The Inner Conflict of Self-Love: 7 Ways to Practice It
By now, I am sure that everyone has heard about, had some reaction to, or knows someone who is affected or is completely shocked by the suicide of Stephen DJ “tWitch” Boss. For myself, it was a kick in the gut. I did not know him although I loved his work, I have not been following him as long as so many others have.
Still… whew, this is a tough one.
So many unanswered questions that I know I honestly do not have a right to ask or get answers to. This and the feelings that the holidays naturally bring up for so many of us has spun me into days of deep thought and self-reflection. And then of course, I think about all of you and conflict. Clearly DJ “tWitch” was dealing with some real inner mental conflicts and I am not presuming to say what any of them were. I’m just thinking about what to take from it. The obvious of course is that taking care of each other and our own mental health is critical.
And what else?
The way we view, think about, approach and engage/or avoid conflict is affected by so many things including what has been modeled for us, our emotions, our toolbox and even what we think of ourselves down deep.
The inner conflict of truly loving ourselves is real ya’ll and it is a struggle on too many days for far too many people. Oh, I know, we can say the positive words and daily affirmations, but behind closed doors, in front of the mirror, what do we really think and say to ourselves?
As critical as social media, some family members, some co-workers, bosses and even strangers can be, often, the harshest words spoken to ourselves, come from within.
I’m guilty at times. How about you?
External conflict is hard enough, but inner conflict is tough and can be much more lasting and damaging. So, let’s have some truth time and look at this from the perspective of “yes, it’s real in my life and I have to address it.”
You in? Okay, Let’s Go. 7 Ways to Start.
- What do you like about yourself? Name one thing out loud every day. We are just going to start with like, we need that to get to love. Oh yeah, we’re going to get there.
- Stand in the mirror and smile and say hello to yourself. You are the person who is going to live with you the longest so why not greet yourself with a smile and a good hello today?
- Rest and breathe. Yes, in a fast-paced 24/7, work, work, work, fill up all of your time doing for others world, taking the time each day to rest and breathe even for 10 minutes is an act of self-love. I’d love for you to build up to 30 minutes over time, but hey, I want you to keep reading so let’s start with 10.
- Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself and switch to something good that happened, or that you did or that you intend to do. Practice that throughout the day.
- Forgive yourself for a mistake you made. You have to do this one mistake at a time. We all make mistakes. That’s what we are here for. We are supposed to learn from them, instead we make ourselves suffer for long periods of time. Practice forgiveness. Say the words “I forgive you for…”
- Tune into your body and give yourself a gentle massage and send love to yourself. Listen, I have struggled with body issues my entire life and I know how hard this one is but one of the ways we can develop self-love is to recognize how often we are out of touch with our bodies or throw shade at our bodies. So, tuning in to soothe and massage helps us to learn to love this one body that we have and marvel at how it works even when it is in pain. Start by massaging each finger and go from there. Your body will let you know what it needs.
- What do you love about yourself? Yes, I want you to name as many things as you can. What do you love about you? Believe me, I know when you switch from like to love, it’s serious… but aren’t you in a serious relationship with yourself? If not, it’s been long enough! Time to get serious and fall in love.
Here’s one extra that is perhaps the most important of all. If you cannot say or see one good thing about yourself then please talk to a professional. I know this can go against cultural norms and I understand the importance of culture, but your mental health is so much more important. Get the help you deserve.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
I want us to work on resolving this inner conflict around self-love. This is no new year’s resolution. It’s a new YOU resolution.
I’m not saying that it will be easy or quick.
What I am saying is that it will change your life.
Take the first step with me…
I’ll talk to you in the new year. I’m going to get some rest and self love.