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7 steps on how to love yourself that will change your life.

Is love an art? So begins a book called "The Art of Loving" by Erich Fromm, a book that made me understand what it means to love myself.

Well, because precisely, what does it mean to love yourself? All around us we hear: "first you have to love yourself if you want to love another person, or if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to open up to another person.

Literally, everywhere swarms with self-love, love you girl, the media, and the Internet all talk about the importance of loving yourself, even the Church mentions it, but is there anyone who explained it to us? Told how to do it, sat down, and gave an example.

Isn't that narcissism? As Fromm writes: Just as the concept of love turned toward various objects is unobjectionable, so is the widely held view that loving others is a virtue while loving oneself is sinful."

Showing affection to yourself was not well received, how could you even think that you are the important one and that what you want is important? Always kind and good to others, helping others, worse, trained like in the army that love must be earned, nothing comes easy, does it not?

It has been installed in us that self-love is selfishness, so for fear of being self-centered, we reject what it means to love ourselves and only offer love to others.

For a long time, I didn't even think about what it means to love myself…

Until one day, my therapist said: "love yourself more, Natalia" I thought, after all, I love myself, even lot. She dragged the subject again: "if you don't love yourself then how are others supposed to do it", she didn't stop: "love yourself a little more".

This thought did not give me peace. I began to look for what “the famous love yourself” means.

There are a lot of explanations on the Internet and nothing really gave a response to my doubts about this whole self-love.

And then the book " Art of Loving - Erich Fromm" came into my hands. Suddenly everything became much clearer, clear as water. The first thing I understood was that love is an art, just like painting, writing, or singing, and creating requires practice, knowledge, and effort.

99% of the public does not realize this. Most think that love "is a pleasant feeling, the experience of which is a matter of chance, something that happens if one is lucky."

What is all self-love?

Self-love is all about respecting yourself and setting your boundaries. It’s about being kind, and compassionate toward yourself. It’s about being honest with yourself, but it’s also disciplined, doing the necessary work when required. It's loving yourself as much as you love the other person, or actually not. IT’S LOVING YOURSELF MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE without feeling guilty about it. it's also not asking for love from others because you already have it within you. It's being aware that you are loved, you are capable of loving and receiving love from others. It's being aware that you don't have to do anything to receive this love, it's deep within you. You are loved.

I know it's not easy at first to see it, but I guarantee you that if you look a little deeper you will find it. You will understand what I am talking about.

Self-love is knowing yourself and your inner girl and respecting each other's feelings is taking responsibility for your actions. Self-love takes time and practice as I mentioned earlier it is an art.

Believe me, I tried, to find a ready-made recipe on how to achieve self-love, but unfortunately, I did not find it because such a thing does not exist.

Although there is no ready-made rule on how to practice self-love, there are 4 elements that are needed in the practice of any art, and these are: 1. d i s c i p l i n e - practicing any art requires discipline, "I will never achieve good results in anything if I don't do it in a disciplined way; if I do anything only when "I'm in the mood," I'm doing miles or fun hobbies, but I'll never become a master at it." Mastering the art of self-love is not easy, but what is in life? It requires discipline, that is, consciously choosing things that are good for us, rather than being lazy. Discipline should "not be regarded as some command imposed from outside, but to make it an expression of one's own will; to feel it as something pleasant, to slowly arrive at a state of mind where one would feel its absence as unpleasant." 2. c o n c e n t r a t i o n - "is a prerequisite for mastering any art. Anyone who has ever tried it knows this. But still, concentration is something even rarer in our culture than discipline". We do a lot of things at the same time: eat, listen to music, work, drink, smoke - multitasking all the way. You can easily find out how much concentration you have by sitting alone. For most of us, sitting still without eating, drinking, smoking, or watching a movie is downright impossible.

3. p a t i e n c e - "without patience, nothing will be achieved". We live in a world where everything is supposed to be yesterday. Rushing, through life, rushing to the goal, everything is geared to speed, the fastest car, how to get from point A to point B faster, the faster the better. I'm not against doing something in less time as long as it's possible, thanks to technology we are moving forward, and I'm not of the opinion that you have to wait 3 years to marry a loved one or 5 years for your business to succeed. No, that's not the point. If there is an opportunity to get something in less time - great! Actually, I am also offering to get results quickly as I don’t see any point in attending the therapy during 2-3 years. The point is that we are not patient, that we want everything, literally everything immediately, and because of this life escapes us as if in the blink of an eye. We don't see the beauty along the way because we focus only on the goal. "Today's man thinks that he loses something - time - when he doesn't act fast enough; and yet he doesn't know afterward what to do with the time he has gained - he can only "kill" it. 4. f u l l c o m m i t m e n t - "If the art does not become a priority for the student, he will never master it." If you want to achieve the art of self-love, it must become a priority for you. Only in this way can you become a master. Devote yourself to practice and you will see that the results will come on their own. Obsessed with it!

During the search for my own path and healing journey over the last 15 years, I have discovered one truth:

When we really love, accept, and APPROVE of ourselves as we are, then everything in life works.

In another word, there is only one thing that I ever work on with all my clients and this is LOVING THE SELF.

I have uncovered some daily practices which have helped me how to cultivate that beautiful art of self-love daily:

1. Get up earlier

Set your alarm clock those 15-30 minutes earlier and take that time for yourself. Find your natural clock, and set the time you go to bed and what time you wake up. Getting up with the sunrise has something magical about it, it gives you a sense of power and superiority over all those who are still sleeping. When you get up early in the morning and you do it because you want to, you gain respect for yourself, and that equals love for yourself.

2. Stay still

You don't have to be Buddha to meditate - sit with yourself, concentrate your thoughts, and listen to your inner child, and what it is saying to you. Allocate the 20 minutes you gained by getting up earlier to sit with yourself, with your thoughts, turn on some relaxing music, or listen to a guided meditation. "To be able to concentrate means to be able to be alone with yourself - and this is the condition for being able to love," says Mr. Kovac. The practice of meditation is not easy, it is not easy to be with yourself, if you try you will see that you will have a crowd of thoughts, you will wonder what to make for dinner today, or what to wear to work, but in time these thoughts will calm down and by practicing you will reach a state where you will find peace. Observe them, be present, and be patient. Meditation teaches you to concentrate, to be here and now.

3. Find a hobby

A hobby that keeps your body in shape and allows you to feel good about yourself. Run, swim, bike, go for a walk, and practice yoga. I found myself while I was running. This discipline is good for my body and spirit. I don't run every day, but I try to exercise at least 3 times a week, and even if I can't manage to run, I choose to bike instead of taking the subway, or practice yoga. I guarantee you that if you find something you enjoy and do it because you want to, not because you need to lose that 3 kg, the results will come in no time. You will see how the dose of endorphins in your body will stimulate you, suddenly you will have much more energy, and you will be more active, and more efficient. Your body will thank you for it, and you yourself will feel better, and most importantly you will gain self-respect and confidence.

4. Stop being always on a Diet

It's not about denying yourself all carbohydrates anymore for the rest of your life. Life is one, and I'm of the opinion that you need to savor it, and how better to do that than with food? The issue is to find the balance. "You are what you eat," so they say. So I guess you don't want to be fatty ground abo sweet meringue. I advocate such a term as changing your lifestyle rather than being on a diet. You have to start by creating a healthy relationship with food. Eat when your body needs it and not when you are stressed, bored, or feel empty inside. Choose light and healthy meals, eat lots of vegetables and fruits, fish, and protein, and let what you eat be colorful and balanced, the way your life should be. If you feel like eating something mega-caloric and sweet, do it! Go to the best pastry shop in town and buy the best piece of cake and eat it with pleasure, not with remorse. Have a craving for pizza, eat it! Order a delicious pizza from a restaurant, and don't eat the one from the supermarket. Do you understand? Give value to what you do. Don't just throw anything into yourself. Well, and a very important point, keep the balance. Don't eat those cookies or that pizza every day. Find the best solution for you, you want to eat 3 times a day, eat 3 times a day, or maybe 5 meals ok. If you feel that you have overdone your calories in one day, that's nothing, just eat less the next day, that way you keep the balance in your body and drink water, lots of water! Even 5l has amazing cleansing effects on your body as well as your mind.

5. Set boundaries

This is a symptom of self-care. In any relationship, we should learn to set boundaries, that is, to speak openly about what we want, what behavior we tolerate, and what we don't like. Whether in a relationship with your partner, at work with your boss, colleagues, friends, family, or children. Setting clear boundaries is very important for your mental health, as is clearly and openly communicating your needs and your values, and demands to the other person. You are free to say NO:

I don't feel like it...

It doesn't feel comfortable if you treat me this way...

It doesn't feel good if you tell me...

I don't like how...

I don't wish...

Assertiveness is a picture of self-love. Because if YOU don't respect yourself, how should others? I understood the lesson, for years I gave and gave and gave and got nothing in return. I accepted less than I deserved. I didn't object because I was afraid of rejection, afraid that I would cease to be loved and needed, so I gave even more. Thus, it pushed away partners, and good jobs, because if I couldn't respect myself enough others didn't do it either. Don't make my mistake, learn to say NO, say openly what you don't like and what you tolerate, and communicate what you want with confidence! The first time is scary, but the next time will be easier and you will see how strongly this practice will bring you self-confidence, thus self-love.

6. Be your number 1 cheerleader

That's right, high-five yourself, and say how amazing you are! Did you know that there is no other person in the world as wonderful, amazing, and unique as you? If you don't know, I'm telling you that there isn't. You are special, believe it! Our brain is capable of believing what we tell it (this is a deeper topic, which I will tell you more about someday), now try to take my word for it. Our brain assimilates what you say to it, it believes you and creates around you exactly what you say to it. If you tell yourself every day how hopeless your life is, that you are weak, that you won't make it, and so on. What are you creating around you? A life full of failures, worries, and every task in front of you turns out to be a failure. Start talking to yourself better, and resolve to greet yourself every morning from now on with beautiful affirmations like

I love you

I am unique, smart, intelligent

I can achieve what I want, I can lose those 3 kgs, I can change my job, I can find the love of my life...

Life is good for me, life is full of endless possibilities

My body is healthy and strong

I am beautiful

The most important task in front of you is to believe it! Believe that you can create the life you dream of!

7. Forgive yourself and let go

Easy to say, not so easy to execute. Will criticizing yourself help you do anything, or will being a perpetual victim of your past make you feel better about yourself? Or will you feel better about yourself as you point at yourself? What a fool I am, I did it again, I ate one too many cookies again, I slept with that boy from the party, or that next glass of wine I drank so I wouldn't feel, at least for a moment, my head...

This is not the best way out. I have tried it myself and nothing has helped, in fact, the consequences are twice as bad. Forgiving yourself, and showing compassion are symptoms of self-love. It's not your fault, whatever happened to you, don't dwell on what if. Time will not return, leave the past to the past, and focus on the here and now and the beautiful future you have ahead of you. You are not just that person from the past to whom something bad happened to you (I'm not saying you should forget about it, because it will probably never happen) I'm saying you are not that person anymore, period. Now you are stronger and have the knowledge of how to live to not go through this again. It may sound a bit paradoxical, but I understood that thanks to our "bad experiences" from the past we are better now, we have more knowledge, and sensitivity. These events have shaped you, try to look at it from a different point of view and see the beauty in it, I promise that then you will be able to free yourself. You will feel free like a bird, full of compassion and love for yourself.

Self-love is not easy, it is an art like any other, which requires daily practice, discipline, concentration, patience, and action. I believe you can do it, step by step start implementing this practice and you will see that your life will change 180 degrees. You are stronger than you appear and smarter than you think.

Love Yourself. You deserve that.


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