I recently spent the weekend at a silent meditation retreat with my fiancé. It's so rare we get extended periods alone to unpack and sort through our thoughts these days.
At first it felt a little strange, and it was really hard to resist the urge to share my thoughts and experiences with my fiancé, make a joke, or ask other attendees questions about their lives.
But by the end of the retreat, I felt so calm, peaceful and most importantly, in touch with my own soul.
This extended period of self-reflection led to a huge and life-changing aha! moment for me.
Want to hear it? I realized the incredible importance of loving yourself unconditionally. Not just when you are your perfect shining self.
When your cooking totally rocks, you're having one of those awesome hair days, you say the right things, you smash out your work and personal projects, you light up the room and bluebirds follow you everywhere.
You have to love yourself on the bad days too.
When you stuff up. Say the wrong things. Your curls won't stay in. You're exhausted. Anxious. Your fears keep you awake at night. You temporarily succumb to procrastination, FOMO and too much take-out.
You are equally lovable at all times. You are an inherently worthy spiritual being having a human experience.
You totally win at life simply by being here. In every moment you are fulfilling your destiny and purpose on earth - to be you, a unique and once-in-an-infinity collection of magic and energy.
Why is unconditional self-love so important?
Unconditional self-love gives you the strength and courage to try new things and to go after your dreams, because you have insurance - you know that no matter what the outcome, you love yourself deeply.
It's like a safety net; a minimum height below which you will never fall.
Knowing that you have your own back, knowing that your self-worth is not dependent on your success, drives you to try more because you've got nothing to lose - which in turn, leads to greater success.
It's a lot like the saying: success does not bring happiness; happiness brings success. I have learnt that success doesn't bring self-love; self-love brings success.
Getting healthy and in shape, nabbing a boyfriend or landing a dream career role doesn't make you love yourself (at least not on a permanent basis, as what happens when they fall through or come to an end?)
An innate sense of unconditional self-love and acceptance is the foundation from which healthy living, love and career success all come in an effortless, safe and beautiful way.
So the next time you want something in your life in order to feel good about yourself, give a little chuckle at the folly of your reverse thinking, and decide to feel good about yourself NOW.
Then the things you desire will inevitably be drawn into your life.