What is Self-Love and How Do We Cultivate It?

Self-love is a hot topic these days, and I get asked a lot about what self-love is and how to take steps towards more self-love in our lives.

For me, years ago before I started a true self-love journey, if you had asked me if I loved myself, just like most people, I likely would have said yes.

But, through my journey, I’ve come to realize while I believed this, I showed up in many ways that weren’t loving.

So, in order to better understand what self-love is, let’s first start with what not loving ourselves looks like.

When we let someone treat us in a disrespectful way (or even when we treat or talk to ourselves in a disrespectful way), this can be a way we’re not loving ourselves.

When we have a dream or desire and we don’t pursue it, this can be a way we’re not loving ourselves.

When we don’t have our own back, including say yes when we mean no, this can be a way we’re not loving ourselves.

When we give up on ourselves and we’re not willing to do whatever it takes in our lives for love, for our health, to heal, you name it, this can be a way we’re not loving ourselves. (This includes when we don’t take care of ourselves or put off something with our health. I can personally relate to this last part, as I recently put off going to see my doctor.)

When we stay too long, this, too, can be a way we’re not loving ourselves.

And the list goes on and on…

So, how do we begin to cultivate, and really, create self-love in our lives?

One day at a time.

An important piece to this is noticing where you’re not loving yourself (fully) and making small, regular changes and tweaks.

So, for instance, if you let someone treat you in a way that didn’t feel good, this isn’t about beating up on yourself about it, it’s about recommitting that the next time you’ll show up differently for yourself. Then, practice saying or responding in the way you wished you had, seeing them in front of you, saying your true response to them out loud.

And the most important piece to this is beginning to cultivate a relationship with the little girl or boy that lives inside of you.

One way to do this is to see your little boy or girl in front of you or feel them inside of you and ask them about how they felt about what happened in a situation that hurt you.

I share more about this (including some of the pitfalls that can happen when we start working with our inner child) as well as my journey to self-love in my new book, Living Deeply: A Transformational Journey Through Deep Pain, Loss and Abandonment to Healing, Self-Love and Miracles, but I’d love to know where do you struggle with self-love and in what areas of your life could you practice (more) self-love?

You’re worth it,