Everyone Talks About Self-Love, But What Is It, Really?

Self-love is necessary if you want to have a really good life. But what exactly is it?

The term "self-love" is a buzz word these days, but the true definition may seem a little elusive. In this article, I'm going to discuss what I believe self-love is, and give you three easy tools to integrate more of it into your life.

Radical self-love is the experience of feeling love within yourself, as well as all around you.

In a moment of self-love, love takes over your entire consciousness. You are not separated from the thing that you love; you are the love. Love is the only thing that exists.

These intense self-love experiences — feeling completely at peace and full, like a conduit of love — make life worth living. Luckily, with a little bit of devotion and practice you can have this all-pervasive feeling of love in your life everyday. Here are three easy ways to do so:

1. Heart meditation.

Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and feel deep into your heart. Notice the energy that exists in your heart chakra (the area in your chest). See if you can feel the fullness inside of you just by paying attention to this part of your body. Focus there for a few minutes as you breathe.

Now, after spending some time feeling into your heart, start to think about things that you love. These thoughts can be memories of times you have felt connected to another person, or places you resonate with, food that makes you happy, music that enlivens you. Pay attention to what it's like to simply experience the sensation of love.

Feels good, right?

If you go deep enough into your heart, you can feel the love circulating, growing and expanding inside of you. This is self-love. Anytime you feel a void of love, use this technique to jump back into the flow that is surging through your heart. It's within you at all times, just waiting to be tapped.

2. Soul searching.

I think it's common for us to hide from the inner-workings of our psyches and souls; it can be scary to look at what's really going on inside of us.

But, soul-searching is a process that guides you to what's real. And getting real is a necessary part of loving yourself and allowing others to love you, too.

You are a human being, which means you are constantly growing and changing. You're never finished with this process, so it's natural to continue exploring who you are as you move through the journey of life.

If you ever feel disconnected from yourself, ask yourself these questions to connect back into your heart:

What do I really love?

What is important to me?

What is my purpose in life?

What is my gift to the world?

Who am I really?

The answers to these questions will point you to a deeper truth that lives inside of you. Just the act of making contact with your truth is a form of self-love. You'll notice how freeing, exciting and full it feels to allow yourself to get honest about who you really are. And once you know, you can share your gifts with the world. This is a pure expression of self-love.

3. Gratitude.

It is impossible to feel anything other than happiness and love in a moment of gratitude. Gratitude and radical self-love are one and the same.

Spend some time every day (it just takes a few seconds) thinking about the things you appreciate in your life. Pinpoint anything and everything that wakes you up and makes your heart sing. By doing so, you'll reawaken the love that lives inside of you, and you'll feel this love take over everything in sight.

The truth is, there is always something to feel grateful for (just as there are always things that are difficult). Gratitude isn't about bypassing the challenges in life; it's about recognizing that there's beauty all around us if we just stop and take a moment to notice it.

I encourage you to use all of these tools frequently to tap into the love that's waiting for you, inside your heart. By connecting to the love that exists within you, you will automatically feel more love for yourself and for the world (remember, these experiences go hand in hand).

Please leave a comment below telling us the ways you tap into the love that lives inside of you. Thank you for sharing your love with us and the world.

In order to be your best self in your relationships—whether it's with a friend, family member, or partner—you need to FEEL your best, inside and out. Ready to learn more about how to become your most vibrant self? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

Shelly Bullard

Shelly Bullard, MFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Love Coach and Spiritual Teacher. She's the author of the eBook: How to Become the Most Attractive Version of Yourself which she offers for FREE (click here to receive your free copy). She's also the instructor of the popular mbg courses: How To Become The Most Attractive Version of Yourself & How to Attract a Partner Who's Ready for Deep, Devoted Love. Shelly believes that when you access the experience of Love within yourself, your relationships become deeply fulfilling and you become the person you’re meant to be. She was named the “Love Guru” as one of the 100 Women to Watch in Wellness by mindbodygreen, and her deepest passion is living and practicing love and relationships as a spiritual path. To learn more about how she can help you create more love in your life, visit her at: shellybullard.com.
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