I have been advocating for self-love to anyone who would listen ever since I began my own self-love journey about 5 years ago. But what IS it?
What is Self-Love?
According to Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, self-love is how we appreciate our whole selves – physically, psychologically and spiritually. For so long, I thought that self-love was about how you feel about yourself, but it wasn’t until I started on my own self-love path that I realized that it was more than that. Self-love is how you put your appreciation of yourself into action. Feelings are fleeting; they come and they go, so it is the action of appreciating and loving oneself that determines how self-loving you really are.
Self-Love & Self-Care
Self-love is about how you care for yourself and your needs. We have been taught to “put others before ourselves”, but I don’t believe that is really possible until we are able to fulfill our own needs and wants. Dr. Borenstein also says that for some, self-love is similar to, if not the same as, self-care. I feel the same way. If we don’t practice self-love, then we aren’t practicing self-care, and vice versa.
In past blog posts, I have mentioned different ways to show yourself love and care, from leaning into your intuition for guidance, to accepting yourself for who you are in this moment, to taking a few minutes each day to do the things that bring you peace and joy. I also mentioned that intuition is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. I believe the same thing about self-love. The more loving you are to yourself, the easier it gets to become aware of when different parts of you are crying for love.
Love All the Parts of You
I’m talking about those shadowy parts, you know the ones, the parts we wish to hide from everyone, including ourselves. When these shadowy parts are in need of love, they yearn to be seen and heard. When this happens, it can be difficult to ignore them, or not ignore them. We might want to sweep them away and not deal with them, but when fear, anxiety or anger come creeping up from these dark places, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to meet them in the dark, shine a light on them, and love those parts like we never have before. These shadowy parts serve as invitations to be more self-loving. They are our greatest teachers.
I have learned so much about myself because of my shadow parts. I thank them each and every day for the beautifully, imperfect lessons I learned, by sharing them with you all, here in my writing, and in my Instagram posts, with my coaching clients, and in how I turn up for myself and others in my everyday life.
I invite YOU to think about the following questions as you move forward in your own self-love journeys:
- What does self-love mean to you?
- Which self-loving actions speak to you?
- Which self-loving actions do you do right now for yourself?
- Which self-loving actions do you want to do for yourself?
- Pick one and do it every day this week!
Let me know what comes up for you. I would love to chat with you more about it! Until then, I wish you all a fabulous week ahead. Keep shining, lovelies!
If you are interested in reflecting more on your self-love journey, click here to access my FREE Self-Love Reflection Worksheet!
If you are interested in working with me 1:1 as your coach, click here to get in touch with me!
You are worthy,
You are loved,
And that you are enough, just as you are.-Kim Lawrence Kellner @selflovefinder