There’s a misconception that self-love or anything self-love related is somehow selfish. To be selfish by definition means being devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare etc. regardless of others. It’s this idea of self-love that keeps people from pursuing a love of themselves because it somehow feels arrogant or egotistical, when in fact it is neither of those things. It isn’t about feeling or thinking that you are better or more superior than someone else. It’s about knowing who you are and what you deserve to have in your life and relationships.
When you know who you are, you are able to discern and not be distracted by all the things and shiny objects around you. You are able to know and understand what is for you and be happy for, not triggered by others who may have the things you want or desire. Self-love doesn’t mean that you are self-serving or that you only care about or love yourself. In fact, it means the exact opposite, when you love yourself and know how to love yourself you are then able to love others without condition.
Self-love is the best love because it helps you be true to yourself. When you love yourself you are connected to who you are at your core. You stand firm in your beliefs. You do the things that are right for and meaningful to you. You say no or yes when you feel the need to. You please yourself before others. You make time just to be with you. Of course these aren’t all the ways, there’s lots more. These are just a few. We get caught up in wanting to change who we are, so we can be approved of by others. Throughout our lives we are told all the ways we are “too much”, all the things that are wrong with us. As adults, we become distracted and lose ourselves. We think that something is wrong with us, that something needs to be fixed, that we are somehow broken, when in fact, we just don’t love ourselves.
Ideally, self-love should be a daily commitment that we make to ourselves. It takes commitment to learn and uncover all that makes us who we are. In this time, take a few minutes to connect and be with yourself in silence. I know this probably sounds intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t over complicate it, keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be sitting, laying down or even in a meditative state, if you aren’t comfortable with that. If this is your first time or even if it isn’t but the thought of connecting with yourself makes you overwhelmed or uncomfortable, start where you are! Start while you’re in the shower, washing the dishes or doing something else where you can just be with yourself.
When you become comfortable with connecting with yourself begin to take inventory. Start looking at your life and who you are. Begin to recognize all the ways that you are you, right now – good, bad and ugly. This process is similar to peeling back the layers of an onion, because as we get older, we evolve and change. We go through phases and have life experiences that cause us to change, compromise and adapt who we are. It’s these compromises and adaptations that can become problematic and take us away from who we truly are at our core.
As you take inventory, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of our thoughts. To judge ourselves for the ways we’ve let others influence, control or manipulate us. This is not what taking inventory is about.
Taking inventory is just about bringing awareness to all these things, so just allow yourself observe without judgment. We can’t become better if we don’t know what exists within us.
I hope this serves you well on your journey to self-love. Here’s a few key takeaways:
Make a daily commitment to love yourselfTake a few moments to connect to yourself in silence – start where you areIdentify ways you have compromised who you are
Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash