We hear a lot about love, how it comes in many shapes and sizes and you can’t hurry love to arrive. We celebrate love openly in movies and songs and everyone wants to fall in love. Love is this magical event that fixes everything when it finally comes.
Unfortunately, it rarely works that way.
I grew up wondering why elderly ladies were verbally abusive to my mother when we were playing outside in the park. She was a native, so what was the problem? Well, it turned out that I was. More specifically, my mother’s choice of whom to love was not accepted. I was considered as residue from this unknown mixing of races in the early 90’s Finland.
Well, she did not apologize, neither change her preference in men.
My parents wedding back in the days in Finland
In a very understandable way, my mother bravely cultivated self-love, by following her heart, even though society and her parents were against her choice. She didn’t let that stop her.
“These four Bhavas are like a path which we are given. When we walk on these paths, naturally a person becomes a caring personality. Then he would be caring for everybody and not only for this and that. The entire personality would be of that type and then the word love would com out of it”
Hansaji Yogendra – The Yoga Of Caring, 1997.
The modern-day perception of self-love could be compared to something as Tik Tok -app for many, we know perfectly what it is, but have no idea how to use it efficiently. We think we understand what it is to love our selves, but it’s very hard to try to answer how we do it. I asked my partner how he defines self-love: ” well it’s loving yourself”, he confirmed my point conveniently.
No worries readers, I had a chance to sit down with some incredible women brought together by The Philia Project and really talk about self love. Here are some gems for you to get in the game too!
We all are unique and have our own path. Stop comparing today, because you can’t be anyone else than you. We all know that social media is the salt of this soup, everyone likes to post the good stuff rather than expose to potential shame. So Instead of comparing, use that energy to find your wings, what makes you special. Find it and own it!
One of the most important aspects when it comes to loving yourself. Some of us are kinder and it is hard to say what we want, need or when we disagree. Instead of this, you find yourself trying to please everyone around you and might end up feeling drained. Put your self first, because people treat you how you let them treat you. There is only so much you can do, meaning that sometimes you need to just leave the toxic people behind.
This goes the other way around as well and for many this is the harder part to remember: in the name of balance, respect other people’s boundaries too.
Learn to be merciful
If I would talk to my friends and family the way I sometimes talk to myself, I would be alone. Be your friend too, pick him/her up when down, buy him/her ice cream for consolation, compliment the good and celebrate the successes, etc. Point being to try to treat your self nicely as well. You have always made mistakes and will continue doing them, no biggie, learn from them and move on. It is also merciful to liberate yourself from false expectations, with this I want to ask that are you doing what you want to do or are you doing things that you think make others accept you?
One of the most important aspects of self-love is to be aware of yourself, when, what and why things are happening in your head and body. The idea is very simple, you just don’t deny any feelings you might experience. If you are angry, grumpy, sad or ashamed bathe in these feelings, connect to them and find out what is causing them. These feelings are usually banned, even tho they are as valid and needed as joy and happiness. When we learn to identify and accept our own feelings, it gets easier for us to also understand the feelings of others. Self-awareness includes knowing your personality, the unique details that make you extra special.
I carried insecurity and body shame with me almost my whole life. Then I decided to quit wasting my time.
This picture was not easy to take, it still is a bit hard and shameful to undress in front of others.
By embracing that feeling of shame and acting the opposite way how it urges you to do,
sets you free.
Loving your self is the foundation of everything. If you understand and appreciate your self, you know what direction you want to go, you know how you want to be treated and what kind of people you want into your life. Most of all, you don’t need to find the other person to be complete and whole. Because you already are enough, you have everything you need inside you! Love is wonderful, If you nourish it often and consistently like a plant, it will grow good strong roots and will be able to blossom beautifully and long.
This post is dedicated to my mother & Kaja, rock on!
Happy Valentine’s day!
The one and only CEO – Chilled Evolving Owner of Azana Yoga Brand.