What is Self-Love?
Self-Love is a Basic Human Necessity
What are basic human necessities? Some include food, water, air, and shelter. These things we quite literally cannot live without. What if we told you self-love was a basic human necessity? Shocking, right? What is shocking about it is that individuals have difficulty with holding self-love to the same standard or importance as food and air. Why is self-love so difficult to attain? It’s said that loving yourself comes with facing what you may hate the most about yourself. A person very close to me once said “every morning when you look in the mirror, ask yourself ‘who am I going to make happy today?’” The answer is you!
Kindness Towards Ourselves
It is difficult to make “you” happy because we believe it all comes down to negativity bias. Many of us have received the message that life comes with struggles and we don’t all deserve happiness. We could receive this message due to neglect or abuse, someone telling us, or just a negative belief we have about ourselves. Plato wrote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. So why not be kind to yourself? Who hasn’t dealt with betrayal, difficulties, or losses? Our belief is that Plato was not referring to others only. When he said everyone he was including yourself, too. Plato was on to something. He was highlighting that individuals growing up without enough acceptance or kindness would hold onto failures, mistakes, or shortcomings. Again, we ask the question why?
Finding Strength and Resiliency
Research says that our ancestors had an innate response and survival to avoid danger. Because of this, there was little value or survival in stopping to smell the roses. This all goes to say that we truly deserve happiness, through the lens of self-love. This is not an easy feat though because happiness is not entitled. We must create it. We can create it by finding fulfillment through finding the connection with our inner peace and happiness. Once we find that connection, we can then cultivate compassion towards ourselves. Someone may argue “but I take a bubble bath once a week and go for massages sometimes.” Although these things may help, the inner work of finding strength and resiliency is what is needed to have self-love.
How to Achieve Self-Love
Another key piece to this puzzle is feeling. In order to have self-love, one must feel the full range of emotions entitled to human beings. That’s a scary thought because that means the individual must face the music, feel the feelings and sit with their emotions. Is that okay? YES! That is taking the necessary steps towards self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. Last question, how do I achieve this? Look to the following scenarios and skills to support the journey of self-love.
- Next time you feel sad, hurt, or embarrassed, try taking a few slow breathes and notice the feeling. Allow your body to have an emotion and just simply notice the feeling.
- Seek out professional help.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. The only person you can be is yourself.
- Don’t worry about others’ opinions. Remember that opinions are neither true nor false. They are someone’s thoughts and perceptions.
- Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. You’re only human.
- Don’t be afraid to let go of people that are not good for you.
- Value comes from within. The way you look does not determine your value.
- Process what you fear.
- Trust yourself.
- Take every opportunity life presents to you.
- Put yourself first.
- Do the things you enjoy.
- See the beauty in the simple things.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Be patient with yourself.
We hope your takeaway from all of this is being motivated, empowered, and ready to start your self-love journey or continue on your path. Remember that you have survived this far and you will continue to thrive.