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3 Steps To Increased Self Love

Self love can be a tricky thing. All too often, we confuse self preservation with love. We feel that we love ourselves because we make the effort to exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep. While these things are certainly necessary to physical well-being, they can become unreliable substitutes for an honest and deeply based sense of love and caring for oneself. So, if you find yourself looking to others for love and approval, here are three steps that you can take to increase your level of self love. Remember, while you may be loved by others, the primary source of all the love in your life begins with you.

    1. Listen to Your Thoughts – We all have a chattering voice inside our heads that is constantly monologuing all day. It’s an artifact of human consciousness. Most of the time, what that voice is saying is trivial, inane, and even annoying. However, sometimes what that voice says is an indication of how we really feel about ourselves. If there is a lot of negativity and criticism, in the form of “can’ts” “don’ts” and “won’ts”, it may be a sign that you’re not as in love with yourself as you profess to be. Take the time to examine those negative thoughts and replace them with supportive thoughts based in compassion and love.

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    2. Forgive Yourself– We all make mistakes. We all, at times, intentionally or unintentionally, hurt or injure others. We all have done things that we regret. It is one thing to accept responsibility for our actions. It is another thing entirely, to endlessly punish ourselves for those actions. As humans, we can be harder on ourselves than the cruelest jailor. Mistakes are opportunities to learn. Hurtful actions or words are lessons on how not to hurt or cause pain. Regret is only useful as a tool if it is coupled with the possibility of forgiveness. If we cannot forgive ourselves, we can never learn from our actions and we can never grow into the individuals we were born to be.

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    3. Set Protective Boundaries – Many times, a lack of self love manifests itself in how we spend our time and who we spend it with. Do you find yourself constantly doing more for others than for yourself? Do you find it difficult to say no to a request without being consumed by guilt? Do you often feel that people around you are taking advantage of you? All of these are caused by an absence of any type of boundaries that can protect you from people who may not have your best interests at heart. Your job is not to please everyone around you, so that you can in their love and approval. Your primary job is to love yourself. A part of that process is to have mechanisms in place that allow you to set limits on any activity that has the potential to deplete you, harm you, or fails to express you in the highest light.

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Choosing Joy involves spiritual surrender

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