Ep. 39 What Your Actions Say About Your View of Yourself
Do your actions communicate that you love yourself?
Loving yourself is much more than surrounding yourself with inspirational quotes about loving yourself.
The root of the concept of “love yourself” is about your relationship with yourself. We often think love yourself is just a feeling. But more important, it is an action.
As you have learned from other relationships in your life, if someone professes their love for you in words, but their actions don’t align with that, then over time you know that isn't really love.
The same is true for your relationship with yourself.
Are you “all talk” when you say you love yourself, or do your actions back it up?
Love is an action that must be practiced for a relationship to be healthy. This is true for your relationships with others, as well as your relationship with yourself.
In the previous episode, I asked you to make two lists. The first list was of specific actions that communicated love and respect to you from others. The second list was listing actions that communicated the opposite of love and respect.
Then review those lists to see if any themes popped out about how you best receive and understand love.
If you didn't have a chance to do so earlier. Then stop reading for a moment and make those lists right now.
What themes did you discover? Now, ask yourself if your actions towards yourself align more with the demonstrations of love, or with the opposite?
How can you demonstrate love for yourself in ways you best receive love?
As examples, when I made my list I realized two things that really communicate love to me are words of appreciation, and then also being checked in on as to how I'm doing on deep levels - how's my heart doing.
So when I think about how I can apply that to loving myself, in regards to words of appreciation, I think about how I need to be very mindful of the words that I say to myself. I need to be mindful of the self-talk in the thoughts. This means I need to be more appreciative of myself and speak kindly to myself. If I have thoughts that are not kind and are negative, then as quickly as they come in, I need to kick them out.
The other theme was checking out how I'm doing on deep levels. I can do that by journaling and reflecting on how I'm doing - how is my heart?
I hope that gives you some ideas as to how you can love yourself using your themes.
Loving yourself must be demonstrated in word and deed.
My challenge to you is to list ways you can demonstrate love for yourself, and then commit to doing so.
As to how often and when, the answer again lies in looking to relationships in your life. How often and when would the action need to be demonstrated to you by someone who loves you for it to communicate love, respect, honor, care, and value? Whatever the answer, that is how often and when you need to practice it for yourself.
FYI, I list “love, respect, honor, care, and value” in case the phrase “to love yourself” has been overused in your world and lost the potency of its meaning. But perhaps, “respect, honor, care, and value” may ring more true, or reach different levels. So use those words interchangeably as needed.
If you're having a hard time thinking of different examples and pulling out the themes, another way you can do this is by referring to The 5 Love Languages. It is five categories for how people give and receive love. The categories are words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, and quality time. Referring to them may be another way you can kind of figure out the ways you best receive love.
Challenge: Based on the ways you best receive love from others, list specific actions you can practice to demonstrate love for yourself, and then commit to doing so.