We all want to be healthy, to do good work in the world, to be happy, and to be loved. Wherever we might live, whatever our beliefs or history, the basic desires for health, happiness, and love are universal. In our modern world, we are taught to look outside ourselves to fulfill these desires. We seek the perfect food, the perfect distraction, and the perfect partner anything to help us feel a moment of happiness.
But love cannot come from something external. We cannot buy happiness. Health does not come in a pill or even a food product. True health is a product of an on-going commitment to self-care. Happiness comes from being present to the beauty of life, including celebrating the blessings and learning from the challenges. And we cannot love anyone else until we learn to love ourselves.
Looking outside ourselves for fulfillment is one of things that is destroying our environment and our health. We tear down rainforests to grow cattle so we can eat burgers that we think taste good for a moment, but ultimately destroy our bodies. We build dams that ravage sensitive ecosystems and displace countless indigenous people so we can have more electricity for our climate-controlled homes, and watch feel-good movies about nature on the television.
We eat sugar, one of the most polluting and unsustainable crops on the planet, to make us feel a moment of artificial happiness. But when the brain-chemical sugar high wears off we only want more, and we have damaged our teeth, metabolisms, digestive systems, and brains in the process.
We think we want love, but most relationships are about comfort and compromise, projection and fear. We make enemies out of the people we love because we are unable to actually let them into our hearts because we are actually not connected to our own hearts.
Slowly but surely, many if not most people on the planet are killing ourselves and each other in our desire to feel moments of happiness, the illusion of health, or something that seems like love.
To transform what is happening to us and in us, we need a revolution. We need to start looking inside ourselves for our answers, our truth, and our love. It is time for an evolution at the most basic level. It is not enough to love, but to love ourselves all the way to the very bottom of our souls. It is a complete shift away from how we have been taught to think about love. We can no longer afford to look outside. To save ourselves, and ultimately our planet, we need to practice radical self-love.
Radical means of the roots. It means getting to the deepest, most essential part of something, and transforming from that basic core outward. To transform ourselves from the inside out, to actually be able to experience true happiness, health, and love, we need to practice radical self-love.
We call it radical because true self-love is revolutionary. Self-love profoundly changes the way we think, speak, and act, to and about ourselves and the world. When we truly love ourselves, we automatically make choices that honor the long-term health of our bodies and minds. When we truly love ourselves we are able to experience the happiness that is our natural state. And when we are radically self-loving, we are so full of love that it easily and automatically pours out of us. This changes all of our relationships for the better, allowing us to give love from a place of fullness and joy instead of looking for it in the world to fill some empty part us.
The concept of radical self-love first emerged as a way to help people heal negative body image challenges and eating disorders. It has evolved into a movement of people across the planet learning to look inside for health, happiness, and love, and sharing that love with the world.
Radical Self-Love in Action
There are many ways to practice radical self-love. Self-love looks different ways in different people. But some common characteristics are compassion, acceptance, appreciation, integrity, healthy boundaries, self-nurturing, freedom of expression, and deep self-awareness.
Practicing radical self-love means observing yourself with care and appreciation, and releasing judgment, doubt, fear, or unhealthy expectations about yourself. It means learning how you operate, your true needs, desires, hopes, and dreams. It means being patient with yourself as you discover habits and tendencies that are not serving your highest good or are even destructive. And self-love means being accountable to yourself, doing what you know is healthy for your body, mind, and spirit.
When we look outside of ourselves for happiness, health or love, we only end up destroying ourselves and damaging our planetary home. Nothing external can give us what we need if we are not sourced within. Nothing can feed the hunger if we expect others to fill us. But when we practice radical self-love, loving ourselves fully and unconditionally, we become so filled with love that it naturally pours out and adds more love to the world.