Self Love

Corinne Cooke
Written by Corinne Cooke

The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves

Often, when we think of our relationships, we tend to think of those we have with other people. But what about the relationship we have with ourselves?

This in fact is THE most important relationship!
Taking time for yourself, caring for and loving yourself is not selfish – it is necessary for a balanced, healthy, fulfilling life. It will affect how you feel mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, as well as improve your relationship with yourself and others.

Self-care also includes being brave enough to see deeper truths of and about ourselves, and honouring, respecting and accepting ourselves, our integrity, our boundaries, knowing when to say no, push back, having clear discernment and knowing what is good for us and what is not. Honouring and owning the truth of who we are un-apologetically.

Image by stokpic from Pixabay

This involves continuous self-inquiry, awareness, on-going self-development.

As women we often assume the role of “caretaker” within the family and selflessly give to others. If we do not take or have the time we need to nourish ourselves it is easy to become resentful, angry (this often gets suppressed) and frustrated with those around us that we love – the ones we keep on giving to! Often this is an unconscious behaviour or at least not done with full awareness of the pattern we are getting stuck in. As we struggle to clearly articulate our own needs in a clear, balanced way (often stuck in guilt and shame around this – for even having needs in the first place, or feeling we are unable to cope in the way that we “should”). This sends out a confusing if not conflicting message to those around us who on one hand see us as willingly giving and nurturing them, and on the other becoming annoyed or irritated with them for needing us or expecting certain things we normally provide or do for them.

Someone once explained this example of self-love to me by imagining yourself like a cup or vessel. When we fill ourselves up from the inside, nourish ourselves and are truly in a place of feeling love for ourselves and for all, our “cup” is filled from the inside out and we are full and overflowing abundantly. That cup overflows freely to give that love to others and all around us in the form of compassion, understanding, support, unconditional love– it is unlimited and overflowing. It flows naturally, it is not forced, or tiring and cannot seem draining as by its very nature it is abundant and unlimited.

Image by expresswriters from Pixabay

However, when we are only half full, not fully nourished or filled up from the inside, we are always looking outside ourselves for ways to fill ourselves up. In the mode of grasping or taking from others or “things” outside ourselves to fill us up instead. Whether that be from relationships with others, food, addictions, anything that helps to fill us up from the inside. When we are in this way of being, relationships can also become unhealthy as we are looking to others to fulfil unmet needs within us or even putting unrealistic expectations or demands upon others.

This does not work in the long term, because what we are seeking comes from within ourselves.

In our spiritual practice when we cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves – we start to feel integrated on all levels – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual – we feel more balanced and in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. Things tend to flow more intuitively, self-love and taking care of ourselves starts to become second nature.

We are able to see and love ourselves from a place of acceptance, deeper understanding and wisdom. It becomes easier to love ourselves more fully, wholly, and completely, without exception.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko


  • Take some time out to contemplate the things that bring you most joy in your life.
  • How much time do you spend (if any) on these things, each day, week, and month?
  • What things are you doing that do not bring you joy, or which drain (or where you feel you give away) your energy?
  • How much time do you spend (if any) on these things, each day, week, and month?
  • Reflect and journal on these questions and reflect some more.
  • What can you re-prioritise?
  • What things can you commit to doing more of each day that bring you joy?
  • Where perhaps do you need to communicate more clearly your own needs or with whom do you need to establish healthy boundaries?

What self-love and self-care means for one person can be quite different to someone else. But the foundations of understanding yourself, clearly communicating your needs, and effective prioritising and time management are key.

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Self-Care tips

Here are a few self-care tips, drawing from the ancient Indian wisdom of Ayurveda, which have personally helped me to grow a stronger connection and love for myself, that can be incorporated into the daily routine.

  • Ensure you are getting enough rest and sleep.
  • Start the day with Yoga Asana, Pranayama, Meditation.
  • Daily gratitude & forgiveness practices.
  • Having a routine with specific times for meals as well as bed and waking times.
  • Eat healthy, balanced, nutritious meals suitable for your doshic type, and time of year.
  • Oil pulling and tongue scraping.
  • Dry brushing the skin to improve circulation, and /or
  • Abhyanga – self massage with warm oil to improve circulation, flexibility of joints.
  • Massage the palms, heart and feet.
  • Journaling (time for contemplation, reflection and introspection, to allow for deeper insights, facing our shadows to allow for deeper understanding of ourselves, integration & healing to occur at all levels).
  • Ensuring we have time for open two-way communication in our relationships that is healthy, respectful, constructive, and supportive. Being honest with ourselves and others about what is working for us and what is not.
  • Letting go. Not holding on to things that do not serve us. Seeing each new day as a fresh start, a new beginning.

Add anything else that is relevant and important for you!

I would love to hear if this resonates with you.

What did you take away from this? 

Feel free to reach out should you have any questions or would like to book in a FREE clarity call with me.

With love and blessings,

Main Photo by Designecologist