Learning to love myself

Amazon is running a deal for members wherein if you buy $50 of gift cards in October, you get a free $10 promotional code in November. Since allowing myself to purchase an expensive item (ipad) was part of my recovery process (food restriction was tied up in my restrictive spending habits), this deal from Amazon was the perfect opportunity for me to stock up my ebook library. I purchased a mix of science fiction, writing, and self-help books, including the book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

Kamal’s book has a concise powerful message that is perfectly inline with what I am trying to learn to do: “Love yourself”. I appreciate his message that loving yourself should be as important as anything else and performed with “the same intensity you would use to pull yourself up if you were hanging off a cliff with your fingers.” (Which, ironically is what Westley had to do in The Princess Bride, which I also just finished reading, when he was trying to stay alive to rescue his one true love, Buttercup.)

Kamal starts with simple idea of telling yourself, “I love myself” over and over again. I like this idea because it is simple. It also reminds me of something I read in a happiness book about how if you go to your backyard and pick a random rock and then place it on your dresser and spend some time every day appreciating the rock, it will become special. Why not do the same for yourself?

Kamal recommends a meditation that reminds me of some of my favorite loving kindness meditations in which you breathe in love for yourself and breathe out worries.

He continues on with the concept of a single question to ask yourself when you are struggling, which is “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?” Then, instead of trying to numb out tough emotions or explain them away, he recommends returning to loving yourself. The follow-up question is “If I loved myself, truly and deeply, what would I do?” I feel like these kinds of questions invite me to be more authentic.

Kamal later touches on authenticity with, “…let go of who I think I should be, who others think I should be. And as I do that, the real me emerges, far far better than the Kamal I projected to the world.” I am hoping to discover the real Csilla that is better than what I have projected to the world as I work on finding my true self. I like the idea that loving yourself allows you to choose how you want to be instead of keeping you in a loop of just reacting to the world that other people have created.

I love Kamal’s concept that by loving yourself, you will shine, which magnetically draws other people in. It’s not that loving yourself makes everything magically easy though. Kamal states that “real growth comes through intense, difficult, and challenging solutions”. I like that love is not the easy way out, but instead opens me up for embracing the self-growth that life’s challenges will bring.

Here’s to Day One of practicing loving myself. I love myself, I love myself, I love myself…

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