“Love is the great miracle cure.
Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”
-Louise L. Hay
Self love was an alien topic for me. It was only after I met Tim Hastings, a Self Love Coach, that I began to see the importance of it. Loving, caring and helping those in need and fixing things in others’ lives has always been my first priority. But, things weren’t going the way I wanted in my own life. Especially, the relationship with my ex-girlfriend was in chaos. I was unable to understand why I was attracting that kind of relationship.
When I was introduced with Tim in December 2014, along with the chaotic relationship with my ex-girlfriend, I was also going through some other rough and tough times. My physical health was degrading. Feelings of loneliness and a lack of meaning of my life were making me weaker and weaker. Those feelings were amplified when I witnessed the increasing degree of pain and suffering in my own family and my Bhutanese Refugee community, where people were committing suicide at a very high rate.
I’ve always seen myself as a social change maker and wanted to serve my community and create positive changes. But, it wasn’t happening to the same degree as I had anticipated.
Tim coached me continuously for 5 months where we talked every week for an hour about my challenges. He helped me to reflect back on my past, unhealthy relationship and learn from it. He taught me not to become so harsh on the imperfections of my life, but accept them as a necessary components of my life. He also guided me to focus on my strengths and to view those challenges as a stepping stone to my own growth. He gave me weekly assignments like a self-love meditation and journal writing in order to cultivate self-love.
One thing that I am very grateful for Tim is the guidance I’m now in a new relationship, the love of my life, which is full of passion, love, understanding, connection, contribution and growth. Not only that, since I began to practice self love, I have seen huge shift in my physical, mental and emotional health.
If you’re a person like me who cares so much about others’ pain and suffering and want to help them, but you yourself are in pain and suffering, then you might be in need of self love.
What is Self Love?
Do you treat yourself the way you want others to treat you? I hope you do. But, you will be surprised to know that consciously or unconsciously most of us don’t treat ourselves as kindly as we would expect others to treat us. At some point in everybody’s life, all of us have learned about the famous Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Our parents, society, schools, and religions always tried to mold us into a human being who would treat other human beings with kindness, love, and care.
There is nothing wrong with that. However, very few of them really focused on teaching us how to treat ourselves. According to Kristin Neff, Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, treating ourselves with the same kindness and care we’d treat a friend with is called self-love (self-compassion). But, many people have a mis-conception that loving ourselves means being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Margo Anand believes the opposite. She believes that loving ourselves means welcoming ourselves as the most honored guest in our own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.
Today, a growing number of researchers are finding that if we’re able to treat ourselves with the same kindness that we use on others, then we’d live healthier and happier lives. Mandy Oaklander, in her article The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices published in TIME magazine, writes that self love is associated to better health behaviors. According to the article, people who cultivate self love will also cultivate healthy eating habits, exercise more, get sound sleep, and worry less. Similarly, self love also has direct connection with mental health issues.
People with a high degree of self love were found to have less depression and anxiety(Stuart Bradford). Another benefit of self-love is that it also motivates us to achieve goals in our lives. There is a huge distinction between achieving goals with and without self love. Both try to take us to the same place but experience of how we reach it is completely different. Achieving without self love might not give us a greater sense of fulfillment. On the contrary, achieving with self love provides us a greater sense of fulfillment. Often, when people without self love fail to reach their goals, they tend to self-criticize or blame others, which are unhealthy behaviors. But, people with self love tend to react differently. They see failures as part of development and don’t try to value or devalue their lives in terms of successes and failures.
Some Tips on Cultivating Self-Love
1. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D advises to write two things on paper: things that you like about yourself (like your strengths, difficult situations you have overcome, lives you have touched, your accomplishments, etc) on one side and all of your weaknesses on the other side of the paper. Then read both the strengths and weaknesses aloud. Then she suggests, put your hands on your heart and repeat this phrase: “I am strong. I am weak. I am flawed. I am broken. I am vulnerable. I am human and despite these flaws, I give myself permission to love myself unconditionally. I am a growing, evolving being, who uses past mistakes as fuel for my journey of growth. I accept myself as I am, and I set an intention to become the person I want to be.”
2. Write Letter to Yourself: Whenever you encounter challenges from outside or inside, make a habit to write letter to yourself. This exercise helps you to release the negative emotions and reflect on the problems and find the solutions to it.
3. Take Time for yourself: It is always good to take time off from your regular schedule and try new, exciting and healthy activities like hiking, meditation, dance, yoga, singing, family time, drawing, traveling, etc.
4. Practice Mindfulness: Being mindful of your body, thoughts, emotions, and your surroundings can help you to appreciate the gifts of your life. Practice focusing on your breath and being aware of your thoughts, body, and mind without any judgements. Practicing a “nonjudgmental attitude” can open the flow of life-force energy in our energy system which helps us to live a fulfilling life.
Some Helpful Quotes on Self-Love:
1. “When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant jobs, my own beliefs and habits-anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” -Kim McMillen
2. “It’s surprising how many people go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings towards other people are largely determined by their feelings towards themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.” -Sidney J. Harris
3. “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you’ll give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” -Barbara De Angelis
4. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” -Lao-Tzu
5. “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” -Louise L. Hay
6. “Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself-no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are-completely; the good and the bad-and make changes as you see fit-not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” -Stacey Charter
7. “A healthy self love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”-Andrew Matthews
8. “Self-care is never a selfish act-it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” -Parker Palmer
9. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” -Lucille Ball
10. “The biggest struggle in life is the struggle to know, embrace, and accept ourselves, with all of our faults and imperfections.”-Melanie Greenberg Ph.D
11. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -Buddha
12. “Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.” -Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“Happy New Year 2016: May this year bring you more love, joy, and successes in your life. Let’s make 2016 as the year of cultivating self love in your life.”
Originally posted on Robin’s BLOG
I attended a tele-course by Tim Hastings in the Autumn of 2013 along with some personal coaching sessions in tandem. I had been working with Tim on several issues of stress in my life. What I learned was that I was limiting myself- doing it to myself. His care in listening to me, as well as providing me with easy and potent tools have helped me to redefine my life, priorities and belief systems.
I identified where I was giving away time and energy that I could be using to further my own goals, be healthier, and become more relaxed. I learned how to reprioritize my energy and focus so I could get very clear about exactly what it was I needed to be healthy, and live a more abundant life
As a stressed out, sick and busy entrepreneur in the yoga/fitness/personal healing industry, I had found that my energy was seeming to go out to my clients and community more than I was getting in return. I was exhausted, sad, feeling unwell, and I was suffering because I just didn’t know how to manage everything.
Tim, in his very down to earth, and straightforward way, gave me a handful of powerful tools and guidelines for creating clear goals. He taught me about restructuring my time to make room in my busy world to manifest my goals. Tim’s ability to see clearly into my situation and get right to the meat of what I needed to do made me believe in him enough to embark on this journey, which was surprisingly successful. I am still blown away that such simple tools could work so well. The results started happening pretty much immediately. He showed me none of this had to be difficult!
After one tele-course and some private sessions, I was able to start setting clear, tangible boundaries around my time and giving to others. This cleared more space to be able to relax, de-stress, and create a blueprint for financial abundance and emotional time to replenish.
And of course to bring in the most amazing relationship to my life…
I was only a few months out of a very challenging relationship that was incredibly taxing in which I was unceremoniously asked to move out with little warning or support. It was a difficult time, as I had to rent a room from someone I found on Craigslist. Talk about humbling!
Within a month of the tele-course, I had manifested the most incredible apartment which, for the money, is outrageously well provisioned- new, green construction, conscious community, with working space inside for $695 per month! How could such a place even exist? Amazing!
My consulting business began thriving again, as I got more focused too. I was quickly on my way to formally launching a successful new avenue of my vocation, which I had no idea how to market at that point.
Now, for the best news…
Within just two months of the course, I met the man of my dreams!
It’s now two years later, and we married just a couple months ago! Jay and I are so perfect for one another, and we have such a deep bond of love for each other. We both share a love for singing and playing music, which I haven’t had in a relationship before. We create beautiful melodies as we harmonize our hearts and lives together. I’ve never met anyone like him before. We both feel so lucky and blessed to have found one another. It’s never too late!
We were so grateful for Tim’s course that we asked him to marry us! And what a beautiful ceremony it was. Such lovely magic was woven that day.
~Kellee and Jay Erickson
I saw a quote from the Dali Lama the other day that inspired me to finally sit down and write my story. He said, “If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others.” I always wondered if true love existed. And, if it did . . . Where on earth was it hiding?! Now, don’t […]