Thursday, April 26, 2018

Self-Love vs Self-Esteem

Growing up, we were often told the importance of self-esteem. Self-esteem is absolutely wonderful and we all need to learn more of it. We need to believe in ourselves and our strengths and abilities. But self-esteem isn't enough. There's more.

To be whole as human beings, we need to truly love and accept ourselves. Loving ourselves is one of the best ways to have a healthy mind and heart. As I've started to learn to love myself in a deep and transformative way, my life has blossomed. I've grown in happiness, peace, and confidence. I've become less judgmental of others as I've become more respectful and kind to myself.

So, I decided to write a book about it. My book Falling in Love with Me - 30 Days of Self-Love is now complete and has been sent to a publisher. It's a 30-day devotional for spiritual seekers. Thirty days of learning how to love yourself more. I'd love to give you a sneak peak from inside the unedited version:

Day 15 – Have Fun

I have this beautiful oracle card deck by Gabrielle Bernstein called “The Universe Has Your Back.” I read her book of the same title, and it touched me deeply, so I couldn’t resist getting the deck to remind me of the truths. Lately, I’ve been picking one of them frequently which states: The Universe Works Fast When I’m Having Fun.
That saying sounds like a lot of nonsense when you read it offhand. I mean, how do we get our dreams to manifest and save up for our future when we’re having fun? We need to work hard to make our dreams come true. Everything in life requires hard work.
Of course, hard work is important, but there’s a subtle truth in the saying which I’ve been pondering.
When we only think of our duty and all the things we need to do, when we forget to relax and enjoy our life, we become less and less effective. We lose touch with our intuitive, creative self. I don’t know about you, but the times I am least creative are when I’m overburdened and overly stressed. Creativity flourishes when we’re relaxed and having fun.
How do we have fun?
I know this sounds like a silly question, but honestly, as adults, it’s quite hard.
What do you enjoy?
When you’ve been ignoring your own needs for so long, this is a hard thing to know. Why don’t you go on a self-discovery journey to find out what you do enjoy? Take up some hobbies, try some creative projects—they don’t have to be elaborate. Join a group if you are energized by being around people. Do something in nature. The earth is very grounding and supportive and heals us emotionally.
I think the hardest thing for me was to lean into fun and relax. It takes time to find a rhythm. And hey, if you don’t have enough fun and you start to run yourself ragged, be easy on yourself. It’s a learning process. You’ll get there.
Try to emulate a child. Get in touch with your inner child—that innocent, free, uninhibited self. Children are fascinated with the world around them and they don’t feel guilty about enjoying simple things. Really, you don’t have to do anything huge and momentous to have fun. You could walk around the shops and check out purses or belts—buy a couple you like or even start a collection of snowglobes or postage stamps. You could watch a different series on Netflix. Or you could experiment with all the things you could do with a glue gun. Make origami with colorful papers or take the plunge at something radical like joining a dancing class or going parasailing.
It may take you months before you actually start to enjoy it. Hey, it may set you free straight away. Be patient with yourself. You just need to explore a part of The Universe you’ve ignored for so long in the name of being sensible and good and responsible. Like learning to ride a bicycle, you may not get it right straight away, but you’re getting out there (the proverbial there) and making an effort to get in sync with The Universe. You’re getting in sync with the way fun makes us change, makes us happy, and heals us. And teaches us to be stronger human beings.
Try to find things to do on your own too. If you have a partner, you may be tempted to only ever have fun when they’re around. As good and vital as this is for your relationship, it’s equally important, and in some ways, more important, to find that sweet spot alone. That thing you do for you and no one else.
We give a lot to those around us. It’s wonderful and beautiful.
Give to yourself too.
Find fun in everything you do—the mundane, the hard work, and the routine. Listen to your favorite podcast while doing chores or errands. Meditate while you do your workout at the gym. Listen to music.
Enjoy the journey of self-love too. Yes, it can be hard to face the lack of love we’ve had for ourselves for so many years, even our whole lives. Yes, it can mean a bit of shadow work, but it needs to be fun too. It needs to be exciting. It’s all part of the journey to getting there—to being in radical self-love mode. Falling in love with yourself is the dance of a beautiful, most perfect, life-altering romance. Maybe it’s not as outwardly noticeable to others as you don’t have a new beau on your arm, but that inward glow is bound to radiate somehow.
Daily Affirmation: I want to have more fun. I’m going to have more fun. I didn’t come to this planet just to learn hard lessons; I came to revel in the joy of being a human being. There is so much to explore. I learn best when I’m having fun, whether in work or play, whether in spiritual development or practical day-to-day. I was made for fun. I’m a master at discovering new ways to have fun.

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