Love yourself!

“Keep feeling fascination, passion burning, love so strong, keep feeling fascination, looking, learning, moving on…” – sings The Human League.

Falling in love with ourselves is the most beautiful journey in life. It never ends. It unfolds. It is exciting and challenging. Each day we learn. We discover new emotions. The feeling when we are attracted to someone. Or when we order our favourite pizza, which sauce should we go for? Extra topping? Mushrooms?

Being in love with ourselves gives us confidence. Confidence to dream big. To face challenges with ease. To never miss an opportunity to laugh. To be in control. Of our emotions. Of our life. We are in the driver’s seat. It is an empowering feeling.

One of the first steps to self-love is acceptance of negative feelings. Unpleasant emotions can make us doubt ourselves. Accepting negative emotions allows us to feel them. It is the only way to move on.

To understand emotions, try an exercise called ‘A guest house poem’. This exercise will encourage you to imagine you are a guest house and feelings are your visitors.  The aim of this exercise is to understand emotions come and go. To acknowledge and accept our negative emotions.

Read the poem below:

The Guest House by Jalaluddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Now answer some of these questions:

– How do you interpret this poem?

– What emotions visit you most often? Why do you think that is?

– How will it affect you if you welcomed all your emotions rather than denying them?

– What benefits are there in welcoming unpleasant emotions?

– Can you relate to the feeling described in the line ‘violently sweeps your house empty of its furniture’? Have you ever felt this way?

Don’t mask any feelings you may have. Feelings are complicated. Take time to understand them. Do nice things for yourself. Go for a walk. Watch a good film. Talk to a friend. Buy yourself a present. Give yourself credit, being a student means overcoming many challenges. Sometimes we don’t realise how strong we are.

Have you ever hugged a tree?

Hugging trees increases levels of hormone called oxytocin, which is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. Healing benefits of nature are recommended for everyone. Being surrounded by nature is a perfect way to practice being in the present moment, finding gratitude and staying calm.

Hug trees. Love yourself. Stay calm. Be in the present moment. Love others. Don’t be shy. Dream Big.