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It’s hard to know how to love yourself more and how to take better care of yourself.
We hear terms like loving yourself, self-care, and even self-esteem, but for many of us, it’s hard to determine what loving yourself really means.
Many of us may think self-care is all about taking the time to indulge. When we hear about self-love on TV and in magazines, what comes to mind? Bubble baths? Shopping? Ice cream? Taking more selfies and sharing them on social media?
Self-care and learning how to love yourself more means finding activities that are nourishing to your heart. Not simply entertaining, making you feel indulged or comforted on a physical level, but helping you feel fulfilled on a deeper level as well.
When we think of self-care we often think of activities that nourish us in some way—they fill us up and help us feel comforted. This might mean nourishing our desire for pizza, time with friends or a pedicure. These aren’t all physical hungers, but they bring us comfort and a sense of satisfaction…yet often this satiation is temporary.
To truly nourish ourselves, we must address our spiritual hungers as well.
One of the reasons why soft addictions are such an easy way to soothe ourselves is because they offer immediate gratification. How simple is it to order up a fancy coffee drink? How easy is it to go online and fill our basket with new clothes?
When we indulge in this way, we get almost immediate satisfaction. We instantly feel a little rush. Shopping is exhilarating. Sugar is comforting. Hitting the “watch the next episode” button on Netflix feels satisfying.
But all of these activities prevent us from living the lives we truly want. They distract us from fulfilling our destiny and attaining the life we were born too live.
It’s not that donuts, television, or new clothes are bad. In fact, all of them are enjoyable and fun…but let’s think for a moment of the difference between these two scenarios.
After a frustrating day at work, you stop and pick up a pizza. You come home, flop down on the couch and flip on the TV. You eat, while you scroll through your phone on social media. As you look at the photos of your friends doing exciting activities, you feel a twinge of jealousy, guilt, and frustration. To avoid it, you pull up a game on the screen, which you play while binge watching Netflix. Finally, still stewing about work, you decide to eat a couple cookies and go to bed.
After a frustrating day at work, you text a friend to meet you for a slice of pizza. The two of you discuss the day and end up laughing about it, lightening the mood. You decide to go for a walk after dinner and pass a theater showing a documentary you wanted to see. The two of you stop in and watch the movie. After, you walk home, discussing the nuances of the film and extracting some parallels to your own life and the situation at the office. When you get home, you’re ready for bed, tired but satisfied, ready to face the world anew tomorrow.
Although both scenarios offer pizza, film, and friends; they’re vastly different. While the first scenario may seem like more of an indulgence, it’s the second scenario which truly leaves you feeling nourished and cared for.
These deeper yearnings are ultimately much more satisfying when they’re fulfilled because they’re related to our emotions.
The funny thing about yearnings is in many ways, they’re actually easier to fulfill than our wants. If we want a specific item: a brand of shoes, an app for our phone, a specific meal, nothing else will satisfy. We often hold a very clear picture in our head of what this want looks like and what exactly will fulfill it.
Yearnings, on the other hand, are often deeper, more essential, and more general. If we want to connect with others, there are many ways to fulfill that yearning. When we fulfill our yearning to connect with others, we may simultaneously be fulfilling our yearning to be loved, to be heard, to be respected. If we yearn to be affirmed, we may connect with a friend. We may greet someone we pass by on the street. We may do something nice for someone else. We aren’t limited to a specific method to fulfill our yearning.
Believe it or not, you are worth a life of MORE. Every single person has intrinsic value. Each of us is worthy of love and of living full, beautiful, juicy, satisfying lives.
One of the first points we share with our students is the fact that each person is a gift. YOU are a gift. You are worthy of discovering fulfillment. Inside of each of us great potential—the ability to influence not only our own lives and destinies but the lives and destinies of those around us as well.
A universal truth is we are all loved. We are children of a loving universe. There is nothing you can do to make the love go away—it is your birthright. When you align yourself and your life with this truth, you will experience total satisfaction. You will discover how your life transforms when you access the infinite love of spirit each moment you live.
As I wrote in my book, There Must Be More Than This, “It isn’t that love isn’t available; it is that we are not available to love.”
It is in trying to fulfill our need for love—trying to make ourselves more loveable that we fall into these soft addictions and time wasters. We attempt to fill our void with activities, food, and methods of escape that fail to nourish us because they don’t speak to our need for purpose. We all hunger for MORE. When we accept we truly are worth more—the universe is providing us with abundant beauty, love and light ready for the taking—we will find the comfort we seek.
Being loved isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision. The feeling of being loved doesn’t come from other people. Yes, we may be loved by our spouse, our children, and our friends, but we may not feel loved all the time. When we decide we’re loved, we start to look for evidence to confirm our belief. As our awareness increases, we will realize love is all around us. We may see a beautiful sunset or artwork, or we may hear a piece of beautiful music and realize it’s confirmation of the love and beauty surrounding us in the universe.
If you want to know how to love yourself more, the path is to seek to fulfill the yearnings of your heart. If you yearn to connect with others, nourish yourself by sharing openly with friends. If you yearn to express yourself, share your talents with others every day and express your opinions. If you long to be loved, express your love to others.
When we fulfill our yearnings, we’re doing the ultimate form of self-care and self-nourishment!
For more on living a life of more purpose, joy, and fulfillment, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. We have many of our courses available for download on our website. Don’t miss out on our special introductory price on these great courses!
Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.