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The Self Love Habit

With Valentine’s Day just past, it seems relevant to write about love. Self love. Self compassion. How can we make incorporate the self love habit into our daily lives?

The Self Love Habit

While I have written about self care several times here, I’d lie to stress that taking care of and loving oneself goes way beyond having regular spa days!

Making self love a habit requires us to work at the level of minds in a focused way. I can’t tell you the number of times in a day, I find that I’m talking down to myself. Berating myself for forgetting to do something. Being upset at myself for saying something. Not forgiving myself for making a mistake.

Learning Self Compassion

I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself. Here are three simple ways that I’m attempting to do this:

Questioning my perceptions/assumptions. 

Both my parents were perfectionists. They were also really good at being kind to others often at great cost to themselves. It was hard for this dreamer to try to live up to their standards. I’ve had to question my ideas about what standards I should have of neatness, for example. I’ve had to ask myself, if being super critical of my ‘bad’ habits was a way to grow. I’ve had to question my ideas of what constitutes selfishness and what is taking care of myself. Is it okay to say no?

Releasing oxytocin by using touch. 

Hugging myself, taking time to massage creams, enjoying soaking my feet and rubbing them, demanding a hug from my husband, playing with my dogs, are things I’ve learned to do. Being touched releases the hormone oxytocin, which reduces stress and boosts the sensation of security.

Finding my own mantra/s. 

In her book Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff, Ph.D., a well-known expert in the field, suggests coming up with your own mantra. You can read some of my mantras here.

Embracing All Of Me

sitting blur reflection face
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

We have to realize that we are full of contradictions and the self love habit is one that helps us embrace every part of us – the ‘good’ part and the ‘dark‘ side.

Here’s a lovely little piece from Leah Perlman that talks about self acceptance – embracing all of me/you.

There’s one in you who’s sweet.
There’s one in you who’s mean.
Can you love them both?
Can you let them both be seen?

Can you love the one who tries?
And love her when she fails?
Can you love the one who lies?
And love the one who wails?

Can you love your tears?
Can you love your worry?
Can you love your darkest fears?
Can you love your fury?

Can you love indifference?
Love the one who clings?
Can you love the vibrant one?
Love the one who sings?

Can you love your addict?
Can you love your thief?
Can you love your vanity?
Can you love your grief?

Can you love your inner child?
And your body as you age?
Can you love your wild side?
Release her from her cage?
Can you love the one fulfilled?
And the one who’s not?

Can you love the one who’s chilled?
And whose temper’s hot?
Can you love the weakling?
The one who’s sometimes sick?

Can you love the warrior?
Who fights through thin and thick?

Can you love your crazy?
Can you love your sane?
Can you love your foolish heart?
Love your scattered brain?

There’s one in you who’s bored.
And one who’s often stressed
Can you love them both at once?
And she who tries her best?

If the answer’s “no.”
To some of the above
Then can you love the one in you
Who’s learning how to love?

–Leah Pearlman

Today, I encourage you to incorporate the self love habit into your life.

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

7 Comments on “The Self Love Habit

  1. It is so easy for us to compare ourselves to others and it is so hurtful too. Thank you for the reminder and some steps to help us feel better and be kinder to ourselves!

  2. Lots to think about in Leah Pearlman’s words. Thank you Corrine for bringing them to my attention.
    Lol my father always said ‘soaking his feet was one of life’s little pleasures’. His one visible act of self love.
    There’s certainly more than two sides to us all – thanks for the reminder we must accept and ‘love’ them all.
    Take care
    Cathy

  3. Beautifully expressed, Corinne. We need to love as a whole. But it’s not easy when our first instinct is to be critical of us. Thank you for sharing Leah Pearlman’s poem.

  4. Thanks for another lovely post Corinne! It took me a long time to even begin the journey of self-compassion. I always thought it was selfish but looking back, that feels so weird. haha. And, as you say, berating ourselves definitely doesn’t help anyone, least of all ourselves. Thanks again 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder of self-love and compassion towards oneself! It’s a life lesson that we all eventually realise after going through the hard knocks of life. We need to practise kindness, compassion and acceptance towards ourselves as much as we need to do so for others.

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