Practicing self-love is just that—a daily practice. We have to continually work at loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves, and recognizing our beauty, strength, and abilities.
There have been many times in my marriage when Scott and I have both looked at each other and said, “If only you could see what I see.” In both our minds we were thinking:
- If only you could see how talented and gifted you are. If only you could:
- If only you could see the amazing potential and intelligence you have.
- If only you could see your beauty and strength.
- If only you could see your worth to the world.
Seeing Ourselves for Who We Are
We have a hard time looking at ourselves through positive and appreciating lenses. We have a hard time seeing ourselves as we are—beautiful, strong, capable, talented, and of great worth. Why?
Part of the reason comes from confusing lessons we learn at a young age:
- Appreciate what you have, but don’t brag.
- Recognize your talents, but be humble.
These lessons aren’t necessarily bad. But we learn them in the wrong way. We learn that not bragging and being humble means putting ourselves down, making ourselves feel smaller, diminishing our confidence. And soon we start to believe the opposite of what people tell us. We aren’t pretty or smart or strong or capable.
My heart hurts at these words. They are wrong. WRONG! Because you are beautiful and smart and strong and capable. You are of great worth, of divine origin, meant to shine!
My Mission to Help You Practice Self-Love
I am on a journey, much like many of you, to embrace self-love, to love myself, to appreciate who I am as a unique individual. I’m done listening to the lies because I am beautiful and strong, and I can be and do anything.
As I have thought about what it means to practice self-love and learn to recognize my beauty, strength, and abilities, I created a list of things that I do to practice self-love. Then I broke that list down into five categories to create my ultimate guide on how to practice self-love.
How to practice self-love—An ultimate guide
As mentioned in a previous post, my mantra is:
I am beautiful. I am strong. I can be and do anything.
I came up with this mantra a few years ago, when I really needed to feel my worth. It was during this time that I went through the best transformation mentally to better appreciate who I am. And saying this mantra every day was a big part of that. Words are powerful. The things we tell ourselves are powerful.
Below are five categories listing things I do to practice self love. But the list means nothing without positivity. When I practice these items, it is to connect to my divine self, to bring awareness to my unique and exceptional worth. I hope you take that into consideration. It is with purpose that I practice these things so I can truly feel that I am beautiful, I am strong, and I can be and do anything.
I love beauty and fashion but have had a hard time embracing it over the years, even when my husband has told me, “You could wear anything and look incredible.” (He’s the best. I love him!)
But, I haven’t felt pretty enough.
When I started embracing my mantra, it all changed. I started to put the words into practice and work to feel my beauty. By purposefully practicing self-love I also practice self care.
Things I do to practice self-love through beauty:
- Embrace my fashion and enjoy the things I choose to wear.
- Take care of my skin and hair with good products.
- Wear makeup that makes me feel good.
- Style my hair in a way that makes me feel good and beautiful.
- Take care of my body’s needs through massages, baths, good products, etc.
- Practice kindness to others to enhance my inside beauty.
Since I was a kid, physical strength has been important to me. My mom has always been a strong woman and a great example. She showed she was capable through lifting heavy furniture and doing hard work around the house and in the yard.
I remember being around five and lifting the corner of this super heavy chest of drawers to prove my strength. I loved it. It felt great to be strong.
Although physical strength still means a lot to me, true strength is also about mental and spiritual strength. Again, I came up with my mantra during a rough time, when I felt worthless and broken. I needed to feel strong in all the ways.
Things I do to practice self-love through strength:
- Practice yoga—for my physical and mental strength.
- Exercise. Although I talk about yoga a lot, I also like to do some HIIT with weights and run.
- Eat and make good foods—eating healthy and also baking my favorite things brings me joy and strength to keep going.
- Listen to my body. This is so important as our body tells us a lot about our needs. As we listen to and follow what our body communicates to us, we find greater physical and mental strength.
Growth and Ability
I believe in progression. We are not meant to be stagnant creatures, but to grow and expand mentally, physically, and spiritually. We should keep learning and finding things to challenge ourselves.
Things I do to practice self-love through growth and ability:
- Journal. I love journaling and have more than one type of journal, which include a record-keeping journal, a gratitude/manifesting journal, a scripture journal, and a writing journal.
- Adventure. I am an Enneagram 7, which means I love movement and adventure. I like to try new things and have a hard time when there isn’t much change.
- Create/craft. I always have a new project in my head and can’t wait to get started.
- Enjoy nature. I love the outdoors, which is a big reason we bought our home in Missouri on 10 acres of land with a pond. But I also like to hike and explore other outdoor places.
- Take risks/try new things. Sometimes I take big risks, like start a new business. Other times I take smaller risks like trying a new food. Some work out. Some don’t. But I love the growth that comes from these things.
- Embrace my interests. I have been afraid to embrace my interests, to say to the world, “I like this thing.” It’s because I’m afraid of judgement. But as I’ve embraced my interests anyway, without care for what people think, I embrace myself and my divine worth.
- Embrace my love language. Mine is time. So I give myself time—with others, but also with myself.
I love words. That’s why I write. That’s why I’ve stayed in professions that require writing. I believe in the power of words and story. They have the magic to change thoughts and beliefs.
Even fiction writing is powerful. I’ve come away from some amazing books that make me feel uplifted and mentally strong. These are the types of words that mean the most to me and have helped me in my journey to self love.
Things I do to practice self-love through words:
- Write. I write fiction, essays, and more.
- Journal. See above.
- Read. I love books. I collect books. I read a lot—fantasy, self help/personal development, historical fiction, biographies, etc.
- Recite mantras and affirmations.
- Practice manifesting—through writing and talking to the universe.
- Read scriptures, where I better connect to God and his love for me.
Home and Family
Home and family mean the most to me. I love my husband, baby, and puppy. And everything I do is about helping them know how much I love them. In return, they give me the greatest love.
I imagine my home to be a haven and a refuge, for me and those I love, including friends and other family. I want my home to be a place of peace, joy, and comfort. So I do things to make it so.
Things I do to practice self-love through home and family:
- Build relationships with those in and outside my home. I need good friends with good energy who lift me up. And I also need to do my part to lift up my friends.
- Strengthen my marriage. My marriage to Scott, my best friend, is the most important relationship. We are always working on communication and other skills to strengthen our marriage.
- Creating feel-good spaces. We have a fixer upper for sure, and one of the ways I practice self love is to slowly make each room feel a little more like home where there is good energy and peace.
Back to Positivity
Positivity is key. It’s about being kind to yourself. It’s about focusing on the good. But it’s more than just a “glass is half full” mentality. It’s about recognizing you are whole. You are exactly who you are supposed to be. And you are incredible.
- You are beautiful.
- You are strong.
- You can be and do anything you want, anything you put your mind to.
- You have the ability.
Stay positive. Keep practicing self-love. It truly is a daily practice. And recognize and embrace your divine worth.