“It’s not that people can’t love you if you don’t love yourself. It’s that you won’t feel it because it will always seem like you don’t deserve it.” Unknown
Self-love is not the same as selfishness. Mostly we get confused between the 2. Self-love is about knowing myself completely as a whole. The good, bad, and ugly. Understanding my own aspects, my likes, dislikes, cravings.
Benefits of self-love?
- Better relationships with others
- Improved health
- Higher energy and motivation
- Purposeful Fulfilling life
What’s stopping us from loving ourselves?
- Childhood experiences : Kids who are raised by emotionally unaware parents and who did not love themselves, grow up to be very criticizing of themselves. They look for approval and love from others, without realizing love comes from within.
- Social conditioning, rules: Society plays a huge role in the emotional development of kids. Kids are constantly compared with others and forced to compete with peers to gain acceptance of their society.
- Not good enough and I don’t fit in: Parents, teachers, peers, and society contribute to a false perfect picture in the kids’ minds, and they fail to fit into that picture. These factors contribute to them constantly criticizing as not good enough.
We can release our past and heal from pain. The only thing that prevents us from healing is our own resistance to grow.
Action steps in improving self-love in your life
- Meditation: Meditation can help us calm our mind and release us from the constant chatter. It creates a space within to see what’s really going on. It can be as simple as observing your breath for a few minutes.
- Positive Affirmations: Talking to ourselves in a loving, compassionate way, helps us feel good about ourselves. We have been talking so negatively to ourselves for many years, it takes time to feel and believe when we say positive affirmations. So, give yourself time!
- Journaling: Listen to your thoughts and feelings. Allow yourself to feel the feelings, and name it if possible. Then we can analyze the thoughts behind those feelings and understand what’s causing the pain. That’s an opportunity to challenge your beliefs.
- Gratitude: Look at the people and things in your life you are grateful for. Make it a point to write them down. This helps to elevate our mood and switch to a positive mindset.
- Forgiveness: We all make mistakes as humans, and sometime don’t live up to expectations of others and self. Holding onto the hurt feelings, grudges drain our energy. Can we choose to let go of the hard feelings? Its not validating the wrong action, its just releasing the pain and energy from you, so you have more energy to do things you love.
- Attending to your needs: What makes you happy, loved, and special?
- Get Support: Getting a good support when we are going through a self-love, self-growth journey is very important. Do you have someone to take you through the journey? It can be your partner or a friend.