Monday, 1 September 2014

Self-Love September is Here!

I officially declare this month, 'Self-Love September' here at the online home of The Four Queens, on my Facebook page and over on my Youtube channel. I have long believed in the awesome value of self-love and preached its magic from the rooftops! I consistently see evidence that people have more fulfilling relationships, careers and spiritual journeys when they are in a state of self-love and committing to it in daily practice, so I want to put as many tools into the world as possible to help people connect with self-love and maintain it. My own journey towards self-love has made quite the story, and I will be telling my tale in the hopes of inspiring and motivating those of you who are in need of a little guidance on your path. I will also recap the lessons I've offered so far and give fresh insights to help you take self-love from intellectual understanding to deeply personal living practice.

Here are some wild and wonderful insights - straight from my heart to yours.

Let's get this self-love show on the road!

Self-love begins today
The very day it occurs to you that you need to foster self-love, you have already committed a deeply self-loving act. In that moment, you have recognised that you need to drink from the highest vibration on this planet: love itself. You have recognised that what you are looking for comes from within and that only the fire which burns from your own heart is going to see you through the darkness. Why? Because you get to fan the flames! You don't need to rely on anyone else to do it and you don't need to depend on them to stay. Your fire is your business and it's time to take action to make sure it's burning bright.

Self-love does not begin after you've lost ten pounds. It does not begin when you have the ideal career. It does not begin when you've found your ideal partner or when you finally live in your dream location. It doesn't begin when the kids have left home, it is not something to work on after you retire and it doesn't suddenly begin when you have more money. It starts now. Today. In this moment. Stop everything and make a commitment to it.

Self-love is not selfish
It is about taking responsibility for yourself, respecting yourself, caring for yourself and checking in with your thoughts and feelings. It is about making positive choices and knowing yourself as deeply as you can. Without doing those things, you will struggle to be of use to anyone else! If I didn't love myself sincerely (from the bottom of my heart) I would not be writing this blog post right now. Your generosity, compassion and willingness to help others are all aided by self-love, not diminished by it. If you want to be of service in this life, you must know how to serve yourself. If you want to throw someone a lifeline, you sure as hell better be in a lifeboat!

The psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm proposed that one cannot truly love someone else if they do not love themselves. Here's an absolute nugget of gold from the magical Maya Angelou:

'I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me, "I love you". There is an African saying which is: "Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt." ' 

It's time to think seriously about how many shirts you've offered to others whilst naked!

Self-love is underrated 
I'm willing to bet you can think of at least ten situations in which conflict, disappointment or stress could have been avoided if everyone involved had just loved themselves a little more. We commit ourselves to so much misery because we are unwilling to say, 'Enough is enough - I love myself too much to put myself through this.' 

If you love yourself, you believe that your point of view is valid. If you believe that your point of view is valid, you are able to speak your mind without shame. If you speak your mind without shame, you avoid misunderstandings by letting others know exactly where you stand. This avoids conflict and creates clarity.

If you love yourself, you believe that seeking your own validation is more important than seeking other people's. If you believe that, you can live your life rather than the life which others expect you to live. If you live your life and design your version of success, you will inspire other people to do the same. In fact, more than that, you can lovingly teach them how to do this. You can be a wayshower. This creates love and diminishes mental slavery.

If you love yourself, you maintain strong boundaries. If you maintain strong boundaries, people are aware of how to treat you. If they are aware of how to treat you, you will have more fulfilling and honest relationships. This contributes to love in the world and serves to break down emotional oppression and inequality.

(Guess what? Maintaining strong boundaries helps you to work out who belongs in your life and who doesn't. When you notice who is consistently trying to overstep, you can get clear on who is respecting you and who isn't.)

If you love yourself, you take responsibility for the good in your life. If you take responsibility for the good in your life, you do not lean on others or expect them to provide your sense of joy, your inspiration or your sense of self. When you stop expecting someone else to fan your flames, life really gets started! This contributes to understanding and the true appreciation of others.

Much (self) love!