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Cultivating Self-Love and Protecting Your Energy

Cultivating Self-Love and Protecting Your Energy

Throughout the most complex moments in the ebbs and flows of life, we are often faced with seemingly simple choices that can change the direction we are headed. It is within these choices that we are often lead back to ourselves, facing who we really are at our core, and what we deem we are worthy of. Learning how to love ourselves is not a trending sentiment but a consistent practice that starts with the gentle and vulnerable act of learning to set boundaries.

Embracing Self-Love

Self-love isn't a destination that you will one day just have an epiphany and arrive at; it's a consistently growing journey of self-acceptance, appreciation, and compassion that needs to be grown gently. Self-love begins with the acknowledgment that you are worthy of receiving love, that you do hold a Divinely inherent worth, and that your worth is not dependent on others deeming it so. True self-love asks you to embrace every aspect of your uniquely perfect being, so long as you are willing to truly look within to acknowledge and admire the depths of your own radiance. When we allow others influence to take priority above our own knowledge of self, that toxicity can be something we subconsciously allow to rule the way we perceive ourselves, make our choices, and live our lives.

Recognizing Toxic Influences

Toxic influences can subversively make their way into our subconscious, stealthily infiltrating our self-worth, our energy levels, our confidence, and our judgment. Over time, we find that the more we allow this influence to start to steer the ship and it sets in deeper and deeper, it begins sapping our vitality and dimming our inner light. These influences manifest themselves in diverse forms – from toxic coworkers, narcissistic family members, draining friendships and detrimental romantic entanglements. Identifying these dynamics is the first step towards reclaiming your inner harmony and serenity.

Empowerment through Boundary Setting

Setting boundaries is an act of radical self-love – it is not an attack or an affront on others. By setting healthy boundaries, you are recognizing your needs, honoring your values, and harmonizing your emotions, and choosing to empower yourself by articulating them with clarity and strength. When healthy boundaries are put into place, they serve as protective barriers, encouraging a leveling of self-respect while allowing yourself the space to identify and culminate more nurturing, meaningful connections. Boundaries aren't walls and do not stem from malicious intent; they are doorways to self-preservation and empowerment.

Active Steps towards Self-Love and Boundary Setting

  1. Meditative Reflection: Start by dedicating some time for a little introspection, meditating on what your emotional needs and wants are. What excites you? What lights you up at a soul level? What drains you and depletes your energy? When you spend time speaking or even just thinking about a specific person, do you leave that interaction feeling rejuvenated, or like you need a total recharge? Start by identifying and understanding your energy levels and what is helping or hurting you emotionally so that you can take steps at establishing the boundaries where you need them and start honoring your well-being.
  2. Embrace the Power of No: As uncomfortable as it is for many of us, “No” is a complete sentence – it is not an attack, an affront, or an insult. If it honors where you are at, and your entire being sounds off an internal resounding “No” from the start, start by honoring yourself with love and let it begin and end there. Asserting a “No” boundary isn't a dismissal; it's a declaration of self-worth. Honor yourself by acknowledging that your time and energy are sacred, and you are the first and final line of defense for deeming where that time and energy goes. Creating a comfortable relationship with “No” can encourage away from people pleasing and allow you to step into your own power. Saying no to commitments or relationships that don't serve you or resonate with your authenticity is an act of self-love.
  3. Clarity in Communication: Being able to communicate clearly and honestly with others can feel overwhelming when we aren’t able to communicate clearly and honestly first with ourselves. By clearly identifying what your wants and needs are, and what you’re not willing to accept in your life anymore means being radically honest with yourself first – otherwise how can you know what you need to communicate? Effective communication is pivotal in boundary setting. Express what your needs are and communicate them openly, utilizing “I” statements to convey your emotions without assigning blame. Ultimately, the more transparently, honestly and openly you communicate, the most respect and mutual understanding you’ll garner.
  4. Distancing from Toxicity: I once heard someone say, “I actually realized one day that I didn’t feel comfortable without some kind of chaos or badness happening around me or within me – I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to be happy?” Please take this as your formal request to just allow yourself the freakin’ permission to be happy and at peace! You deserve serenity of mind and a calm heart! Create the distance you require for your own wellness from toxic outside influences. Surround yourself with those who uplift, encourage and champion your journey. Establishing physical or emotional boundaries isn't a selfish act; it’s you putting on your oxygen mask before putting on another’s. It's a crucial step towards advocating for your own mental and emotional well-being.
  5. Rituals in Self-Care: What have you done today that is gentle, nurturing and loving for yourself? It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine, taking a hot bath, reading a new book, or ordering in for dinner. Write out a list of ways that you could take care of yourself – from the smallest actions to the grandest of dreams, and set it somewhere you can refer to when you are feeling run-down, drained of energy, or needing a boost. Choose to engage in practices that nourish and replenish your spirit. Self-care isn't a luxury; it's a fundamental aspect of self-love and care. Honor your mind and your emotions by cultivating a reservoir of little rituals to help you regain balance when life is doing all the ebbing and flowing that life does.
  6. Seek Support and Guidance: You are not alone. Just because you may be needing to set some deeply difficult boundaries with someone, remember that you have people and resources available to you only if you choose to ask for help. Reach out and ask for support from trusted friends, loving soul-family, support groups or a professional therapist who are there to offer you compassionate guidance and encourage you with their support. Cultivating a network of understanding souls reinforces the true knowing of your self-worth, helping you recognize that you are loved, and solidifies your commitment to maintaining healthy boundaries by recognizing what true love and respect from others looks like.

The Liberation of Boundaries

You are worthy of being loved. You are worth loving yourself. You don’t need to be entangled within a web of toxic chaos, negativity and self-loathing. The more you express self-love by practicing those healthy boundaries, you’ll begin to feel so liberated within your entire being that you’ll have such a beacon for what is not in alignment for you, and you’ll be more and more drawn to what feels worthy of you, rather than what you feel worthy of. You’ll begin to make more and more choices that resonate with your truth, your desires, your levels of acceptability. You’ll continue spotting the signs that you are on the path that honors who you are, taking steps that serve as a testament to your inherent worth, and becoming a living testament to the love you hold for yourself. It all stems from remembering that you are so deserving of a life filled with joy, with harmony, and with love, that anything else should be a clear and easy “No.”

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