Loving the self is a funny thing. We may either believe that we are already loving ourselves or we may believe that love is something that we receive outside of ourselves. What we often miss is that we don’t have to try at love, we just have to remember that love is what we are. It already exists within us and is ready and waiting for us to tap into. The following are 3 steps that may guide you to an expanded view of what it means to create a more loving, authentic relationship with yourself.

1. Self-Honesty –  We may truly believe that we are always being honest with ourselves. We go about our lives believing that we already know what is best for us. But if we took the time to ask some serious kick ass questions, we would begin to open our eyes to the fact that we may be playing out our lives in a very safe and predictable way. We will see that this safe way of navigating through life is not leaving any room for passion, purpose, truth and authenticity. We may be living our lives based on what we learned rather than based on the truth of who we really are.  Some questions to help you navigate through self-honesty are:

“Am I making choices based on what I feel is right for me or am I choosing based on what I was told is right for me?”

“Am I honest with myself when it comes to my feelings? Do I give myself permission to feel my feelings or do I continuously make them insignificant and push them away in fear that they will show my weakness or inconvenience others?”

“Do I pay attention to my self-talk?” “Am I aware of the messages I send myself on a daily basis?”

“Am I aware of the beliefs that rule my life?” “Do I know which beliefs are serving me and which ones I need to let go of?”

“Am I living in the present moment or am I always looking forward to the next weekend, the next day off or the next vacation?”

2. Self-Forgiveness – Forgiveness is a powerful practice and again most of us believe that we don’t have any reason to forgive ourselves. If we take the time to “honestly” answer the questions in step 1 and expand our self awareness we will clearly see where there is endless room for forgiveness. Most of us continuously beat ourselves up without ever realizing it. We judge and criticize ourselves and we take on beliefs that diminish our power and keep us disconnected from our heart. When we begin to awaken to the truth of where we have been dishonest with ourselves, we begin to notice more and more where forgiveness is necessary. Self-Forgiveness offers us a clean slate and has the potential to set us free every minute of every day and bring us back to the present moment.

3. Self-Compassion – Being willing to get honest and face the aspects of ourselves that we have been avoiding takes extreme courage. Most of us avoid this process simply because the truth can really suck. The process may suck, but the end result…well…from my experience there is no better feeling. Facing hard truths and sticking to the process takes a heavy dose of self-compassion. It takes being extremely kind to ourselves. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “No matter what, I love you.” How about when you discover that your critical voice has been telling you something that has been causing you so much pain?  This is the time to practice compassion towards that judgmental voice within. Compassion is simply being kind towards ourselves no matter what is it we are experiencing.

So what does honesty, forgiveness and compassion have to do with self-love? They guide us towards seeing ourselves fully and opens the door to witnessing and embracing both our light-what we want to see and our darkness – what we have buried in our subconscious. It means loving all aspects of ourselves so that we can utilize our authentic power in a way that only we were meant to. The greatest act of self-love is to be and to own all of who you are without apology and without excuses so that you can live the life you were meant to live.

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