Self-Love: Nurture Your Most Important Relationship. You.

energy self care self love

Are you beating yourself up or building yourself up when it comes to self-love? In other words, how do you love yourself? Not to say, take care of yourself. That’s self-care. Both are skills to be developed and nurtured to help you discover your best self, and self-love is the foundation of any successful endeavor.

By nurturing your most important relationship, you enhance your capacity to show up better in all areas of your life, whether it's business, family, or community.

Want to begin healing on a path to self-love? Then, first, you’ll reflect on parts of your past to be let go, those that shaped you, and those that are yet to come, and then you’ll write it down, heart to hand to heart. A love letter to yourself, and daily practices to keep you moving forward in your journey. 

 

The Ultimate Journey

The journey of self-love isn't linear; it's more like a series of forward steps, occasional setbacks, and then monumental leaps. Sometimes, even when we believe we've mastered self-love, life throws us a curveball, and we find ourselves revisiting old pain and doubts – questioning ourselves.  The bad news is that you just have to go through it.  Find beauty in the journey and know that it is some of the most important work you will ever do.  If you are reading this and you have children, I guarantee you’d go through fire for them.  Why not for yourself?

My great grandmother used to say, "If you don't love yourself, how can anyone else love you?" 

While this may be a notion we intellectually understand and agree with, putting it into practice can be a completely different story. It’s like flexing a muscle not used often and must be worked each day to build it up. To build you up. I've been on a daily self-love and forgiveness journey for over a year and a half, and I can attest that it's a journey with its fair share of twists and turns.

 

5 Levels of Healing

There are five levels of healing. Each is important on its own, but together, when everything is in harmony – that’s when the magic happens. Yes, you need all five. Regardless of who or what you believe in, as long as you believe in something greater than something outside yourself, that is your connection to the spiritual. 

  1. Physical
  2. Cellular
  3. Mental
  4. Emotional
  5. Spiritual

Though I have been, and am still on my own journey, I faced an unexpected setback recently from something I thought I’d let go of long ago. I had to make a heartbreaking choice about saving myself or saving my then-husband from himself. 

My passionate, loving Italian husband had a problem, an addiction. He was also the love of my life. I couldn’t picture myself without him. Once, I was served an airplane meal that reminded me of a joke he’d made, and I cried. Pain and love had bound themselves together so tight, I feared I might lose myself if I kept on. I wanted to save him. From himself. But after three plus years of this battle, I had to make a choice. Him or me. 

Did I love myself enough to save myself? Did I love him enough to let him go? 

That choice was the most painful one I have ever made, but it was also my greatest act of Self-Love.  I chose me.  Without this choice, I may not even be here today (that’s how emotionally, physically, and mentally damaged I had become), and I would not be able to work with the amazing women that I have the honor of coaching.

You know that tingling feeling when you’re falling in love? Do you feel it yet? Is your cup full?

 

Giving from a Full Cup

So many of us have been conditioned to put the needs and desires of others before our own. How many are caring for parents and children? How many of you are working round the clock against the natural order of resting and caring for yourself? Taking the time will give you the time to be there for those who need you, but to be there, you must put yourself first.

While caring for others is admirable, self-love reminds us that our own happiness and fulfillment are equally important. It has also been said that without loving ourselves, we can’t ultimately love another.  I believe this.  A simple way to imagine it is like giving from a glass half full.  If you are not giving with joy and from a fountain a love, how impactful is the gift?  Don’t the people that you love deserve to drink from a full cup?  You do, too.

Spa days, relaxing vacations, or taking time to pamper yourself with small indulgences are the tip of the self-love iceberg, but it won’t get you all the way home.

Self-love goes beyond the external and tangible acts of pampering; it’s like the nurturing soil in which the seeds of well-being are sown. It's the foundation upon which we build a life that is not just free from stress and burnout but filled with genuine contentment. When we truly love ourselves, we make choices that prioritize our physical, emotional, spiritual, and cellular-level health and energy.

But much like flexing a muscle or learning a skill, daily practice will strengthen the bond you’re creating with yourself. 

 

Daily Practices for Planting and Enhancing Self-Love

The seeds are planted. Close your eyes. Reflect. Release. Receive. Breathe. 

You don’t have to do every exercise every day but do at least one every day. You can’t build up your muscle or learn a new skill without practice. This is where you begin those reps. Release each day and start each day open to receive, and remember self-love is a journey.

 

Release (or Daily Forgiveness Practice): At the end of the day, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself, "How could I have shown up better today?" Identify areas where you feel you could have improved but avoid dwelling on self-criticism. Acknowledge these areas, release them, and let them go. 

Receive: Who do you want to be in 2023? 2024? The year doesn’t matter but do try this. Sit back. Close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slower. Deep breath. Exhale. Let your shoulders fall. Relaxed? Great! Now ask yourself, “Who do you want to be in 2023?” What do you see when you close your eyes? We use all our senses when we imagine – what do you smell? Feel? Taste? What’s your first thought? Write it down. Tuck it into the love letter you’ll write to yourself. But first, be your own genie, and grant yourself three wishes.

Three Wishes: Reflect on your favorite memories from your past, whether it's your childhood, teenage years, or any other stage. Write down three wishes, blessings, or desires you have for your past self. Then write three wishes you have for your present self. This exercise is a way to send love and healing to your younger self, acknowledging the challenges and triumphs that have shaped you.

Love Letter to Yourself: Take all the insights and wishes gathered from the previous exercises and craft a heartfelt love letter to yourself. Pour your thoughts, wishes, and affirmations onto a beautiful piece of stationery or in a card. This love letter becomes a powerful reminder of your self-love journey. Keep it close and read it whenever you need a boost of self-compassion.

 

The Depth of Self-Love

Embrace the ebb and flow of this journey – drop of water in a vast ocean - recognize that setbacks can lead to significant progress in the long run. You are not responsible for the happiness of others; you are responsible for your own happiness.

  • Embrace all facets of yourself, including your flaws and imperfections. 
  • Set boundaries to protect your whole-being from the cellular level to the spiritual level, for your physical, emotional, and mental health. 
  • Say no when you need to and set aside time for self-care without guilt. 

Self-love isn't a fixed destination; it's a lifelong journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-care. It's the foundation of self-compassion, and, ultimately, it empowers us to live more fulfilling lives. By incorporating daily self-love practices and sending love to your past and present selves, you'll nurture the most important relationship in your life. You.

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