Self-Love: Selfish or Self-Preservation?

An often misunderstood concept, self-love is described by some as absolutely necessary while others tend to disregard it as a dangerous phenomena that could add to our already self- obsessed culture.

I used to be of the thinking that self-love is a wasteful pampering of self when you could be doing so much more with your time.  This was before I got sick 3 years ago.  As I went on my own healing journey I realized that a healthy dose of self-love was absolutely necessary.  Not only did it help me heal from my illness, it allowed me to show up in the world and in my relationships with more compassion and love than ever before.

I define self-love as giving yourself what you are expecting from others.

We are all looking for acceptance, love, kindness, compassion and validation.  These are basic human needs, but we are looking to have these needs filled by others in the outside world be it our family, children, spouse or friends.  When our subconscious mind believes that we are not receiving these things from the world, it creates an internal storm within us.  We start believing that we are not worthy of receiving love and acceptance.

Here is where self-love comes in.  It allows us to see our worth independent of what others think.  We have been created worthy and even when we do make a mistake, our worth is still intact.  Allowing ourselves to be seen by us as worthy calms that inner voice within us that is always reminding us of our flaws and mistakes.  It gives us back our power to be responsible for our own happiness and peace. It doesn’t mean we stop our self growth because our inner critic is silenced.  Accepting ourselves fully leads us down the path of overcoming our flaws through love rather than criticism.

How do you know if you need some self-love?

  1. You are always worried about what people will say or think
  2. You are constantly berating yourself for past mistakes
  3. You don’t trust your decisions
  4. You take people’s hurtful comments to mean that there is something wrong with you
  5. You have trouble accepting compliments or gifts from others

If the above resonates with you then perhaps it’s time to give yourself some much deserved self- love.  Self-love can be practiced in many different ways.  Here are few of my suggestions

  1. Keep a promise to yourself daily no matter what.  Find something that you would like to do for yourself whether it be to go for a walk, schedule some down time or read a book.  No matter what the promise, tell yourself that you are worthy of it and make the time to fulfill that promise to self.
  2. Write something positive about yourself.  Acknowledge the good that is within you.
  3. When you feel like comparing yourself to others, remind yourself that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  Use the affirmation. ” I am enough” when you find yourself in the comparison loop.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day.  May it lead you towards a loving relationship with yourself so you can show up in the world filled with more love and compassion for self and others.