Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful week. This has been my last week of winter break; classes start again tomorrow, and I could not be more ready. I’ve changed my major from education to English literature, and just reading through my syllabi online was getting me so excited! I can tell the next couple months are going to be amazing, and I hope they’ll be amazing for you, too.
So I was thinking back to that time when I wrote the Chakra Series (which you should check out if you haven’t seen it yet). There was quite a bit of positive feedback from it, which I always appreciate, so I’ve decided to write another series. It’s all about self-love and self-care.
We are human beings with big, beautiful hearts, and at the very core of our being, we gravitate toward love. Our spirits are almost always searching for love in some capacity because we enjoy the sense of belonging and connection that comes from knowing kindred spirits and feeling valued for exactly who we are. We need love and connection—how could we even dream of surviving without having it on some level? It’s common for many of us to use our big, beautiful hearts in pursuit of love, which is absolutely okay as long as we remember that the greatest and most important expression of love we can experience is self-love. If we lack basic love, care, and respect for ourselves, it becomes very difficult—if not impossible—to love others in a healthy way. We cannot search for love externally in order to fill a space of sadness inside ourselves. It has to come from within.
Likewise, there are many of us who simply care about others so deeply that we are willing to forego taking care of ourselves to make sure they’re taken care of. We might feel like others need us more than we need ourselves. We might feel like there’s simply no time to take care of ourselves with as much as everyone else needs us. We might feel like we don’t even really need to be taken care of. Or, we might feel like, on some level, we are not worthy of self-love or self-care, whether it’s due to internal or societal pressures.
If you ever feel this way, listen up: You need to know that loving and taking care of yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others, and you need to know that you are worthy of your own love.
When you take the time to make sure you’re being taken care of, you will have so much more energy, love, and a sense of wholeness in your heart that will be palpable by everyone around you. You will be so much better-equipped to help others, and you will be a magnet for attracting all kinds of external love into your life.
There are all kinds of ideas out there about how we can best practice self-love, and we should take into account any idea that resonates with us. We know ourselves well, and we know what makes us feel peaceful, comforted, loved, and whole. However, sometimes we might not even know where to begin, especially if we have gotten into the practice of not taking care of ourselves or if we have a deeply ingrained notion in our minds that, for whatever reason, we are not deserving of self-love.
So with that in mind, I’m trying to look at the issue holistically and comprehensively in order to think of what are (in my opinion) some of the most important aspects in cultivating self-love and taking care of ourselves.
The way I see it, there are three aspects of our Selves: mind, body, and spirit. The mind represents our consciousness and our thought processes, the body represents the physical natures of our Selves, and the spirit embodies that which cannot be seen—our sense of connection with all that is and the force of light that drives our lives.
In order to ensure we’re being thorough—and in order to live our most fulfilling lives—we should really look at each of these aspects of our Selves through the lens of self-love. If we can conscientiously and intentionally work on self-love and self-care in all three of these realms, we will experience the wholeness we seek, and we will be so well equipped to love and care for others.
Here’s a general outline of what we’ll be looking at for each aspect of our Selves:
For the mind…
Improving thought processes and eliminating negative self-talk, letting go of guilt and shame, having the courage to live authentically, being intentional and assertive, demonstrating self-respect, and having an awareness of self-worth.
For the body…
Eating well, moving/exercising, loving and accepting our bodies, letting our bodies rest when they need to, and being thankful for the many wonderful things our bodies can do.
For the spirit…
Practicing mindfulness/meditation, balancing the chakras, engaging in creativity and living passionately, trusting our intuition, and spending time in nature.
Starting with the next article I write, we’ll look at what self-love means in reference to our minds, and, in subsequent articles, we’ll move on to body and spirit. If you can think of something specific you’re looking to get out of this series, or if you have any thoughts, comments, or questions, let me know down below in the comments! I hope you’ll stick around and that you’ll find something that resonates with you.