My friend, Sarah, bought me a beautiful book for my birthday. It’s a short read – only taking me 15 minutes to read cover to cover, but it has really inspired me.
It’s called ‘when I loved myself enough‘ (as the title of this post suggests) and lists all the things that the writer did once she started loving herself enough.
Saying ‘yes’ when she wanted to and ‘no’ when she wanted to. Realising the abuse in forcing someone to do something against their will, including herself. Collecting ribbons to remind herself of the gift that life was. Respecting all the parts of her, from the harsh inner critic to her bravest self.
It has inspired me and reminded me of something that a previous coach I had said – that loving yourself is an active choice, not a mindset shift, and so growing in self-love isn’t about me wrapping my head around this as a concept.
It involves doing. Or more so, it involves acts of self-love.
And so here is the list of self-love that I’ve done since reading the book – acts that I’ll continue to do…
When I loved myself enough, I let myself properly recover from being poorly instead of dragging myself into the office the moment I could function.
When I loved myself enough, I let myself leave a party when I was ready instead of waiting until it was a socially acceptable time to go.
When I loved myself enough, I took time away to be by myself and write.
When I loved myself enough, I allowed myself to write my own rules in life instead of taking the well-trodden path of others.
When I loved myself enough, I focused on my own needs instead of always focusing on the needs of other people.
When I loved myself enough, I expressed my own opinion even when it differed to other people.
So here are the steps I’ve started to take, the acts of love I’ve put into practice and I feel it’s just the start.
In a way, it’s a challenge I’m setting for myself – to love myself enough to live a life of greater courage, greater truth and greater self-love. As I continue to write about it, how it feels to love myself, I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires you to live a life in which you love yourself enough too, dear friend.