Introduction: Understanding the Importance of Self-Love
Is it interesting that our self-love is one of the components within us that gets to be embraced nearly the last? Perhaps you have heard many times that we have a whole lifetime to work on our self-love, now just stop for a minute to think. Why is it that it might take us so long to embrace something within us that is within our nature and is our birthright? Let’s break it down and try to understand why self-love can be such a challenge at times.
To understand what self-love is, we need to take into consideration that self-love will mean a different thing for each of us. Some would consider self-love to be a nice trip for shopping, for some it will be taking a hot bathtub, for some, it will mean taking oneself on a long-awaited holiday escape, etc. However, true self-love is equivalent to a loving and compassionate inner relationship with ourselves.
It is based on unconditional self-love, self-compassion and self-acceptance. So let’s dig in deeper and have a look at what self-love truly means. Only by understanding and taking into consideration what self-love looks like daily we can see a true level of love towards ourselves and start to develop a sense of responsibility for our self-love.
Assessing Our Relationship with Ourselves
Let’s pause here and think. How many times a day do you think negatively about yourself? How many times a day you are overlooking some concerns or issues within yourself, would it be your appearance, status, level of success, or anything!? How many times a day do you think, feel, or even tell yourself that you are not good enough, that you could or should be doing better?
How many times a day do you feel miserable about life being unfair, or that you are not as lucky as others, that your past life experiences have such an effect on the quality of your present life? How many times are you angry with yourself, frustrated, upset, dissatisfied, etc? We have to be honest with ourselves at this point because realizing what we are doing to ourselves at each moment of our lives can give us a clear picture of the level of our self-love and a chance to start changing it.
The Challenges of Developing Self-Love
Perhaps you are already starting to understand where it is taking us. The reason that self-love development might take us a lifetime to develop is that we are the cause of the lack of self-love. It is not enough to get ourselves a nice thing and dilute ourselves in the illusion that we have just restored our self-love or that we are so good to ourselves. We have to be 100% responsible for how we treat ourselves in any given moment with love and compassion, only then we embrace the true sense of self-love.
Now, does it sound easy? Not at all! If it would be easy we would all have a high level of self-love and live fulfilled and happy lives. You might be lucky and after your reflection, you might have realized that your compassionate self-behavior towards yourself is high, congratulations!
However, if you have discovered that your behaviour towards yourself is not as loving, you are not alone, it’s ok. The majority of us need to do some inner work to bring self-love and self-compassion up to become in harmony and full acceptance with ourselves and moving forward we will look at some ways how to do it.
Taking Responsibility for Our Self-Love
Lets’ ask ourselves now, do I love myself enough to be compassionate towards myself, to be supportive towards myself, to be encouraging myself in life from the place of love, to accept myself unconditionally (regardless of the conditions)? Deep down this is what we all seek, we seek to be loved and accepted unconditionally, and this is one of our primary needs as beings. We are constantly seeking it from the external world. How about starting from within?
Unlocking the Power of Unconditional Self-Acceptance
To love ourselves unconditionally we need to turn towards ourselves as we would turn to someone very important to us, someone we love and care about. We would never hurt someone we care about or at least would try our best not to. We have to wish ourselves to be good, feel happy, and do whatever it takes to provide for ourselves. Not in a patronising way, but in a loving and understanding way. Realising what we have been doing wrong to ourselves or what we haven’t been doing to uplift ourselves or make ourselves truly happy is a good place to start.
For example: if we have been keeping ourselves in a victim/suffering state or living in the painful past, wouldn’t we want to take some action to heal/liberate ourselves? Wouldn’t it be the first thing to do if you wish someone to be good and happy? For sure the last thing you would do is allow someone who you truly love to remain in this condition.
Liberating yourself is self-love, keeping yourself suffering is a lack of self-love. Negative self-talk, self-criticism, self-bullying, putting yourself down, exhausting yourself, keeping yourself anxious and stressed, not accepting yourself, not acknowledging your beauty, not seeing your worth, the list is endless.
Most of the time it is our unconscious behaviour, however, we are powerful enough to recognise these patterns consciously and start bringing the love in, keeping in mind that there is either love for oneself or self-destructive behaviour, which is only one or another, both cannot occupy the same space, therefore you have to choose.
Implementing Self-Love in Our Daily Lives
Knowing that we have a choice gives us a whole new perspective to shift the state we are in, the behaviour we preach, the feelings we experience, the thoughts that we think and the quality of life that we create for ourselves. We are in power, in power to change. A good place to start is to be aware of negative repeating behaviours or negative repeating thoughts, and become aware of falling back into old habits.
Keep an intention to replace these behaviours with a more loving and compassionate one and be patient and more understanding with yourself in the process. Become aware/ educate yourself about your inner critic and what psychological processes happen within you when you criticise yourself. Work on your forgiveness towards yourself for thinking or treating yourself in inappropriate ways, for abandoning yourself and not being supportive or understanding, for not seeing your worth and beauty, for not trusting yourself, and for not loving and accepting yourself unconditionally.
Encourage yourself to heal, face your fears, wounds and hurts and deal with them if it is necessary to free yourself. Seek professional help, if you think it will be a more comforting and pleasant journey into your new state of self-love. Acknowledge your power, inner wisdom, beauty and infinite potential. Be honest and truthful to yourself, be there for you, and become your strongest support, best friend, best caretaker, best loving adviser and companion.
Search for various ways to deepen your knowledge about self-love and to apply it to your relationships with self. Grow, flourish and expand within this love. Once we start to express our love, support, understanding and compassion towards ourselves we start to experience a different quality of life just because we are fulfilling a long waited need to be unconditionally loved, loved by ourselves.
Take the first step towards self-love and acceptance by booking a therapy session with our experienced counselor today. Valerija Lifanova will work with you to understand and overcome any challenges that are preventing you from fully embracing self-love. With personalized guidance and support, you’ll be able to develop a deeper and more compassionate relationship with yourself. Don’t wait any longer, book your session now and start your journey towards self-discovery and fulfillment.
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