The 3 Best Foods for Self-Love
The lack of self-love lies at the foundation of most of our feelings of discomfort. It is also the source of countless conflicts and bad decisions we make in our lives. It is a void that leads us to carry out a plethora of erratic actions, like constantly trying to prove yourself or to prove others, diligently searching for approval, or turning affection into a battlefield.
Love mainly rests on three pillars: respect, care, and knowledge. Respect implies acceptance and valuing yourself or others. If you respect something, this translates into you not needing to always question, criticize, or try to modify it. You simply accept that it is what it is and you are okay with it being that way. In other words, you reaffirm it.
As for care, this means that you relate to this person or thing that you love in a way that promotes its growth and preservation. Both respect and care are tightly related to knowledge: you cannot respect something that you do not know, nor can you care for it and help it grow if you do not know which way it is trying to evolve.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”
When self-love exists, there is also respect for oneself, care for oneself, and knowledge of oneself. When it is not there, we must navigate through the uncertainty of not knowing who we are nor where we are going. We also doubt our thoughts, feelings, and actions: you intensely question your mistakes and you feel like you would have to be another person to live right. In short, it is like living out an inner storm that never ends. When that is the case, it is time to feed your self-love. Below, we will give you 3 key actions so that you can achieve this.
1. Learning to see yourself kindly
It is likely that at some point in your life, you have convinced yourself that “there is something wrong” with you. Maybe you were brought up in such a way that you were always very aware of your mistakes or they were emphasized too much. That is why it is possible for you to have gotten used to looking at yourself from that perspective: pointing out your mistakes and underestimating your efforts and achievements.
It is important for you to know one secret: an unmistakable sign of a lack of self-love is precisely that need not just to criticize yourself, but also to question and put down others. So whoever pointed at you, or is pointing at you, is not having a good time of things themselves.
Learn to overcome that conditioning. Break the pattern of thinking that leads you to put yourself down time and time again. This is the task: for each mistake or failure that you run into, you have to find two virtues. Try to look at yourself kindly and you will learn to love yourself.
2. Making an effort to be better
We are all worthy of respect and being valued, just by belonging to the human race. Never forget this. You must also not forget that the healthiest way to lend value to what you do is through conscious effort.
Effort is a powerful food for your self-love. Without noticing it, it gives you a sense of dignity that translates into respect for who you are and what you do. When you take the easy path, you don’t notice that the opposite is happening: you devalue what you obtain and thus who you are.
Effort does not mean going against your own desires or beating yourself up to achieve your goals. It refers, rather, to the effort that you put into what you are doing freely, so that everything will be well done and complete. This may demand that you involve your will at some point, but at the same time, it will reward you with a growing feeling of self-love.
3. Understanding those who undervalue you
You are never going to be happy or pleased with yourself if you continue to be highly dependent on the opinions of others. Most of the time people do not specifically want to hurt you with their opinions (although this does sometimes happen).
Do you think others spend hours and hours reflecting on you before giving their opinion on who you are? Surely that is not the case. Many of them act mechanically and say things lightly. For a critique to be taken into consideration, it should be very detailed and in-depth.
Maybe you are not satisfying the needs or opinions of that person, and that is why they question you. Finally, the problem is more in that person than in you. Your task in life is not to adjust to what others desire, but to blaze your own trail. That path and that process are unique, and many times, they are not going to please others. It is a good idea for you to be aware that this is normal and that it happens to all of us.
One of the precise consequences of self-love is that it creates acceptance and appreciation in others. He who loves himself incites a natural respect in those around him. Loving yourself is a task that you must undertake and that will give you more satisfaction that any other that you will take on in life.
Images courtesy of Margarita Kareva, Art TreeLight