Learning How to Love Yourself

When I began my journey this year into the foreign domain of learning how to love myself, I had no idea what would happen.  I had certain goals in mind for the year.  When I looked at my long list of resolutions, I kept asking myself how I was going to accomplish all of this.  I mean, what exactly does it mean to love yourself?

Loving yourself is about stopping yourself from causing yourself anymore sorrow.  It is about taking a deep internal look into your dreams, your desires, your wants and aspirations, and deciding that you will stop making excuses and take the chance of living the life you daydream about every single waking second.

Loving yourself means believing you are worthy enough to be a greater version of yourself.

No More Sorrow

It is so much easier to notice when we cause sorrow to others.  When we realize we hurt someone, we feel remorse and quickly try to fix things, or at least try to say that we are sorry.

But what about the sorrow we cause ourselves every single day?  How many lies and empty promises do we tell ourselves every single day?  Tomorrow, we will go on a diet.  In the morning, we will get up early to write our novel.  We will head to the gym, first thing tomorrow morning.

The future is our excuse, because we have this insane belief that we have an unlimited amount of time on this Earth.  We will do everything in the future and never right now.  Yet, when tomorrow becomes today, we are back to telling ourselves the same thing, “Tomorrow, I will…”.  I mean, seriously.  Who are we kidding?

Putting off everything keeps us in a constant state of sorrow.  The reason why we make empty promises is because when we say we are going to change, we are coming from a place of unhappiness. The changes we promise ourselves are not because we love ourselves.  We make them because we don’t like how we look, or how much money we make, or the state of our health, or the life we are living.

We are demanding that we change from a place of hate, that part of us where we hate ourselves.  And that is why we fail in our resolutions.

Changing the Narrative

So instead of saying to ourselves that we need to change so we can stop hating ourselves, let’s focus on changing ourselves because we would love to be that person we daydream about being.  Truthfully, in our heads we know that our life would be complete sorrow unless we are that person we dream about being.

So what if we stopped dreaming and just became that person?

If we changed the narrative to doing this because we love ourselves enough to change our lives for the better, the results will be so much more different.  You will actually stick to your resolutions.  Your decisions will be based purely on if it will make you happy, because you know you are doing this out of love for yourself.

My Journey

This year, when I began my journey, I set very high, unrealistic goals.  I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and told myself that I am doing this for me, because I do not want to cause myself anymore sorrow.  No more hurting myself.

I realized that not working on the book, being creative or doing the things I love to do caused me sorrow.  Every single day, I chastise myself if I do nothing for this site.  I wanted to stop doing that to myself, being that person I hate…the procrastinator that gets nothing done.

Realizing just how much sorrow I brought to myself, I decided to stop being that procrastinator.  Why in the world was I choosing to hurt myself by not doing something I really wanted to do?  I should just do it!

I made out a list of all of the things I wanted to do for myself.  Then I focused on loving myself.  If I loved myself, what would it look like?  What kind of life would I have?  Who would I be?

So I made a plan.

I decided to lose 75 pounds this year…technically, 85 pounds, because when I made the bet, I already lost 10 pounds at weigh-in.  I bet $50/month ($600/yr) that I would lose this weight by year end.  If I lose the weight, I am set to gain over $2400.

I made the bet through an app called Healthy Wage and got my brother to make a bet, too.  Everyone I encounter on a daily basis knew about my bet.  I have one person checking in on my meals.  Another person checks to make sure I exercised.

I made the decision to lose the weight, because frankly it was time and I was tired of making excuses.  I found a way to lose the weight and that was going on a paleo, low carb, no sugar diet.  But it is not just a diet.  It is a lifestyle.  If I don’t want another tumor, I need to focus on my lifestyle.  I need to love myself enough to take care of my health, so that I will not be put through another cancer scare.

When I workout, I do positive affirmations.  I repeat, “I am losing weight,” over and over again.  Oddly enough, mixed with all of those happy endorphins I am generating, I notice that the weight comes off more frequently when I do this.  Those positive affirmations tie into my goals and loving myself.

Becoming Me

Losing this weight is about seeing the person I dream of being and becoming that person.  I have to love myself enough to be the person I dream of being.  Guess what?  It takes a lot of work to become the person you dream of being, because we live in an auto-pilot world, sinking into the doldrums of existence.  We have to work hard to stay out of that thinking in order to create our new reality.

We become so accustomed to doing the same thing every single day, that we have a difficult time stepping out of our daily routine.  That routine is not who we are, especially if it is bringing us so much sorrow.  We are living a life that does not reflect who we want to be.

You see, losing the weight is only part of my goals this year.  It ties into all of the other stuff.  The plan includes morning and evening meditations, morning runs, working on the novel, and working on the site (even if there isn’t a daily post).  I even have a goal to make half a million dollars outside of my day job.  This is a goal I’ve told everyone about, including my bosses.  One boss understands why I am doing it and completely supports my endeavors, because that plan includes him, too.

I made sure my goals all tied in together, because the change I seek within myself is to be the person I dream of being.  That requires a lot of change and a lot of hard work.  To live on auto-pilot is to create sorrow within myself.

I love myself enough to stop creating anymore sorrow to myself.  By not becoming the person I know I am supposed to be, I create sorrow to myself.  That needs to stop.

The Surprises of Loving Myself

When I started this journey, I planned on focusing only on me.  My friends and family all knew what I was doing, so that they could all help keep me on track.  I made sure that I kept up with the positive affirmations, journaling, and doing things that focused on keeping my mindset on loving myself, and creating no sorrow to anyone, especially to myself.

Relationships or finding love was not on my radar.  It was not even on the agenda.  But something strange happened at the very beginning.  For some time, my heart had been putting out there that what I desired the most was someone who could inspire and challenge me to be better than I am.  When you find that person, you don’t let them go.

So there he was, staring me right in the face, letting his heart do the talking.  I looked at him and realized he was in love with me.  Then I saw how the universe had been at work for some time.  I had to ask myself how I felt about all of this.  I looked at him and realized I felt the exact same way and I was not about to let him go.

It’s funny how all of this works.  Learning to love myself is something I work at every single day.  I try my hardest not to fall back into routine, because that is where I am the unhappiest.  In return, the universe keeps offering up new opportunities that coincide with my goals.

You see, when you put love out into the universe, it comes right back to you.  Every single goal you are trying to achieve, the universe lends a hand, because it wants you to succeed.  We all know who that person is that we want to be.  It takes loving yourself enough to go out there and become that person.

How to Love Yourself

  1. You already know what your daydream is.  Write it down.  Every single dream you have for yourself, write it down in a journal.
  2. Look at all of the entries you’ve made.  What can you accomplish in one year?  Create a life plan by breaking down each goal.  Want to buy a house?  What steps do you need to take to buy a house?  Break it all down and then start taking steps towards making that goal a reality.  For example, for this year, I took my goals of weight loss, healthy lifestyle, financial goals, and my career, and started mapping out what I could do in the first year, one step at a time.
  3. Make it part of your day.  Schedule the changes into your life.  For example, I am up at 4:45AM every morning.  The cats are in on it.  If I try to sleep in, one of them comes in to wake me up.  I get up, feed them, then meditate until 5:30AM.  At 5:30AM, I go for a run or do some sort of exercise.  6AM, I’m ready to write my novel.  7AM, I start getting ready for work.  On the commute, I work on social media posts and business items for the site.  After work, I focus on more business items for the site, go to events, maybe even write a post.  All in all, I am kicking out several goals all in the same day.  At the end of the day, I make sure to journal the positives for the day and write a couple of love notes.  I finish the day off with a deep meditation with God.  I start and end my day with God, because through God, all things are possible.
  4. Positive Affirmations.  I hate to exercise.  I really do.  So when I exercise, I make sure to say positive affirmations as I workout.  I find that doing positive affirmations really lifts your spirits and gets you on a ‘love yourself’ high.  I’ve also changed my narrative on my least favorite activity in the world…running.  I tell myself I am a runner.  That’s what keeps me running.  So tell yourself you are fit, beautiful, healthy, and everything you want to be.  Claim those titles as your own, because you need to see yourself as that person.  That means you need to brainwash yourself into believing you are that incredible person you daydream of being.
  5. Hustle.  Don’t ever go back to routine.  Always keep charging ahead and hustle the hell out of life.  It’s more fun that way.
  6. Self-check.  Always be conscious of not causing yourself anymore sorrow.  The moment you notice you have a bad feeling, take a step back and ask yourself why you are feeling that way.  What can you do to take that bad feeling away?  Do you get mad every single time you think about someone or an incident?  Ask yourself what you can do to stop feeling that way.  What solutions can you present to make yourself feel better?  Always self-check your negative emotions, get to the root of why you feel that way and fix it.  We have a choice in how we choose to feel.
  7. Keep at it.  Life is all about making ourselves better than we are.  We always have room to learn and to grow.  Never stop becoming the best version of yourself.  Keep working at it.
  8. Be Open to Love & Opportunities.  Sometimes what we put out there comes right back to us.  We have to be willing to let those opportunities in, especially when they are good for us.  Loving yourself also means letting people love you.  The greater the love you have for yourself, the greater the love you will have coming right back to you.  That is the kind of investment you want to make.