How to Love Yourself More
By Lindsay Leimbach
I hear, “love yourself more, so you can love others more." That is terrific, but I often get stuck here. How do I define “love myself more?” Should I hug myself? Treat myself to a new pair of shoes? Binge watch my favorite show? Maybe eat better? Talk to myself kindly in the mirror? Exercise? Well, maybe a little of all of these options would be good. But I know there is a better way to define “love yourself more” to foster lasting changes in how I think and feel about myself.
I realize that feeling safe with myself is the starting point to “loving myself more.” When I feel safe with my own feelings and thoughts, I can trust my intuitive feelings, choices, and behaviors. When I make a mistake, I will not rip myself apart and shame myself into a defeated mindset. I might not always make the right choices, but I will not give up. I will grow and learn. When I am safe in my own mind, I love myself.
Feeling safe is the beginning of self-trust. When I trust myself, I am my own best friend. Having self-safety and trust allows me to accept all parts of myself. This acceptance allows me to have introspection on my feelings and motivations behind my behaviors. Introspection allows me to lovingly transform patterns of thoughts and feelings that don’t serve me well to new authentic heart-centered thoughts and feelings.
When I think, “I want to love myself more,” I let my next thought be, “Am I safe with myself?” If I am safe with myself, I ask, “Do I trust myself?” If I trust myself, I ask, “Do I accept myself?” These questions are questions of self-love and growth. If I answer “no” to any of these questions, then I know where I need to kindly look deeper inside myself to become aware of the belief that has stopped me from “loving myself.” This act of self-discovery is an act of self-love. This act of self-discovery is a big step towards feeling safe and trusting myself. I start my self-love journey with self-safety.