and for some people shopping. According to Dr. John Amodeo, self-love means finding peace within ourselves — resting comfortably within the depths of our being. We might find temporary respite by doing something to nurture ourselves. But a deeper inner peace requires cultivating a certain way of being with ourselves — a warm and nurturing attitude toward what we experience inside.
This got me thinking, how do I cultivate this way of being with myself?
From my understanding I could narrow it down to 4 things.
No.1) Acceptance, to love ourselves we need to experience our feelings exactly like they are. It often happens that we tell ourselves stories to twist the feelings we have. But we cannot lie to ourselves because deep inside we know what the truth is. Buddhist Psychologists suggest, we create more suffering for ourselves by clinging to pleasant things and have an aversion towards the painful ones. Which can only mean is that what we really need to do is face them and accept it the way it is.
No.2) Kindness, be kind to yourself. We often keep scratching ourselves with our past. But can you expect a wound to heal if you keep on scratching it? Don’t make yourself suffer. Be kind and let go. We forgive others and move on. What about ourselves? What we really need, is to forgive ourselves first before anyone else. An attitude of gentleness toward our feelings is one way to have more understanding around others.
No.3) Belongingness, surround yourself with people who don’t pull you down. Criticize when required, yes. But also appreciate you in its right time. People you choose to be with have a great deal of impact on the way you see yourself. As much as we would like to think we can, we can’t do everything ourselves. You need the support and love from people around you to stay motivated and on track. Positive energy is contagious, so whether you’re building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it’s always important to have a community you value around you regularly.
So, Acceptance, kindness, and belonging are three of the ways to cultivate an environment to be with myself. Fourth is what binds it all together.
No. 4) Time, you need to find time for yourself. We nowadays are always so busy that we don’t give quality time to ourselves. No, doing makeup in the morning is not quality time. What really needs to be done is sit with yourself and think about the day or anything else, but related to you. Sure, staying busy is good, but once in a while when I sit with myself, just me and my thoughts, I get the most beautiful choreographies. Now being a dancer, I often find myself at a dead end. The music is playing but what to do on it? I’m blank. Then I take a minute or two. Turn down the music and sit. I close my eyes and keep swinging my body. And I see the difference. I feel calm and collected.
But don’t worry if you haven’t found your way of truly being with yourself. Now that’s what you have to do to find out. Accept. Be kind, find a sense of belonging and most of all give time to yourself.