If you want to build up self-love, the first thing you have to do is purification. The reality is that most people have picked up a lot of wild and irrational beliefs, values, and attitudes that are not real. They cause a lot of damage. There are also a lot of physical toxins in the body from an unclean environment.
Purification You need to purify across all levels to love yourself fully. Purification might sound like a drastic step, but it is certainly worth it so you can see yourself with more clarity. Purification generally involves:
You can perform a combination of the above for as long as you want, but three days at the minimum and up to three weeks will have incredible benefits. However, any amount is worth doing. These techniques are ancient and despite all of the new age positivity strategies, they work the best. Nothing will have the same impact as doing the above in tandem with one another. They work individually, but the effects are magnified when combined. It is only when you get away from society (i.e “real” life) and perform these practices that you can clearly see just how dysfunctional society really is and how dysfunctional your own beliefs and thoughts are about yourself and about society.
Day to Day Exercises
Not everybody has time for an intense purification exercise. And they can only really be done once every three months or so. Due to this, people need less intense modalities so they can build self-love steadily and consistently over time. The first step is to free up your time and energy.
Most people have heavy stress from either energy vampires or work and relationships. The best scenario, if at all possible, is to simply exit a toxic relationship or environment. Many people are afraid of leaving a job they hate and pretend that they have to stay there to pay the bills. But nothing is worth having your energy drained and living like a zombie with no purpose or intention. What happens is that you are pretending to be someone you are not, which is the polar opposite of authenticity. There are many self-love exercises you can do, but here are five of the most effective:
Feel Good at All Times
One of the most important and overlooked parts of being able to find the self is being unashamed about feeling good. This entails doing activities that feel good to you as much as possible. There is a tendency to believe you must suffer much to achieve happiness. It is more the case that unhappiness must be unlearned from past conditioning. There is nothing wrong with feeling good, and nobody is not worthy of self-love, respect, and appreciation.
You don’t have to accept any limitation that society places upon you. If you want to master self-love, then you have to love yourself and treat yourself with respect. This entails saying no to toxic relationships, setting boundaries, thinking positive thoughts, journaling, getting exercise, taking massages, going for luxurious hot showers, taking regular vacations, etc. Your only responsibility is to yourself and to make sure you are as happy as you can be.
Alternative Self-Love Strategies
There are a wide variety of self-love strategies. What’s important to understand is that it is not really an additive process. You need to shed the shin or beliefs, values, and attitudes that you adopted to protect yourself in this life. Being in a relaxed state of mind helps you to do this. Anything that gives you another perspective and leads you away from erroneous beliefs can be termed a self-love strategy.
Books on Self-Love
Of course, there is no shortage of spiritual teachers who can share a lot of wisdom when it comes to self-love. Krishnamurti, Osho, Alan Watts, Sadhguru, Tolle, the Dalai Lama, the list goes on. All of them offer a different perspective concerning how to achieve self-realization. But only a select few identify love as the true source and deal with it directly. One of the modern teachers that do deal directly is known as Don Miguel Ruiz, who is a Shaman and proponent of Toltec wisdom. All of his books have been international bestsellers and include The Four Agreements, the Fifth Agreement, The Voice of Knowledge, and The Mastery of Love. Another powerful speaker on self-love is Marianne Williamson. Her first book, A Return to Love had a major impact.
There are many books to choose from in terms of reading. It is important not to be critical or judgemental of any book you read, and don’t feel the need to write a 1000-word review about how bad it was. The negativity will bounce back to you. If a book is not for you, just put it down and select another that is more appropriate. Love is to be expressed and developed, and there is only so much that you can learn from books alone, regardless of how good the material happens to be. Practice beats theory.
Quickest Paths to Self-Love
To love yourself, you must look at yourself clearly. And doing this is not as easy as you might think. Most people have an idea of themselves that they associate with their jobs and accomplishments. These ideas have nothing to do with reality, whether they are positive or negative. Mirror gazing is a good way to really look at yourself. The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, and you might find looking directly into your own eyes to be very uncomfortable. Try gazing at your own eyes for a few minutes every morning. You can also do this with a partner to increase your love for each other. Remember, the main reason that you do not love yourself is that you cannot really see yourself due to a lack of perception. Any kind of modality that clears your mind and your perceptual lens assist you in self-love and compassion for others.
Compassion is itself not really a ‘path’ or means to self-love. What happens is that when you become more self-loving, you become more compassionate towards others as well. In terms of the shadow, what you see in others you detest, as it is alive within you. But when the shadow has been integrated, you are more compassionate to those who suffer from the issues that you have integrated. You recognize them more clearly because you used to have them, and your compassion is far greater because of the integration.
Discipline and focus can be a means to self-love. This entails moving away from automatic behaviors which are not serving you. But it can be very tricky to get the balance right between being dogmatic and disciplined. Some people can become extremists and are unable to enjoy simple joys. Yet for the vast majority, the difficulty lies in a lack of discipline and constant indulgences. In any case, advertising, social media, processed foods, alcohol, and cigarettes should be minimized as much as possible. If you really love your body, you will make the effort and treat it right with exercise and a high-vibrational diet.
Nothing really beats meditating on love and generating it as raw emotion. This professional practice is for people who want to attain a mastery of love. It is the most direct approach to really feeling the energy of love and directing it at an object and towards yourself.
Organization and Cleanliness While this is secondary, try to clean up the outside environment as much as possible. This means that your room and desk are as clean as possible. You might also want to throw out some of your old stuff or have a garage sale. A deep clean is very therapeutic and should serve to clear the mind. Put yourself in a safe, clean, and organized environment.
You also want to rid yourself of any toxic relationships that you have. Toxic relationships in the home or workplace will sap your energy like nothing else. While you are angry, fearful, or ashamed, you are blocking the energy of love. Understand that it is not possible to feel positive and negative emotions at the same time. So if you are fearful, you are not loving. However, this has an added benefit. If you can manage to generate loving emotions in the midst of depression or crisis, then it is possible to drag yourself up. This takes a long time to master, and you need to practice being a loving person.
In any case, it is best to rid yourself of toxic relationships and establish a community of people who are loving, compassionate, and kind. Keep all aspects of your inner and outer environment as clean as possible and be organized across all your endeavors.