Recovery Tools that Promote Self-Love

slide-bg-01Since it is February, the month we associate with the celebration of romantic love, it is also a great time to work on manifesting self-love. I mean, why not? …you should go and love yourself. (Thanks, Bieber.)
The first step towards increasing self-love is to understand and stay mindful that you matter despite having flaws or successes. Pia Mellody calls it a state of mind (or a deep understanding) that, “I matter, as I am, in the midst of my humanity”. “I am neither worthless nor better than”. People who have low self-esteem tend to fluctuate between feeling “worthless” and “better than”.

Understanding that everyone is different and that you are important because you exist is having self-love or self-esteem.
Cultivate compassion for yourself and others: Pay attention to your critical self. Are you highly critical of yourself and others? Start to become mindful of when you are having highly critical thoughts and replace those thoughts with kind thoughts and see if that creates fewer bad feelings. Give yourself and others a break. Instead of criticizing someone for making a mistake, practice putting yourself in their shoes and cultivating some compassion.
Operate in curiosity and respect instead of judgment. Guess what? People think and feel differently about things than you do (I know, it’s a shocker). People have different opinions and ideas than you do! People have different intellectual levels and emotional skill levels than you do! People have different ideas about art, religion and politics than you do! Here is the double shocker- This does NOT make them wrong, bad or better!!
Allowing someone to think and feel for themselves and loving them for that can be liberating! Integrate AND into your vocabulary. “I see things differently than she does, AND I love her”. If you’re a democrat, go befriend a republican and work on understanding their perspective. If you’re an atheist, go befriend a catholic and discuss values. Learn to loosen up on your positions.
Cultivate behaviors that align with the knowingness that you matter. Incorporate self-care. Do you take time for yourself? Do you spend time engaged in activities that make you feel good about yourself? Start to integrate a new self-care behavior a week, like making your bed or taking a bubble bath.
Read a book or watch some YOUTUBE videos by Pia Mellody. She’s an expert on relationships and self-love.

Elana Clark-Faler
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