Love truly has the power to transform and heal, but why does it seem so elusive?
It’s a simple truth that before you can express love, you must know love – and before you can love someone else, you must first learn to love yourself. For a feeling so easy to experience, it takes work, too! Love in all forms, whether for oneself or another person, takes energy, and effort!
How many of us struggle with a harsh inner critic, an endless flow of judgment and discouragement? So often it is so much simpler to say to ourselves, “I can’t do this” instead of “I’m going to try, and try again!” And yet, It is this “inner critic” that must be tamed before we can truly love ourselves, or anyone else.
So how do we stop this inner critic? How can we truly purify our thinking to remove this negative energy?
It starts with gratitude, with every day and in every action. After all, love goes hand in hand with gratitude. Giving thanks and appreciation is a practice, however. It must be conscious, in every thing we do. Remember, when we express gratitude, we are acknowledging that something good exists. This acknowledgment energizes that good thing and gives it momentum to continue existing, while shrinking the “inner critic” inside ourselves!
We should think of gratitude as we would any other skill that we want to master in life. Even a simple “thank you” to the person ringing up your groceries is a powerful form of gratitude, and could possibly make a big difference in that person’s day. Do you thank your body for your good health every morning? Your legs that walk, your eyes that see? Do you remember to give appreciation for having transportation, or food on your plate for every meal? It may seem silly, but studies show that people who consciously practice gratitude reshape their neurological pathways, in turn experiencing more joy, and positivity throughout their days! In other words, giving thanks makes you feel more thankful!
Gratitude also helps us remember to not forget to acknowledge the people around us. Let’s not fall into thinking “of course they know that I love them, I don’t have to say it all the time.” The people in our lives need to hear it directly from us.
Try it today – get to know who you are and learn to love yourself! Practice gratitude with those you encounter. See how these actions lift up your energy and the energy of the people you interact with. And watch how giving thanks helps us not only be kinder to others, but to ourselves as well.