An enormous shift took place for me when I recognized that self-love isn’t a destination. It’s a process that often includes forgiving myself. I have to forgive myself that I sometimes engage in old behaviors. Sometimes I want to call my ex and that’s okay. Even if I go through with it, being in self-love means being able to love myself especially when I make mistakes.
It means seeing myself with a gentler eye and being less judgmental on myself.
Before I would have beaten myself up for contacting my ex and included those “shoulds”, “I shouldn’t have texted him and said that my birthday would have been better with him there”. But in the real world, we're messy; I'm messy, and it was totally normal to have missed my ex-boyfriend. It’s about recognizing that sometimes I don’t act in ways that I’d like to all the time, but now I’m more loving towards myself, and thankfully, it takes a lot less time for me to arrive at that place.
Self-love is about giving myself more room to breathe.
Sometimes it comes in the form of being more flexible with my schedule and allowing myself to sleep in, miss a workout, or take my time from going from place to place.
So how do you bring in more flexibility into your life?
Reflect upon times when you’re most stressed. When you’re tired, are you more stressed, or the other way around? Maybe it’s an issue of the chicken or the egg coming first. Does this mean being more flexible with your sleep schedule and allowing yourself to go to bed half an hour earlier?
How can you see yourself in a gentler light, with less judgment?
It can be helpful to reflect upon how a friend would talk to you when you say something mean to yourself. Or maybe it’s just getting rid of the word “should” or “lazy”. You could start with using the word “could”, as a way of using language to shift your mindset. Or you could replace “lazy” with “I didn’t feel like it” and leave it at that--because it doesn’t mean that you’re lazy if you don’t want to do something; it just means that you’re human and that it’s okay!