This month we celebrated Valentine’s Day, a time when we often think of romantic love. Today, I want to talk about self-love. Before you roll your eyes and say, yeah, yeah—know that self-love, or our self-image, is what dictates our internal thermostatic set point for how much good we allow into our lives.
A thermostat regulates the heat in a room, so it doesn’t move up or down very much. Our internal thermostatic set point does the same thing: It keeps things status quo. No matter how much we want to improve an area of our life, our internal thermostat will only fluctuate as much as our self-image will allow.
This means that all areas of our lives are governed by our individual set points. This includes good health, financial success, love, and how much fun we have. It’s possible to have different set points in different areas; however, success in one area is often at the expense of something else. For example, we may have financial success, but it has negatively affected our health and relations. Or we may have good solid relationships, but we haven’t achieved the vocational status we desire.
If I were to ask, “Do you love yourself?” What would you say? Take a moment to think about it and answer the question honestly—just to yourself. Your answer may be, yes. But how often do you see your reflection in the mirror and think something negative to yourself? How often do you have negative self-talk? How often—when you make a mistake or wished you had done something differently—are you hard on yourself?
Notice when someone offers to do something nice for you: Do you say, “That’s okay, I can do it.” Or, do you say, “Thank you, that would be wonderful!” When someone gives you a compliment, do you say, “Thank you” and really accept it, or do you wonder what they want, or say, “It was nothing” or “This old dress?”
Our reactions are indicators of the truth of how we feel about ourselves. Self-love is all inclusive. To increase our self-love, we must replace the self-critic. The degree to which we can truly love ourselves directly correlates to what we think we deserve or think we can have: the financial freedom, the loving relationship.
We all stand in the middle of our results.
In fact, we are a perfect match for our results. We want to keep raising up our self-image, our level of self-love. The formula for success is a simple formula, but it’s not always easy to implement. This is because we have old, well-established patterns of which we often aren’t aware.
How do we start to raise up our self-image?
How do we start to love ourselves more?
First: If it feels hard to even consider loving yourself more, begin by being more aware of God’s love for you. If you don’t resonate with the word God, then replace it with whatever works for you: Life, Universe, Spirit, Eternal love. Do you believe that God is a loving God? Do you believe that God loves all creatures? Remind yourself that you are included in this infinite love. Once, when I was doing Chi Gong, I experienced the feeling universal love. It was so beautiful and over-powering that I cried. This love is always available to us, we just need to put our attention on it and let it in.
Second: Write a vision of a life you would love to be living and who you would be in that life. We want to start to imagine ourselves having the level of success or having the loving partner that we see in our vision. By doing this, we are giving our vision energy. We aren’t coming from the conditions in our lives, we are coming from the vision. And then, more and more of the time, we are thinking and acting like the person in our vision—not who we are currently.
It is necessary for there to be congruency with who we are being in our vision and with the actions we take. If we are envisioning that we love ourselves, then we need to take good care of our bodies and minds, and our action steps must support that.
Third: Start to notice what you’re noticing—begin to be aware of your thoughts. Notice when you have negative self-talk and when you are putting yourself down. Stay committed to loving yourself gently. As you notice what you are noticing, replace any negative thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up over the negative thoughts because that would be perpetuating the negativity. We don’t want to be training ourselves to not want to notice when we are off track in our thinking or when we are having contractive thoughts.
Send a beam of love to your negative thought. Instead of fighting it, love it; it’s been there to protect you. You can thank it and tell it you don’t need it anymore.
Fourth: An activity that can help increase self-love is to write the following: I, [insert your name], make a sincere commitment to loving myself now and forever. Write the sentence once with your dominant hand and then once with your nondominant hand. Just scrawl it out the best you can. Our nondominant hand is directly connected to our subconscious mind.
Repeat this and write it once more with your dominant hand and then again with your other hand.
Then place it somewhere you can see it every day.
Often, because we’re not like everyone else, we think something is wrong with us. We think we should be... you fill in the blank. But what if the thing that you thought made you not fit in were the thing that made you stand out?
Increasing your self-love and self- image will make it possible to bring more and more good into your life. Give these four ways to achieve more self-love a try or come up with a few of your own. What have you got to lose?
If you’d like help creating a vision for a life you’d love, click here.
Here's to falling in love,
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