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Love Your Self

13 February 2010 17 Comments

Love.

The cursor blinks absently as I type the word again: Love. Still blinking.

I feel so much emotion for this word. I’m not sure where to start.

I hear “love” and a wave washes over me, knocking the air out of my lungs. I think about the heart I’ve broken, the way my heart has been broken, the emotional scars, long, slow, deep kisses, the way I feel when I’m in Italy, my family and the friendships in my life.

But I don’t want to talk about my heartache, relationships and passions.

I want to talk about the first love.

Me.

This isn’t egotistical or narcissistic. Self-love is the first love you should experience and carry with you, forever.

Photo Credit: Donna Grayson (Flickr)

Love and your relationships are a reflection of yourself. If you’re pained, unsure or looking for fulfillment from someone else to fill a void then, it will be equally as empty without loving yourself first.

Just like Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

Fear causes uncertainty in the self. We’re scared to stop, take time for ourselves and take a long stare into our eyes, and even deeper into our core. If you don’t know yourself, if you don’t love yourself, how will you grasp another human and offer or even receive love?

This is how I practice self-love:

· I spend at least two days a week completely alone, doing whatever I need or want. Even if it’s for two hours. I breathe into the solitude. I like to listen to my thoughts, laugh to myself and dance around my room in my undies.

· I take care of my body by going to yoga or the gym and spending time outside in the mountains hiking or snowboarding.

· Stay rested.

· I indulge in wine, chocolate, and succulent laughter.

· Dress up, just because. Make yourself feel beautiful, done up and then strip to your bare bones, naked. Feel good both ways.

· Giving back to others is a form of living. It reflects my internal love.

· Acceptance of my deep dark places, my elated happy moments, my highs and lows.

· Plan and take vacations just because I deserve it and want to suck out the fun, risk and goodness out of life.

· I slow down when I’m moving too fast. I push myself when I need a kick. I tend to my wounds, when I’m hurting and need time to heal.

· Lastly, I love myself by leaving my heart open to feel love, give love and receive love.

Do you practice self-love? Why is it hard for our society to remember to love ourselves? What are some of the ways you practice self-love?”

All You Need Blogger: Grace Boyle

Grace Boyle, a 20-something adventurista. She lives in Boulder, CO and is the Publisher Services Manager for the tech startup, Lijit. She blogs at Small Hands, Big Ideas and tweets while she writes about the startup world, relationships, career and daily inspirations.


Songs:
David Gray – This Year’s Love (for the emotionally necessary self love) and Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (for all the fun of loving yourself)

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  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com Sam Karol

    This is beautiful, Grace! It’s such a great reminder of the importance of loving and taking care of ourselves. I have to admit that I’m not so good at that, and end up constantly putting others first. But, one of my “resolutions” this year is to get better at doing things for me. You give some great examples that just go to show, it’s the little things that count. Thanks :)

    • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

      @Sam I’m happy to hear loving yourself is one of your resolutions this year. As I know personally, you’re such a selfless person which is beautiful and should always be embraced, but truly, the Self is so important. Think about this: the more you love and give time to yourself, the more equipped you will be to give back to others. Win-win! :) Yay. Thanks for commenting, dear.
      .-= Grace Boyle´s last blog ..Friday Linky Love =-.

  • http://doniree.com Doniree

    Grace, that was totally beautiful. I totally agree that we must first know – and love – ourselves. First and always, and your how-to list is perfection.
    .-= Doniree´s last blog ..Altitude Adjustments, Part Next =-.

    • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

      @Doni Thank you! Glad you like my how-to love on yourself :)
      .-= Grace Boyle´s last blog ..Friday Linky Love =-.

  • http://lifeaftercollege.org Jenny Blake

    Grace, I loved this post so much. SO much! I practice self-love in many of the same ways you do, but I never really thought of it like that. I love the perspective and warmth and openness you bring to the idea of love. And this was like a HUGE kick in the butt for me yesterday – to remember to love myself first and foremost.

    One of my favorite lines: “I indulge in wine, chocolate, and succulent laughter.” Amazing! I also love the line where you said, “Lastly, I love myself by leaving my heart open to feel love, give love and receive love.” That is gorgeous – and so are you! Thanks again for an amazing post :)
    .-= Jenny Blake´s last blog ..Help a Reader Out: How Do You Make Decisions? =-.

    • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

      @Jenny Thank you so much for the heartfelt comment. It means so much. I also want to thank Elisa because she has truly opened up many deep emotions, with the All You Need series. I simply was speaking from the heart and I’m so happy others can relate.

      It’s a good post to read on Valentines day, eh? I’ve actually reread this post a good amount this weekend. I’m happy to hear it helps and that you agree. Keep on loving your amazing self, Jenny. Thank you for sharing!
      .-= Grace Boyle´s last blog ..Friday Linky Love =-.

  • http://diamondkt.blogspot.com David

    I wish I had read this post before Valentine’s Day because it would have really helped! But I’m still able to take so much away from what you said. So thank you!

    We tend to beat ourselves up, often in excessive, especially when we are single for an extended period of time or coming off a recent breakup. When really what we SHOULD be doing is loving ourselves
    more than ever. To help build our confidence and self-worth back up, mend wounds, and move forward.

    See, just typing that sounds wrong to me – like I’m not worthy of that much loving on myself. It feels so foreign to me that it actually makes me feel uncomfortable…which may be precisely why I need to do this! I should change my mindset and see myself more like you see yourself.

    I love your perspective on things, a refreshing look at how we should all view our first love, ourselves. And it’s all so true! Everyone should indulge in succulent laughter and all the little things in life that make one’s life feel so full! It’s so cliché, but when we love ourselves, we show other people all the wonderful things about us that are worthy of being loved.

    By the way, I want to apologize for my brain immediately going to the gutter with all this “self-love” talk. But that’s a part of loving yourself too, right? Teehee. Ok, I’ll shut up now.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell. Don’t Care. =-.

  • http://diamondkt.blogspot.com David

    Overlook my typos in the above comment. I’m an idiot with a keyboard.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell. Don’t Care. =-.

    • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

      @David I was appalled at the comment typos [kidding, obviously, you know that].

      I’m happy to hear you took away so much from this post. That’s the power of writing and sharing, isn’t it? But really, thank you, it means a lot.

      The “self-love” recipe is so important because it can relate to everyone. I admit, I don’t always practice what I preach and as I told Jenny, I actually reread this post a good amount this weekend for a reminder of what I am REALLY all about. And really it shouldn’t matter what day or time of the year it is. It should be perpetual.

      I have found that in truly loving and accepting who we are, a more analogous and powerful relationship comes along. It’s as though you’re being good to the self, while also priming for a beneficial and healthy relationship (not just romantically either).

      And yes, thank you for completing a truly Mr. Stehle comment on the “self-love” talk. Of COURSE that’s a part of loving yourself :)
      .-= Grace Boyle´s last blog ..Friday Linky Love =-.

      • http://diamondkt.blogspot.com David

        Good! So glad you agree. That means you want be appalled when I “self-love” myself tonight.

        (Just being honest…and I don’t mean to make Elisa’s blog blush with PG-13 comments like that.)
        .-= David´s last blog ..Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell. Don’t Care. =-.

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