-Blog post by Donna Koontz
“You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
Take a deep breath in. Feel it all? That’s life, the beautiful life that comes with showing up for yourself and sincerely believing in who you are.
This is our next great leap in the evolution of humanity: a loving being that is not thinking from the small self, but from the perspective of the heart. Where we connect from our center and not just from our personality. Thinking and acting from a place of genuine love and authenticity that is beyond culture, beyond nation, beyond religion, and beyond economic status. Inclusive, unconditional love, and compassion – and it begins with self-love.
Self-love is a term that used to make me feel uncomfortable, as I equated it with being selfish, self-centered, and egotistical. I now realize that Authentic Self- Love is not selfish, but rather one of the most profound acts of service and love that we can offer in this life. It’s more of a responsibility than it is a luxury. Self-love…self-respect…and self-worth…there is a reason they all start with “self.” You cannot find them in anyone else. Some things may be equally essential, yet nothing is more important than how you feel and think about yourself. It is only when we love ourselves that we have love to give to the world. After all, we can only share what we possess.
Authentic Self-Love is not selfish, but rather one of the most profound acts of service and love that we can offer in this life.
Your relationship with others, your response to circumstances and situations, and your ability to face rejection and adversity are all a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself.
So many people today are moving through life feeling empty. They have no sense of self. No sense of self-love. When I say self-love, I’m not talking about money, celebrity, or materialistic things. It has nothing to do with your looks, your clothes, your cars, what your friends think of you, or any of the things that one might assume could make you love yourself more. For the first time in history, we live in a world of 24/7 high speed, information transformation where there are no filters. We turn on the TV, social media, our phone, or any number of devices, and we are told we are not enough. Your breath is bad, your teeth are yellow, “you’re not enough,” you’re too fat, you have the wrong clothes, the wrong car, etc. – you don’t belong –
BUT if you buy what we have, you are going to belong. Getting that mindset or perspective turned around is critically important, as your relationship with yourself sets the tone for how you interact with other people and circumstances.
Genuine self-love is innately gratifying in and of its own quality. It says, “I love me – independent of you loving me. I believe in me, and ‘I am enough’.” Although self-love may start out as conditional, with heartfelt intention, it becomes a way of life – and a way of relating to life in all its expressions.
It may be true that Love makes the world go ‘round – but it starts with self-love.
Self-love is a practice, not a destination. Coming from a place of self-love makes you a stabilizing force in the world around you, discovering that love is available everywhere and that lovingness results in the return of love. Our lives are our own curriculum. I encourage you to make a gift of your life and lift all mankind through living your true essence. Live the heart qualities of self-love, kindness, appreciation, forgiveness, and compassion at all times, under all conditions with everyone – including yourself.
Self-love is a concept, where you approach your life with the notion that you are an important and unique individual. You have innate value and deserve to have a beautiful life. You also accept who you are as-is, even if you have areas of your life you’d like to improve. Many people around you may never discover you. It is not really important that they do. What is important is that you discover yourself. If you’re not taking care of your own well-being, it’s hard to put your best foot forward for others.
Self-love is a feeling, where you experience the sensation of being enough. You feel beautiful, worthy, and empowered on a regular basis. You expect the best for yourself and give the best of yourself. When you have the courage to sincerely love yourself and shape your life from the essence of who you are, you ignite, becoming truly alive. You begin to feel a deep sense of reverence for life in general.
Self-love is an action, where you take steps to put yourself first – prioritize self-care. This could be as simple as getting a massage, taking a walk in nature, or rewarding yourself with a delicious healthy meal. Set aside quiet time for prayer, meditation, or contemplation. When you prioritize self-care, it’s an affirmation of the value you place on yourself.
Thinking and acting from a place of genuine love and authenticity that is beyond culture, beyond nation, beyond religion, and beyond economic status.
Self-love thrives in gratitude, sincere gratitude changes everything. The ability to count your blessings is the ultimate way to connect with the heart. It charges the soul and revitalizes the body. When we are genuinely appreciative of all that life has to offer, we see the light in ourselves and everyone else. It is the sanctuary for the deepest experience.
It is a perspective that helps us keep our hearts open and in a state of love.
“That which lies behind us, and that which lies before us, are tiny matters compared to that which lies within us.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
The ripples we create will radiate out and return to us. Self-love…ever expanding, all-inclusive. It’s a beautiful thing.
From my heart to yours…Wishing you love-
Donna Koonts is the founder and owner of Balanced Living IntL – A professional training and coaching organization specializing in the field of human potential. In addition to being a licensed Heartmath provider / stress reduction coach, in her 3 decades in the wellness industry she has designed and presented hundreds of workshops and seminars… transforming lives and empowering thousands in the art of Inner Quality Management. Donna understands that the love, compassion and care that you give yourself determines the energetic countenance that you bring to the world. She is passionate about inspiring others to be the change they seek and thrive fully in their lives, while being the light on the path of Business as a Force for good!