There is no one that stays with you longer than yourself.
To love yourself is to show compassion and understanding for yourself.
When you treat yourself with love, you also accept your “true” self.
Our relationships mirror everything we feel about ourselves.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
If I read this inspiring words from Buddha around 11 years ago, I know I could have a different opinion where I could say, “No way! I’d need somebody to give me love and affection and attention, and so on.”
But is it REALLY?
Well, there’s nothing wrong to accept love and affection from someone else or parents, family, friends… BUT my experience in any relationships have taught me that some things may be equally essential yet nothing is more important than loving yourself first.
Wait, what? To love myself first? Why?
YES, to love yourself first and even more. Self-love is the start to experience true loving connections with others and living with a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Because you cannot give what you don’t have. If you haven’t built up self-love, then you can never express love or get into a true love filled relationship.
It is only when you love yourself that you are then able to overflow love outwards towards others, to attract more love into your life.
Self-love is not selfish. I, too, once thought self-love was selfish. All that changed when I discovered real self-acceptance. This is why if you have been on an airplane before, you know that the flight attendant will always tell you to put your own mask on first before helping others if the cabin loses pressure.
By first loving ourselves and filling ourselves up with love, we will also learn about self-acceptance and increase our self-esteem, open to receive, listen to our heart’s wisdom, and experience more abundance, joy, peace, and love.
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
It probably is, yet you can have those benefits if you want to. Because words do not teach, life experience does. Every relationship is our teacher, helping us to learn more about ourselves and loving ourselves. And in my experience, it surely take a process and our willingness to do it.
For me, the realization about self-love came out of a very low point in my life which was happening at the same time. I was depressed at work. I got an accident that has made me rest in bed for four months. My ex-boyfriend left me during my recovery and got married with another woman after we had 3 years of relationship. At that time, I was blaming on situations, blaming on certain persons because it makes us right and them wrong.
I was lost.
And I need two years to get myself up and to open my heart again.
Out of that, I started to ask deeper questions. “What is it all about? What’s the meaning of this? Why?”
It was from those questions that I started to look for resources on my path for fulfilment. I began reading books such as Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, Don’t Be Sad by Aaidh ibn Abdullah which gives me great reminders of how to deal with unhappy situations, and be grateful for our times of happiness and blessings, while always remembering to stay on the right path. One book that truly gave me a powerful encouragement was Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman where we can learn to grow through joy rather than through struggle and pain.
Also, I joined the workshop called “BASIC AWARENESS” by Remedi Indonesia in 2011. I have come to learn method to release stress, anxiety, negative emotions, and unnecessary beliefs through EFT (emotional freedom technique) method.
This was my entrance point in the path of self-love.
Release Your Negative Emotions to Accept, to Allow, to Let Go & Focus on the Lessons
I learnt from my previous relationships that we cannot change people, and when we blame others, we avoid seeing the truth about ourselves. When we focus on what someone else did wrong, we’re not able to see our part and learn about what we need to do differently going forward, to grow.
So, I was finally can forgive my ex, and (I thought) I got all of the lessons… until I met a new man whom again left me for another woman after we had two years of relationship. I was surely sad, angry, upset, but instead I quickly jumped into the questions, “Okay, what is it all about? Again? Same script difference cast? What is the truly lesson for me?”
First thing I knew, I need to release my negative emotions to accept the situation, and to let it go, and to understand the truth lessons are so that my love relationship pattern as such would not be repeating again in the future.
I learnt that I gave far too much of myself in the name of love, without ever checking in with my heart to feel whether this relationship was serving me. I’ve expected too much. I betrayed myself to please someone else. An “as long as he is happy” kind of thinking was my mask when what was actually happening was that I was in fear- in fear of losing him. I was insecure because of the needs of validation and approval from others.
I was using EFT method to release my negative emotions and my own set of beliefs about myself and removing ones that did not serve me. Within two months, I was able to forgive him and moved on with my life. Yes, in two months! Before that, it took me about two years to forgive and moved on. I even can say, “Thank you!” to my ex-romance partners because they are “teachers” for me to grow, to love myself, to appreciate myself, and to respect myself.
And another surprising moment was, after two months and a half, I met a new man who has everything that I dream about! 🙂
If you are now in a challenging relationship or in a phase after deep romance relationship, and you don’t want to get stuck in that situation because you want to have a loving and healthy relationship and living your life with joy… tell yourself first, “CONGRATULATIONS!” It starts with a desire to change. It means you are aware and you are willing to grow to care for yourself and improve your life.
How to Release Negative Emotions?
By releasing your any negative emotions, it means you show yourself compassion to cleanse and heal. Be honest with yourself about your feelings that make you feel uncomfortable. Do not suppress your negative emotions by saying, “I’m okay,” whilst deep down inside your heart, maybe you want to scream as louder as possible.
There are a lot of releasing methods. Crying is actually considered as releasing method, however it cannot specifically releasing the “core” issue. The releasing methods that I have been using are EFT (emotional freedom technique), Sedona method, and Gibberish.
As a first step, to get a better understanding about releasing, I strongly recommend you to attend a Releasing Session Program by Remedi Indonesia which it is regularly held on every Tuesday at 7:30pm. Through this session, you will get a better knowledge and understanding why we need to release our negative emotions, you will meet people who might have the same experience as yours, and you will do releasing along with other people who also attend and led by experienced facilitators. It is a free session. For further information, you can visit them here: www.rumahremedi.com
Remember, words do not teach, experience does 😉
Releasing is now part of my life. It’s a powerful tool as one of life skills to maintaining my self-love, to experience more love and living with joy!
How to Start Practicing Self-love?
If you are picky about what you wear, picky about what you put in your body and in your mouth, start to BE PICKIER ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK. Treat your thoughts with care and make sure that you have caring thoughts about yourself.
- In the morning when you wake up, say “Thank you for another day to live” with a genuine smile;
- Tell yourself every morning in the mirror “I love you, and I will take care of you” with a big smile, and hug yourself;
- Set intention or prayer, “This is a new day to me. No matter where I’m going, what I’m doing, who I’m going to meet; it is my dominant intent to feel good, to see that which I am wanting to see.”
- Say positive affirmations in your mind. Recommendations: I am blessed. I am loved. I am lovable. I am loving. I am beautiful. All is well in my world, etc.
- Before going to sleep at night, state minimal 5 things you are thankful for about yourself or your day.
In one of my favorite books, Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman, Sanaya writes about self-love, self-respect and knowing your worth:
“What is required to feel good about yourself is not the same from person to person. What you require for self-esteem is not necessarily what another person requires. It is important to discover what makes you feel worthy, confident and happy about who you are.”
Enjoy the journey to the path of self-love,
Love and blessings,
She enjoys life as a path of spiritual growth and enjoys helping others make the most out of this human experience. From her beautiful experiences, she found that we have all we need within us to live an abundant, peaceful and joyful life. Dea lovingly assists you in opening your greater potential, to love and nurture yourself, and to choose and feel joy in life. In Rumah Remedi, she now dedicates some time of her life to assist others as a trained meditation practitioner. Also, she recently received a certification as a mindfulness practitioner.