Take a second to reflect upon your behavior towards yourself on a daily basis. If you were in a relationship with your own self, would you be happy with how you’re treated?
How well do you value yourself? How does your mind treat your body and soul?
From experience in the psycho-spiritual field, it is found that all of us, at times:
- Treat our bodies in a harmful way, either through bad choices or neglect
- Restrict ourselves from having numerous things by adopting self-sabotaging habits
- Aim at unreachable expectations which leads eventually to failure
- Adopt the habit of cruel self-talk
Practicing these behaviors only culminates in the destruction of one’s physical and mental health. It also negatively affects our jobs and relationships with the people around us. To end it all, we have to adopt a different way. A way of self love.
What Is Self Love
This goes well beyond superficial concepts.
It does not relate to things like unwarranted pride, narcissistic egotism, and vanity.
Self-love isn’t about getting a feeling of superiority over other people around you. It doesn’t have to do with going out for an expensive meal or going to the mall and buying some pricey stylish clothes. It’s not about determining your happiness by the likes and followers you have on social media. It has nothing to do with taking the good things in life for granted. Nor is it about refusing to help others in times of need with the excuse of your time being too precious to waste on others. And never mistake it with being too obsessed with your own struggles and issues that you put kindness and empathy on the sideline and stop behaving like a good-hearted person.
Self love has nothing to do with those things.
A lot of people confuse self-love with the concepts of egotism and selfishness. They won’t draw a line to separate it from being obsessed with oneself and focusing solely on the requirements of consumerism in today’s society.
When it comes to true self love, you’ll find that it goes much deeper than all of these shallow ideas. Self-love is all about forming your own core set of values, and a profound intimacy that stems from knowing oneself, and which are based on a strong foundation.
It’s coming to realize that you are valuable, loved, and worthy, no matter who you are or of which background you come from, and as long as you’re a good person.
Defining your identity by following the ideals of someone else is not self-love. If you don’t want to cut your hair too short or don’t want to keep it long, then you don’t have to. You don’t have to get slimmer or become a muscle-bound guy. You don’t have to follow a certain career path or study in a field that bears no interest to you. You don’t have to pretend or try to be someone that you’re not just to be accepted and loved if you love yourself.
Do not let your past define the person you are now; do not give up on yourself as long as you love who you are.
Whether you come from a flawed childhood or lived in a privileged environment, it doesn’t really matter. The background from which you came bares no influence on your value at this moment if you choose not to let it. No, self love revolves around self-development and improvement. It’s about soaking in all the hope and working to become the best self that you can be — getting rid of the toxic people that fill your life with nothing but negativity, seeing things in a different light, seeing the good instead of the bad and having hope instead of losing it, and being grateful for what you have instead of complaining about what you do not.
Self love is about adopting a healthy lifestyle: healthy eating, healthy thinking, healthy feeling.
Mastering your feelings is part of self love. It has to do with developing your brain to give up on limiting your potential and lying to itself. It’s letting go of the anxieties that hold you back and ignoring the voices that make you doubt your capabilities and self worth. Self love is always remembering that you should accept yourself, love it unconditionally, to start nearing the fulfillment of potential and getting closer to your true self.
Self love takes time.
Slowly, you start accepting the flaws and broken bits of yourself instead of refusing to come to terms with them or trying to hide them. As time goes, you slowly start to see the good side of the imperfections; you start to understand the meaning behind the flaws as you develop and learn from every misstep. You just have to stand up after every fall, no matter how destructive it feels. You have to push through it. As you begin to see the light and believe that there is something worthwhile within you, not only do you create hope for yourself but also for the people around you. You set yourself as an example for those looking to find peace and comfort in embracing themselves for who there are, with both their good and bad, and thriving because of it all.
It requires the right way of self love for you to find yourself and become someone who cannot be hurt.
Why Do We Need to Love Ourselves?
Those who grew up with no one around them to teach them the significance of treating oneself kindly will wonder about the value of it all.
Self-love is essential so that you do not find yourself trapped in a circle of self-doubt and criticism that leads to an endless path of trying to please others and seeking perfectionism. You become too tolerable of bad treatment and abuse from others. You can reach of point of self-neglect as you lose sight of your own value. It may lead you to a path of self-destruction that bears no good for your best interest.
It is the basis of setting boundaries, being assertive and developing healthy bonds with the people around us. It results in a feeling of pride in oneself, pursuing goals and interests, and practicing self-care.
Self Love vs. Narcissism
Some people question the necessity of self-love, but others mistake it with negative concepts like selfishness and narcissism. Not being able to distinguish the difference creates an obstacle for anyone looking to adopt self-love.
When you talk to a therapist or psychologist about self-love, and they encourage you to go for it, they’re not asking you to put yourself above everyone else, that’s what a narcissist would do. They see themselves to be superior and won’t hold themselves responsible for their own flaws and mistakes. They always work towards getting unwarranted amounts of recognition and validation from others, whom they lack empathy for.
Here’s what self-love differs. It is not about showing off one’s greatness. Those who practice self-love in the right way acknowledge their flaws and missteps; they come to terms with themselves despite their flaws. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop showing care to others in order to care about yourself. It only implies that you are kind to yourself as much as you are kind to others.
How to Practice Self Love
Start by becoming someone who LOVES.
Believe it or not, but loving yourself, just like building muscles, requires dedication and practice. One does not simply take a massive leap from someone who doesn’t love themselves to someone who does. So, when you’re just starting out, focus on being someone who can love rather than someone who’s trying to love themselves.
You might ask, “but how can I do that?”
Well, start by allowing love to flow through you whenever it’s possible. Think about what you love about the people you meet daily. Think about what you love about doing your daily chores, going to the store, talking to someone, calling your family, etc. Simply put, you need to love and appreciate everything around you so that you can adjust your body to positive emotions.
You’re unique, so stop comparing yourself to others.
Do you know what really kills self-love?
Comparing yourself with others.
The worst part about this is the fact that we never take our good features and deeds into consideration. Instead, we always focus on our flaws, comparing them to others’ greatest successes, and that’s a shortcut to failure when it comes to self love.
What’s the solution, you ask?
You need to realize that you write your own story and that there’s more to the lives of other people than meets the eye. Everybody goes through hardships and struggles, so focus only on how you can bypass yours. In short, you need to spend your time nourishing and building your own path rather than focusing on that of those surrounding you.
Ask your guidance system for help.
Let your emotions guide your judgment. If you find yourself feeling good about who you are and about your current state, it means that you agree with your choices and that your soul or higher self is aligned with what you chose. If you find yourself feeling bad, it would mean that you have to reconsider your choices and change your perspective on the thing that doesn’t conform to your beliefs.
If it ever crosses your mind that you are or have become something that you don’t like, then you most likely come to feel pretty bad about yourself. In these situations, it is best to try replacing that thought with something healthier and kinder. So instead of thinking, “I’m so confused and lost,” you should be thinking more like, “What I’m trying to do is the best for me to move forward and become better.”
Surround yourself with people with whom you feel good.
This is something that we can’t just brush off. It is important to realize the influence of your entourage on yourself.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Take a second to think about the closest people to you, what kind of influence they have on yourself. Do they push you to improve and become better, or do they keep you down?
Being friends with someone at one point doesn’t require you to spend your time with them if you don’t want to. If you’re keeping a distance from someone, it shouldn’t mean that you can’t get closer again. You have to choose the people you surround yourself with carefully. Don’t let people in just because you’re trying to be nice to them. If you don’t want to, then don’t.
Be compassionate, even when the world shows you its ugly face
A lot of people start to beat themselves down in the moments at which they need love the most. It is in the moments of failure or rejection that we tend to get down, and that’s not fair. It’s not fair to beat someone down when they are already at their low point.
So, try to adopt a more loving reaction toward yourself whenever you feel that things aren’t going as you planned them.
Add healthy habits to your life.
Your actions and behaviors need to reflect on how you want to feel. If you want to feel better and healthier, then adopt healthy habits. Eat better, workout, do things that you enjoy doing, not things that you have to do. Do things that give you a healthy feeling because you enjoy them.
Postpone your worry and negative thoughts.
This is a great technique that can help people immensely in getting over their problems. It simply has to do with forcing the bad thoughts out of your mind
We all tend to worry about things. Some of it is good; it helps us keep ourselves in check and get things done when they need to be done. But a lot of other worries are unnecessary and unhealthy baggage. So, whenever you catch yourself overthinking an issue that bears no consequence, tell your mind that you’ll deal with it next month. Saying it like that relieves the pressure and blocks the stream of negative thoughts. Keep doing this one month after the other to maintain the effect until you don’t have to anymore.
Look at matters from a different perspective.
It’s really easy to love oneself when things are going smoothly and as planned. When everyone is showing their love and appreciation. But it’s a different story when one hits rock bottom, as that’s when one tends to be the hardest on oneself.
So, what should you do when things aren’t going as planned?
Simply ask yourself what would someone who’s deeply in love with you do in such a situation. How would they react? How would they behave?
Well, if they’re really in love with you, they probably wouldn’t be judgemental and criticizing. On the contrary, they’d offer you all the love and help you need to get through hard times. And that’s exactly how you should behave towards yourself!
Realize that change starts with small steps.
We all have dreams. Everybody longs for a life of their own. And if you need to show yourself that you’re capable of self love, you must take small actions that can eventually lead to that life you desire.
Start small. Those actions don’t have to be big. Just small, consistent steps in the direction that can grant you the sparkle you desire. That can go a long way in proving that you do care and respect your dreams and, therefore, yourself. So, what’s stopping you from taking those actions?
Finally, accept what you cannot love about yourself.
Some people try to reject certain parts of their personalities; others try to love them. While love can be good, it can also lead to no benefit if the part of yourself that you’re trying to love should not be loved, but only accepted.
Imagine being nervous, trying to do the simplest social activities. Instead of trying to reject your feelings or even trying to love them, as flawed as they are, simply come to accept them. Tell yourself, “I’m nervous, yes, but that’s not a big deal. It’s not the end of the world”. Just come to peace with it, you shouldn’t do any more than that.
10 Self Love Affirmations That You Need to Repeat Every Morning
- Today, I choose me.
- I love my body and what it does for me.
- My inner world is what leads to my outer world.
- I alone am whole.
- I’ve got all I need within myself.
- I possess the ability to change my world.
- I have a lot to love about myself and my life.
- I choose to stop apologizing for being who I am.
- I let go of negative self-talk.
- I believe in myself.
Recommended Self-Love Book: You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
There are those who are unhappy but let people around know about as they seek help to improve their situation. Then, there are those who are silently unhappy, people who chose to keep their struggles to themselves for one reason or the other. “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay is a book for those people, more than any other person who feels down in their life. It’s a book from a person with great insight into human nature and its turmoil.
She’s a person that came from a tragic childhood and was able to overcome the pain and struggle to become a leading person, capable of helping others.
Through her book, she helps others realize that preconceived notions and closed-mindedness can cause a person to remain trapped in their own sadness. It’s a book that can show the true power of being open-minded and thoughtful and how it helps in finding inner peace and joy. It’s a book that I recommend for anyone looking to improve.