I have spent years practising to have more self-love and self-compassion for myself.  It never felt natural to me, even though it is our natural state.  I began a journey to train and re-train myself to spend less time in my judgemental mind and more time in my heart, to a place of acceptance.

Self-love refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding with ourself rather than being harshly critical or judgmental.  Instead of taking a cold ‘stiff-upper-lip’ approach in times of suffering, self-love and kindness offers soothing and comfort to the self.

Life is harsh and very stressful at times and berating ourselves for being less than perfect puts a lot of pressure on us and does not nurture our souls or heart.

Recognise that we are all imperfect, fail and make mistakes at times. It connects our own flawed condition to the shared human condition so we can have a greater perspective towards our own shortcomings and difficulties.

When we give ourselves permission to be human and indulge in self-love, we will recover much more quickly and see life through a more open heart and mind.

Don’t confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence, if we don’t share with others what is going on in our life, if we don’t ask for what we need, then you may find that others do not respond the way you hoped.

“My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.” – Shakti Gawain

When we have the courage to let the walls down – to know and embrace ourselves, despite what may be going on, we also open the door to connecting in a more caring, empathic, intimate way with others and this will reflect within the people that surround us and love us.

If this is not happening for you, look inwardly and search for your answers.  Why are you not being loved the way you want? Are you limiting yourself from giving fully to others out of fear of rejection? When do you allow yourself to be nurtured and loved?

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself”   ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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