The journey to self love
Self love is power which lets us treat ourselves good. It gives us trust and the confidence that everything is all right even if a situation seems to be unimaginably bad. But how to be lovable to yourself?
The journey to self love probably hasn’t been easy for anyone. I have never met a person who has not felt bad about anything about him or herself. There is always something that needs to be changed. And maybe it is the way it should be because we always want to be the best version of ourselves. But we do have to remind ourselves that we are lovable just the way we are. To love ourselves we first have to get to know ourselves and I do believe that this is really a never ending journey. So in reality we are never going to be done, there is always a way which leads us even further. There are will be highs and there will be lows.
I believe that to truly love ourselves we have to love others as well. We do have an impact on one another. Me do feed ourselves from the energy of giving. We are pleased if we can love, we are pleased if we can help. Love is like something we take for granted, we all have a right to love, we all have a right to be loved. Only love is real and the meaning of life is based on love.
But still me and many of my friends have grown up the way that no one had never told us in our mother tongue “I love you”. I heard them and said them for the first time when I was 22 years old. This should be the most natural thing to say but it just couldn’t come out of my system.
I do remember how we discussed with friends that in Estonian it sounds kind a long and rough and it seemed logical then that we don’t want to say that. But I have come to a conclusion that it doesn’t sound long and rough it is just foreign for us. For Estonian at least, it is common that we do not talk about our feelings, we do not want to share what is going on inside. We do keep everything to ourselves and at one point we cannot carry all that weight on our shoulders anymore.
I remember the feeling of freedom I felt when I really told how I felt. If we love ourselves enough we do not have to change anyone. They become enough for us, we have love without any limits for them and their faults become charming. It is known that we can see the sides which we do not like about ourselves in other people. This is the moment we have to look into the mirror and make peace with ourselves. Different people bring out different sides in us. We have to learn to notice why it is the way it is. Goodness brings out goodness, negativity brings out negativity. But if we manage to focus on the positivity we see that we inspire the people around us to be the best version of themselves as well. And this is true for love as well. If we truly love ourselves, then we can truly love others. Yes, love might be something we all take for granted but we do have to express our gratitude in words, thoughts and the way we act. We have to really be here to say how we feel, we have to have the courage to do that. It is sincere, it is beautiful and it is real. It is brave to be authentic, it is brave to be honest, it is brave to be vulnerable.
Get to know yourself
How to find a way to your true self? For that we can use different practices like yoga, breathing, meditation, ecstatic dance etc. It is worth a try to find different things that work for you which really connects you with your soul, which brings you here and now, which let’s you forget about the noise to really enjoy your own company.
Me personally have the most experience in yoga, I do teach yoga myself and in my opinion it is one of the easiest ways to find a contact with yourself. I do believe that the most important step to move forward with your yoga practice is the moment you realize that yoga is not a workout it is a lifestyle. Yoga is not just poses, it something way beyond. What it really is, is everyone’s one decision. But for me it is awareness, presence and unity. Yoga teaches me to honor and love my body, to cooperate with her. If we only let our mind to guide us we tend to forget that our body need care and love as well. I have ran through a half marathon with tears in my eyes. My knees were killing me but my mind told me to keep going just to prove to myself that I can do this. I have tried different diets to lose weight just to show that I can look like those models in the magazines. But did it all make me happier? Yes, just for a moment but in a long perspective, no. Happiness comes from the within. The factors from the outside can not bring it to us.
I have shown to myself that even if I weigh 20 kilos more than when I was dieting I am way more happy because I have become friends with myself. I have learned to listen what my heart has to say, I have learned to love myself, I have learned to accept myself. If I am good and gentle with myself and can be good and gentle to others.
One of my best friends told my one day: “Maarja, I looked at you closely today. Looked for a long time and thought to myself if she knew that both of the sides of her face are exactly the same, they have synchronicity. She has such a feminine face.” No one had ever told me that. It really touched my heart.
But how often do we look at ourselves from the mirror and say to ourselves that we are beautiful? How often do we really compliment ourselves? I tend to believe that not too often. The reality is rather that we look at ourselves and find something that we want to change. We send a message to the universe that we are not happy with ourselves.
It is a big step forward if we truly and sincerely believe the compliments that we are given. It feeds our souls and gives us the strength to keep on shining. But we should compliment ourselves way more frequently. The more we give love to ourselves, the more we learn to love and appreciate our minds, bodies, hearts and souls.
We do want to be good to others but we do not share this goodness to ourselves. We should become our own best friends. We should realize that it is perfectly ok to go to the theatre or movies enjoying our own company. Of course shared joy and emotions are really valuable but feeling comfortable on our own is essential. It is a joy and luxury.
Listening to the sound of our hearts
To love ourselves we must understand who we really are, what we really want, why do we do the things we do. We have to learn not to care about others’ opinions and live for ourselves first. If our heart says that this is the right step to take then we should trust it. When have we ever disappointed in our decision if we listened to the sound of our hearts? It doesn’t always have to be logical, everything goes as it has to go.
Unfortunately we let others’ opinions guide us in an opposite direction to our calling. For some reason so many of us have the urge to be liked by everyone. The moment I understood that it is impossible to be friends with everybody, a new world opened up for me.
Now the circle of my friends is rather small but we can trust each other with everything. It is good to know that we are never alone.
Happiness itself is the way
For me self love is the ability to look myself in the mirror and smile to myself. It is the ability to trust life, to flow with it, to express myself in words and in actions. To truly live, to truly feel, to get out of comfort zone, to put myself into uncomfortable situations to grow as a person. I want to be my own inspiration, to be good to myself, to treat myself with kind words, to be in balance. I want to listen to my body and my soul, I want to honor myself and I want to feel gratitude. I want to create art and create my own reality. I want to distance myself from negativity and be around the kind of people who lift me higher. I want to be polite and tolerant toward everyone. I want to spend quality time with myself and my loved ones, try new things, feel new feelings. I want to travel, experience and discover. I don’t want to let other peoples’ opinions affect me, I want to trust and listen to the sound of my heart. I want to ask in tough situations: What does my heart say? What would my heart do? No one knows what is wrong or what is right. We just have to find what is right for us. Self love is not ignorance. Self love is the biggest gift one can give to him or herself and to the community around. There was a reason why Gandhi once said to be the change you wish to see in the world. Everything starts from ourselves. If we change ourselves, we can change the world. If we love ourselves, we create more love into this world. Our words should only create goodness. Like my friend and a talented musician Birgid Täht said in one of her songs: There where is love, there is no misunderstanding. There is no way to happiness, happiness itself is the way.