“Let’s begin right now in this moment to choose love. It’s the most powerful healing force there is.” –Louise Hay
One thing you can’t fail to notice when February arrives—it’s all about love! From the giant heart-shaped boxes of candy to the racks of “Will you be mine?” valentine cards, the message is clear. It’s time to think about love, to celebrate that so-desirable feeling of deep appreciation, strong attraction, and blissful happiness.
This February, when you think about love, don’t just go through the motions. Ask yourself if you are making the most of this precious, healing, uplifting feeling. Are you practicing the love that changes everything? Do you truly love and accept yourself, the YOU that is your inner flame?
Are you familiar with self-love, with the importance of truly accepting yourself for who you are? Even if you acknowledge that you need to love yourself before you can love anything or anyone else, why is it often so challenging to find the self-love needed for wellbeing and true happiness? As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I see many people who are their own harshest critics, their own self-saboteurs. Have you ever labeled yourself a “failure” in various aspects of your life such as romance, parenting, career, friendship? Maybe you blame yourself for things you perceive as shortcomings: being unhealthy, overweight, unmotivated, unintelligent, even unworthy of love.
Instead of nurturing yourself with love and self-care, do you berate yourself for not measuring up to impossible standards? A lack of self-esteem comes from the mistaken belief of “I’m not enough.” It’s a common misperception that so many of my students hold at some point in their lives, often for many years at a time. It takes a lot of work to break out of the stranglehold this hurtful belief can have on your life and heart.
The better you know yourself the easier it will be to strengthen your self-love and to move closer to peace, happiness, and all the healing you hope to accomplish. Self-knowledge leads to self-love, self-acceptance, and the healing power to feel gratitude and forgiveness.
Here are some steps you can take to learn more about yourself and come to appreciate and love yourself more fully:
1. Peel Back the Past – Have you looked closely into your past to see if you picked up any false notions of just how lovable you are? Did any family problems or early experiences teach you to distrust yourself or undervalue your thoughts and feelings? Was there a father who was never satisfied with your achievements or a coach who mocked your efforts to play baseball or a distant mother who never had time to listen? You may have quietly accepted ideas about yourself that still cause you to hold back the love and acceptance you need to believe in your goals and dreams. Uncover these ideas using your journaling and meditation Ask, “Do I love and trust myself enough to move forward in life?”
2. Know What You Believe – Along with seeds of self-doubt and fear, you may also have unconscious beliefs buried inside that block your spiritual healing and growth. If you thought clearly and truly loved yourself, would you believe that people of “your” height, weight, race, gender, religion, education level, or shoe size never get ahead in life? Explore your beliefs and free yourself of any hidden ideas that don’t reflect love and acceptance. Decide what you do believe about yourself, what you value, and what you hope for. Set yourself free of unloving beliefs that aren’t in keeping with your true values of healing and harmony.
3. See With Eyes of Love – Look at yourself with new eyes that are intent on finding all the good, all the beauty, and all the promise they possibly can. Is that you in the mirror smiling back? Make a list of your strengths and talents—including everything you can think of from growing the most delicious tomatoes in the neighborhood to recruiting the most volunteer workers for the local soup kitchen. You probably have talents only you know of including kindness, compassion, courage, patience, perseverance, roller skating, and cake baking. Do for yourself what you would do for your dearest love with gifts of time, fun, praise, and encouragement.
Learning to love yourself is the first step to healing your life and removing any barriers to your happiness and wellbeing. Love has the power to heal all the wounds you may ever have suffered—if it is allowed to flow within as well as without. As Louise Hay says, “There is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to know how to love yourself.”
Wake up the self-love in your heart and move ahead with your February plans for loving and healing your world!
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