In my twenties, I discovered yoga. When I attended my first class, I felt a little freaked out. Although I had been following the Grateful Dead for five years, literally all over the country (I attended over 100 shows), I was blown away by all the hippie freaks showing up to practice. They all smelled like Patchouli, ate food that looked like bird food, and were talking about all of this philosophical stuff. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it yet.
It was like osmosis. My east coast, western mentality and overly judgmental head started to fizzle away, and I wandered down the road of self-awareness and discovery.
I became more confident, capable, loving, kind, empathetic, generous, and intelligent. But the funny thing was, when it came to my relationships with men, I was like a lot of women—a complete disaster.
I chose men that were not my equal and could not mirror the depth of what I was capable. You know how the story goes. Eventually, whatever flame burned was soon extinguished as fast as it started, leaving me in a deep emotional slump. I often wondered, “How can I be so smart and so capable and be so emotionally dumb?”
Trust me, it happens to the best of us.
The more I processed, the more I began to admit to myself that I struggled with Self-Love.
I viewed myself as some sort of anomaly. I didn’t hate on myself. In fact, I was pretty comfortable in my own skin. Although I may not have started my life off like that, I had definitely turned into the kind of person who flocked to the beat of my own drum and didn’t care what others thought of me. However, in some form or another, I was not loving myself enough.
Self-love is a delicate relationship. If you love yourself too much, you are told you’re selfish and vain. If you don’t take the time to nurture yourself, you run yourself into the ground. Where do we stand without vacillating between one of the extremes?
Where do we learn to look deep within ourselves and find pride and confidence in ourselves? Where do we learn to view ourselves like others do? In awe of the beauty that lies within each of us and the accomplishments we’ve made?
If you are like me and have at any time struggled with finding the love to give to yourself, here are a few ways to help you snap out of this tragic pattern.
- Write down all the things that you like about yourself.
- Write down what you feel you deserve.
- Write down how you would like someone else to see you and ask yourself if maybe they already are.
Once you journal your thoughts, post little notes all over your house, wherever you will see them the most. Put them on your computer, your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror. You’re in the beginning stages of creating your dream board.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the more often you “see” yourself as beautiful, strong, and amazing, the less often you’ll be barking up the wrong tree.
Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. If you can’t take care of yourself with love and appreciation, how can you care for anyone else in your life?
Treat yourself with love and respect.
I have given you a few steps you can take toward the path of self-love. What steps are you taking to treat yourself right? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.