Why I’m learning to fall in love with myself

by Katie on August 21, 2014

I was looking in the mirror, staring into my eyes.

I love myself, I said quietly.

I tried it again.

I love myself.

One more time.

I love myself.

Ugh. It wasn’t working. I felt ridiculous. Like what I was saying wasn’t true.

I was trying out a new experiment, and so far it wasn’t going so well.

I was trying to fall in love with myself…

I had a lot more work to do.

Some backstory

I have been on the self-help/personal development journey for several years now. I’ve read tons of books, watched countless videos, have learned loads about spirituality, personal empowerment, and self worth. I’ve listened closely as gurus have stressed the importance of self-love, listened to friends talk about how learning to love themselves completely changed their life for the better.

I kind of thought I had it figured out. Yeah, yeah self-love. I get it. I love myself (I think). Or I know I really like myself. I’m a good person. Isn’t that enough?

To be honest I don’t think I really got it. In my mind it seemed kind of cheesy. A bit overused. Or in reality, probably a concept too big for me to really comprehend. Love myself? What does that even mean??

The book

You know how the universe leads you to exactly what you need? A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a book by Kamal Ravikant called Love Yourself Like your Life Depends On It. Kamal writes poignantly about his experience with learning to love himself. He depicts when he completely hit rock bottom, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And how learning to love himself pulled him from the depths and created true magic in his life.

I read the book in one day. Kamal didn’t strike me as your typical self love guru and I could relate to that.

Feeling totally desperate, he started by simply repeating the words to himself “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself”. He repeated this simple mantra over and over until he slowly started to believe it. And those words saved his life. He also started meditating, and he began to do the mirror meditation. And his life transformed.

I had heard about self-love so many times. But this time it was different. You can hear the same message over and over, but sometimes you have to hear it from the right person, at exactly the right time. This book made me see everything differently. What if I really loved myself? Like my life depended on it (because it does). What would I do differently? What if my thoughts, how I treated myself, and how I showed up all represented complete and utter love?

Not just thought I loved myself or said I did, but really backed it up with actions.

What if you looked at yourself like you look at your partner, at your best friend, anyone you truly love? What if we all viewed ourselves this way? What would you do differently? What you allow yourself to experience? How would you treat your mind, body, and soul?

One of the most profound things from Kamal’s book was this question:

“If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?”

Ask yourself. Would I let myself experience these negative thoughts? This toxic relationship? This criticism and negativity? If I really loved myself, would I allow it to continue?

I did some investigating, and realized all of the places in my life where I wasn’t loving myself. Where I wasn’t treating myself with honor and respect: Trying to be perfect. Saying yes when I really meant no. Settling in my professional life. Thinking I wasn’t good enough. Not expressing my true opinions.

So I’m learning to love myself. Even if that means feeling ridiculous staring at myself in the mirror everyday. With time hopefully it will get easier. Maybe I’ll really believe it. And start to act like it as well.

Do I really have to?

Many people get turned off from self-love because it seems selfish, kind of arrogant. Fall in love with myself?? C’mon! Shouldn’t we love others more than ourselves?

But really loving yourself is about honoring yourself, your desires, and treating yourself with care. Speaking up and taking action when you feel called. Everyone benefits from that.

Everyone benefits from the happiness and joy you will feel when you accept yourself fully.

It isn’t about bravado or a false armor of superiority. Those are just tools we use to hide our insecurities. Real self-love helps us shine brightly, and be a beacon of light to others. It allows us to show up more fully for our loved ones, and encourage them to show up more fully and fall in love with themselves as well. To me, that is being of the utmost service to others.

So grab that mirror! You’re going to feel ridiculous at first, keep going! This is important.

Your life, and a magical one at that, depends on it.

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