The Parts Of A Flower That Eventually Become Seeds Are 7 Ways of Cultivating Love in Your Life

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7 Ways of Cultivating Love in Your Life

Most of us are looking for someone to love or who loves us. We don’t think about cultivating self-love or realize that love comes from within. You may be looking for a relationship, but research shows that single people are actually happier than married people, with the exception of the happily married. But even that decreases over time. A new study shows that, on average, after the first year, spouses return to their initial state of happiness before marriage. So, similar to the conclusions reached in studies of lottery winners, post-marriage and post-winning, we ultimately come back to how happy we are as individuals.

Self-respect is important. Research has well established that this is a major factor in health and happiness in marriage. Low self-esteem can prevent us from reaping the fruits of love in a relationship.

In fact, our level of self-esteem before a relationship can predict its longevity.

We think about ourselves based on things we’ve been told, incorrect conclusions, and false beliefs based on the trauma and parenting we’ve received. These learned beliefs, defenses and habits are not who we are, our natural, authentic selves. How can we get it back?

Cultivating love

Cultivating self-love is a worthwhile endeavor for ourselves and for happier relationships. Science has shown these amazing benefits associated with love:

Better stress management

You better sleep

Better heart health

Longer lives

Improved self-esteem

Greater happiness

Reduced risk of depression

We are all born innocent and worthy of love. Our flaws, mistakes and things that have happened to us affect us, but they are not who we are. When we carry shame, we can self-sabotage the very love we seek. Once we understand this, we can begin to change our self-concept and cultivate our real self.

Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.

Love is like a garden that we need to fertilize and nurture. In order to fully give and receive love, we must first pull out the weeds that sabotage it. We reject the invasion of pests in the form of toxic relationships and welcome the animals that protect and help grow our garden.

Cultivating self-acceptance

What we resist remains. When we don’t accept ourselves, we reinforce a negative self-concept. Low self-confidence is self-reinforcing, making change and self-acceptance difficult. Paradoxically, when we accept our shortcomings, it is easier to let them go.

Self-acceptance is greater than self-esteem, and self-acceptance paves the way for self-love. It means respecting and accepting all of yourself, including your flaws, your looks, your mistakes, and your feelings. Learn to stop self-criticism and raise your self-confidence.

Self-forgiveness

What we have done is not who we are. To remain in self-accusation and self-judgment is harmful. On the other hand, guilt can motivate us to change and reach out to others. Great healing is possible with confession, self-forgiveness and repair. Overcoming guilt frees us from the past and the person we once were. It paves the way for transformation, wholeness, self-respect and self-love

Love is indivisible. It’s hard to love yourself when you hate someone else. Moreover, resentment towards ourselves or others keeps us stuck. When we forgive others, we feel freer and better about ourselves. Similarly, as we develop self-compassion and self-forgiveness, we become more accepting of and compassionate towards others. There are certain steps and stages in forgiveness. Follow them in Release from Guilt and Guilt: Finding Self-Forgiveness.

Cultivating self-esteem

After pulling the weeds, we must tend our garden with self-respect. Our mind does not distinguish between praise coming from others or our own words and thoughts. Do you focus on your flaws and deny or take your positive traits for granted? List your strengths, accomplishments, loving qualities, courageous acts, and your desire to give, love, and grow. Practice valuing yourself and others. Every day, write three things you did well and qualities about yourself that you or other people appreciate. Focus on the positive, not the negative. It takes time and consistency to replace bad habits with life-affirming ones.

Self-expression

Whether due to growing up in a dysfunctional family system or trauma later in life, when we deny painful emotions, we actually block out positive ones as well. When we block pain, we cannot feel joy. We close our hearts and numb ourselves. Suppressing feelings is a form of self-rejection that can lead to depression and cause ill health and illness. Self-love grows when we express our feelings, needs and desires. Negative feelings dissolve, and positive ones multiply. We are liberated and have more energy to move forward.

Nurturing love through action

When we ignore, hide, or ignore our needs and wants, we become irritable, resentful, and unhappy. But fulfilling our needs and desires are basic ways of cultivating self-love that lift our spirits. It is the key to happiness that calms and revitalizes us. Conversely, when we act contrary to our values, such as lying or stealing, we undermine our self-worth. Doing worthwhile deeds boosts our self-esteem. We are able to hold our heads up and feel worthy of respect and love. Do random acts of kindness that you can add to your “you’ve done good” list.

Cultivating gratitude

Gratitude is a high vibration that opens our hearts. It has been scientifically proven to be medicinal. Practice gratitude by looking for things in your life and in the world to be grateful for – even when you don’t feel like it. Write a daily gratitude list and read it to someone.

Visualizations of self-love

You can increase love through visualization. Inhale and exhale through the center of the chest. Imagine it opening like a door or a flower. Imagine pink or green light coming in and out as you breathe. Focus on the beauty and the things you are grateful for. Say loving affirmations. (Listen to my mediation of self-love.) Send this love to those you care about, to yourself, to those in need, and to the planet.

The above steps open your heart. Practice expressing love and compassion in all aspects of your life to experience greater peace and joy. Learn more tips for self-care.

© 2020 DarleneLancer

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