6 Keys to Loving Yourself and Others

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Thursday, February 01, 2018
By Michelle Gonzalez, PSY.D., LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Doctor in Psychology

As we near the end of February, we celebrate love; the love of self and others. Love can be found everywhere. It can be written or seen. You might find it in a store, restaurant, park, or animal. You might also find it within yourself and others.
If you are in a relationship or if you are in a happy place in your life, love comes easy. You are more than likely satisfied with what you have. However, for those seeking love or to be loved, love can be stressful and painful. Love might be something you continuously have to work hard for.

Regardless of your situation, the key is for us to figure out how to attain a love that is not dependent on others or possessions. A love that resonates from within and pours into every person around us. So, I ask myself now, what is love?

I want to answer that from a different perspective. I am not talking about the love you feel in different types of relationships. Nor the love you feel towards your possessions. I am talking more about the love that enables us to find happiness from within. The love that shows us what it means to be happy. Why this type of love? When you are happy with yourself and your life, love just pours from within. It comes as a form of energy.

Let’s take a look at the 6 things we should keep in mind for loving others and ourselves.

1. Balance of the mind, body, and spirit

We cannot focus on one aspect of ourselves. We need to feed our mind, body, and spirit at all times. Our mind should be fed with positive thoughts. Our body should be nourished with adrenaline…an adrenaline rush that comes from positive activities and interactions. Our spirit should be filled with something more powerful than us, which can be achieved through God, meditation, and prayer.

2. Meaning and purpose

Whether you are looking for it or not, you will find your purpose in this world. It may come to you like a flash of lightning. And when it does, nothing will be able to break it or stop it. You will know your purpose in this world when it is presented to you. Your life is a journey and as you travel this journey, you will always have to look at the bigger picture. You will always have to question and ask why.

3. Stability

I live and breathe by the motto “Everything to the extreme is not good.” Assess any extremities and cut back on them. Simplify your life.

4. Surroundings

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Often times, people complain about individuals they spend time with. If you find yourself doing this, stop focusing your attention and energy on those people. These types of relationships are toxic and overwhelming because you focus on negativity and they simply bring you down. Every relationship you have should be positive and make you feel good. So, now I am going to ask you to do something. I want you to make a list of 10 people who make you laugh and think positive. Pick 10 people who bring out the best of you at all times. People who’s company you enjoy. People whom only want the best for you as well.

5. Saying No

It’s ok to say no to people, events or obligations. If something doesn’t feel right or if something is not going to make you happy, simply don’t do it. Think of a moment where you said yes to something that you perhaps did not really want to do. Did you keep thinking of all the reasons you should not have done it while you were doing it? My point exactly.

6. Tenacity and Gratefulness

Henry Winkler lived by two words. One was tenacity and the other was gratitude. As he said, “Tenacity gets you to your dreams and the gratitude doesn’t allow you to be angry on the journey.” As a child, he was bullied and had dyslexia. Despite his language impairment, he was able to take upon the role of Fonzi on Happy Days. His story proves to us that even if we have weaknesses, it is what we make of those weaknesses that help us to achieve what we want.

We must remember to always try hard and appreciate all we have. And remember, to master your self love, you need to be in control of you.