Wanting to fix the world doesn’t start with the world. It starts with you. Whether you want to end poverty or help a friend get through tragedy, you have to find the strength to do so within yourself.

Compassion is a combination of understanding and helping. But, if you’re not able to understand another’s situation, helping them is futile.

Opening yourself and heart to love and understanding will help your heart guide you towards doing good.

You can only destroy hate with love.

At the same time, it requires more than thoughts and prayers. Self-love ignites our desire to help, to serve and to heal. With a new found honesty, we can find the energy and determination to help others in the best way possible.

Pueblo said in his book “Inward,” our compassion does not end with us.

“Self-love is an energy, one that we use to know ourselves, heal ourselves, and accept all that is within us. With self-love, we have the determination and courage to move deeply inward using honesty as our guide. This inward movement transforms our being, dramatically enhancing our awareness of who we are, our understanding of the universe, and our capabilities as an individual — the most beautiful part of this process is that our new sense of compassion towards ourselves does not end with us, it blossoms and flows outward into the lives of others, and ultimately has the capacity, if consistently cultivated, to encompass all beings.”

How can we expect to help others when we can’t help ourselves?

But what is self-love and how do we find it?

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According to Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and director of training and development for the Hardiness Institute in a Psychology Today article, self-love doesn’t come from materialistic belongings such as clothes and makeup.

She states that “self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”

Self-love helps us accept our weaknesses and appreciate our strengths. It helps us center our passions, inspirations and purpose.

But what actions can help you find self-love? Khoshaba outlined a list of ways to expand self-love within yourself.

First, become mindful. Be mindful of your thoughts, feelings and wants to act on them rather than what others want for you.

The second step is to act on what you need rather than what you want. It’s important to focus on what is important for your growth rather than on desires and habits that keep you in the past.

Four, set boundaries. Say no to activities and people who can harm you or hold you back.

The fifth step is to protect yourself. This means to get rid of toxic people in your life. If you have friends who don’t contribute to your growth or well-being, there is no reason to keep them in your life. Don’t waste your time and energy on someone who doesn’t deserve it. This will help you learn to love yourself more as you continue to invest in yourself.

Six, forgive yourself. As humans, we’re naturally flawed. But we’re also constantly so hard on ourselves. The practice of learning to forgive yourself for your flaws and weaknesses can help you in the journey of accepting and respecting yourself.

Lastly, live intentionally. When you live with purpose, you find clarity in your life. It can be as simple as setting an intention to live a healthier life. But once you accomplish what you set out to do, you will learn to love yourself and be proud of yourself.

You don’t have to practice these steps to self-love all at once. You can start with just one and implement another one into your life every month. Either way, these steps are the first steps to healing and saving the world. While it’s impossible to completely save the world, making it even a slightly better place matters.


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