Kimberly Reese Sherman
Top Five Self-Love Practices
For many of us, prioritizing self-love can be complicated-sometimes the whole concept of self-love can feel murky and unclear. Sometimes we avoid it because, at times in this process of growth, we’ll tend to deny ourselves the things we may need most (self-sabotage), sometimes we confuse self-love with superficial satisfaction.
And frequently, merely the act of experiencing love for ourselves is uncomfortable. Experiences-be it ones that we are aware of, or ones that have left us wounded in ways we haven’t been paying attention to-discomfort with showing love to ourselves can manifest in many ways.
No matter what those experiences were, we have to keep in mind that we can’t let those challenges have us lose sight of the fact that we are already overcomers because we’ve made it this far. The fact that you are here is a miracle.
And so, despite the discomfort honoring the value of self-love is critical to our continued growth. It is something we absolutely must do. But how? Remember, it’s not something you have to master, nor will you. Self-love will require a commitment of you-not just for the time that you are actively engaging in self-love, but a more significant, more profound commitment to understanding what practicing self-love means for you. Here are five practices to consider:
1. Make time for yourself-We. Are. Busy. We have all things. Facts.
However, we cannot let time get in the way of us making time and creating room for the things we know are going to bring love to us. We hate to admit this when it’s convenient for our egos, but we do have the choice. When we can accept this, holding ourselves accountable-it opens us up to make decisions that get us closer to that balance we seek.
2. Practice Self-Acceptance-Listen to yourself. One way I see this manifest often is “Not wanting to cry.” You have an impact to make in this world. You have gifts and talents your community needs. Fighting with yourself is a distraction. So we have to learn the value of acceptance. When it comes to those things we simply can’t control, we must learn to accept.
No, it wasn’t fair. Yes, that was shitty.
We couldn’t fix it. We let someone down. We are afraid.
And sometimes we cry.
Realize that by denying yourself, you are only holding yourself in bondage.
3.Boundaries- If you struggle with enforcing boundaries consider this-every time you establish and honor a boundary you identify as necessary to your growth you confirm and say to yourself that the person you are aspiring to be, what you are working towards-your growth, your goals, your healing-that boundary are an opportunity for you to show yourself you believe in it. So be thankful, encouraged, and empowered.
4. Forgive yourself-Ultimately, if you’ll allow it-you’ll always have you. When you need inspiration, courage, motivation, LOVE, you could always have yourself to depend on for that. It doesn’t have to end there-but when it can start from there-watch all of the other relationships shift. Not learning to forgive yourself keeps you from being able to count on yourself.
5. 1 step at a time-Find comfort in repetition. In your pursuits, you’ll have seasons were things aren’t amazing, but they also aren’t terrible. Get comfortable in that grey area-it can become easy to feel like you aren’t making progress and are therefore regressing, and that’s just not true. The discipline of maintaining in that space is essential to your growth. So you have to meet yourself there in that space each time and whisper “one step at a time.” Don’t get so overwhelmed by the process that you lose sight of the power of your resilience. You’ve made it this far, haven’t you? You maintain that by taking it a step at a time.
Practice grace and be relentless with these steps and in all pursuit of self-love. It will require that you always keep going. And each time and it will pay off.