Over the past 2 years self-love has been a priority topic in both my personal and professional life, purely because the last 2 to 3 years has been a roller-coaster ride where more often than not I was the only one declaring love as well as all things and energies that come with love to myself. So from necessity of survival I have grown a lot in the area of self-love, most notably over the last 3 months this love has switched gears and become a more unapologetic, unconditional, unequivocal, unrivaled and honest love of myself and the person I am investing in becoming not only for myself but for the benefit of my family, friends and community at large.
It excites me to see myself growing from within and having my validation, worth, value and joy come from deep within myself, not anybody else. That’s the most powerful thing about radiating energies of self-love, you begin to own more and more of the elements that make up your life and give you true joy, because they are sourced from you and not anyone or anything else, and furthermore the elements that you have little to no control over begin to have less and less of a hold on you as you step into a dimension where you own more and more elements of your life.
Once you’ve got self-love you realise just how much of your character is made up of elements that are not directly sourced from within yourself, and when you move out of that dimension you realise just how much of an add-on everybody else’s opinion of you and input to you is. Be it good or bad, positive or negative, its surplus to what you already have going on within you and that’s an extremely liberating feeling because then you realise just how powerful you are and that nobody can steal your joy.
At this point I feel the need to add a caveat by saying don’t mistake being self-centered/self-involved with self-love, the 2 are worlds apart. If you want to decipher where a person falls just look at the way they interact with the people and things around them. Don’t just listen to what they say with their words but listen to their hand gestures, tone, facial expression, syntax, when, where and how they choose to speak and look at the way they do things not just what they do. I am a major advocate of self-love not self-centeredness or self-involvement or selfishness.
Now, self-love is all good and well as an ideology, a hashtag if you like, but how do you make this come alive tangibly in your life – how do you get to be “truly, madly, deeply” in love with yourself. I don’t have all the answers and that scares and excites me at the same time, but in my experience of prioritizing this topic in my life I have found that there are 4 pillars to self-love, each of which moves you one step closer to self-love.
The 4 pillars of self-love are as follows:
This is all about living a conscious and woke life. It’s about living life in such a way that you are intentional and proactive not accidental and reactive. You must be aware of the life you are living and the various push and pull factors that influence you and your life in a particular direction.
2. Self- Reflection
This is about internalizing your consciousness to get a better understanding of the why and how of you and your life. You must make time to reflect on your actions, decision, thoughts and feelings in order to gain a deeper understanding of why things happen the way they do in your life, and how to replicate the desired outcomes but deviate from undesired outcomes.
This is the result of self-awareness and self-reflection because now you know the who, what, why and how of yourself. At this point you know exactly what you are dealing or working with, or at least you have a better idea of it. You know your triggers, influences, behaviours, patterns, habits and the reasons behind all of it. You are now and open book to yourself (you’d be surprised how many people are strangers to themselves).
At this point you either like or dislike what you now know to be your true self, your naked, bare, excuse-less self, but however you feel about it, it is important to accept it. From there you now have the power to amplify what you like or nullify the things you dislike. The key here is acceptance of yourself because you can’t amplify or nullify what you don’t accept as truth.
Post pillars 1 to 4 you get into the self-love paradigm, a world where you are genuinely in love with yourself and can’t imagine being anybody else or having any other story than the story you have. Once you start living in the self-love paradigm you draw your worth, value and joy from within and you externalize it in such a way that it spreads love to all those you interact with.
So if self-love is something you are struggling with or looking to continue growing in, I would recommend you take a step back and use these 4 pillars to date yourself, ask yourself honest questions and give honest answers and allow yourself to experience yourself free of judgement.
Pillars 1 to 4 are key to getting to a place and space of self-love because you can’t love something you don’t accept, you can’t accept something you don’t know, you can’t know something you don’t have any background or awareness of. Please note that I said pillars not steps because I don’t believe there is a formula that if applied will have you wake up one day with all the self-love in the world. It is not a process but a journey and we are all on our own journey, constantly striving to become the very best we can be.