When we courageously allow ourselves to be real with ourselves and with others, we naturally allow each part of ourselves to be integrated so that we can live fully whole. 

When we're fully whole, we can fully love.

Think about when you do not feel fully yourself. When you're not feeling fully you, are you loving yourself and are you really loving others? 

More often times than not our ability to love becomes strained and nearly impossible when we're not fully ourselves. We need to be who we really are to fully love who we are and love others. 

There's nothing more powerful in our mental health journeys than learning how to love ourselves and love others more fully. 

Unfortunately many of us have had experiences where love was absent. Often times people who were supposed to or we trusted to love us failed to love us. The loss of love creates major wounds and disruptions in our own mental health.

Without even realizing it the absence of real love keeps us further from attaining real love, real happiness and real authentic living. Although real love's definition may change from person to person, the impact of real love should be the same- more encouragement, more compassion, more forgiveness, more gratitude, more hope, more fidelity, and more commitment. 

This is important because without the impact of love on our own hearts, we will never be fully whole and fulfilled.

We must first start by loving ourselves.

When we're grounded in who we are, paying attention to what we truly want, courageously making choices that protect and defend the truth of who we are and what we want, we are loving ourselves. 

We must be really attuned with our innermost desires. 

For instance, most of us desire to be heard, seen, valued, respected, understood, cared for, defended, appreciated, forgiven, and given what is true, honorable and just. Most of us want to feel peace, hope and happiness. We must be attentive to these desires and offer it to ourselves and to others. The more we practice this and expose ourselves to what we truly yearn for, the more we can begin to heal those wounded places where love has been absent.

When love is present it can teach us how to be truthful when negative thoughts permeate our minds, it can teach us how to be compassionate when criticism destroys our esteem, it can teach us how to forgive when bitterness enslave us, it can teach us how to rest when life becomes chaotic, and it can teach us how to trust when our paths feel uncertain. Therefore love teaches and mends, and we need it to live authentic lives. 

Your life was meant to be overflowing with love and the more you can offer some of that love to yourself, the more you can make choices that stem from genuineness and truth.

Ultimately these choices that are made from your most authentic self will lead you on a path you can be proud of and delight in. It will never be easy but when it comes to what's authentically you- you wholeheartedly deserve this kind of life. 


     Grab a Pen + Journal: 3 Helpful Reflection Tools for Love-filled Living

Love yourself 

What do you love about yourself? What parts of yourself do you need to work on loving? How has not loving yourself impacted the quality of your life? How has the absence of love in your life affected your ability to love yourself? 

Love others  

     How do you show love to others? When are you more limited in your ability to love? When you're not loving yourself, how does it impact your ability to love others? How can you best practice the love you desire with others? 

Love your life 

What do you love about your life? In what ways have the challenges in your life impacted you positively? How can you practice more gratitude for your life? How are your choices reflecting a life of real love?  

Quotes for the Journey