How To Create A Life You Love
Love is a Verb: Start With Yourself
Everyone wants to feel loved, heard, seen and understood. From a young age, every person turns to immediate family for this ongoing daily dose of care. If you were lucky, love flowed steadily and was generously given to you by others.
As you grew into an adult, even in the best of family upbringings, you likely discovered ways that you needed and longed to be loved yet did not ever receive. Shadows and wounds crept up and in when you realized that, at times, your emotional needs didn’t feel important. Or, maybe you were made to feel invisible now and then. Whatever your wound looks like, likely, a parental figure didn’t give you the love you fully needed to thrive.
Hurts and disappointments were tucked away, only to be discovered years later as you became an adult. Even if your parents were Mother Theresa and Ghandi, they, too, are imperfect, and likely couldn’t have given you every ounce of love you needed and deserved.
As an adult, you have the opportunity to create your “love committee”. Love is not only a feeling, love is a verb. It is expression in action. While another human is likely incapable of meeting EVERY single one of your needs, the one person who IS available for that level of active love is your own self.
How do you speak to yourself when you make a mistake? Are you forgiving and understanding, or do you call yourself “stupid” with frustration? How do you treat yourself in times of failure? Do you speak to yourself like a loving parent would to their young child, or do you criticize yourself and engage in self beat-up? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and see your beauty or criticize your imperfections, wishing for a different reflection in return? Do you give space to nurture your dreams, or do you belittle your heart’s desires?
Self-love is possibly one of the most transformative spiritual practices you can create in your life. It starts with you taking a stand with and for yourself. This daily practice leads you to become your biggest fan, most reliable friend and greatest hero.
As an exercise, look at yourself in the mirror for just two minutes every day. Tell yourself, out loud, the things you wish you had heard as a child, but didn’t. “I’m here with you. I love you. I see you. Let me care for you. You’ve got this. You are deserving. Your needs matter. You are so, so beautiful.”
Speak to yourself in a way that fills you with care. It may feel awkward at first (anything new feels awkward or scary, so don’t let that be an excuse), but just like falling in love with another person takes time, give yourself time to nurture a love story that will carry you through for the rest of your life. Love is a verb, and giving love to yourself is perhaps the most impactful and sustaining love you’ll ever know.