Posted By: Jennifer Foster Date: 01-19-2017 Comments: 0
Self-love is the new self-help addiction!
It’s a concept that addresses a very important need in today’s society, yet what is “self-love”?
You’ll hear about it on TV, on social media and in conversations with friends, but the term has become abused again and again and so misunderstood that most of us don’t have a clue what “self-love” really means and how beneficial it can be in our daily lives.
We currently live in a society with too many choices, options and distractions. We are told constantly to buy this, be like this, look like this, date this, love this. The list goes on and on yet we are left not knowing ourselves or how to take care of our most valuable asset – Ourselves!
Just last week, I overheard a woman telling a friend she was taking up yoga, meditation and getting weekly massages as her new “self-love” practice. Sounds like a great idea, right? If you’re reading this, nodding your head yes, and thinking “now that’s self-love,” you are very, very wrong! That’s an example of surface level self-validation and self-nurturing. Both can definitely be considered as forms of love, but those actions don’t equal the full empowerment of self-love and here’s why…
If you break down self-love, you get two things: Self and Love.
Most of us don’t understand or want to truly see ourselves for who we are, nor do we understand what it takes to truly love, yet we want to say we have self-love. Really? Let’s talk about this for a minute.
Who are you? Do you even know? Where do you stand on things that truly matter in your life? Do you stand for something, whether life is going great or when it throws you a curve ball, or do you constantly change who you are to appease the masses and current situation?
Have you ever lied or screwed up? Do you feel guilt for past actions? Do you see these things as someone else’s problem or things that “just happened? Are you always the victim, is everything out of your control, or are these experiences things that you choose to recognize, address and understand about yourself?
For example, let’s say you lie to a friend and they call you out on it. You can: (a) continue the lie and explain how you are still in the right, (b) apologize profusely and beg for their forgiveness, or (c) explain why you felt you needed to lie at the time, how you now understand the impact it had on both parties, and what you would do differently in the future.
You have a HUGE responsibility to yourself and those around you to choose an honest and healthy way to see and deal with how the world comes at you and your own personal experiences.
Being self-aware and trying to understand who you are is key to personal well-being.
You must first look at yourself honestly and openly in the mirror. We all make mistakes and do things we aren’t proud of, but how and what you take from your mistakes will make a huge difference in your life
To truly love another, you must first love yourself. This is paramount, because the lessons you learn while loving yourself are the tools you will need to love another. No person is perfect, not you or the person you want to have a relationship with. If your goal is to love someone and find a healthy relationship, you must love all of them – the good, the bad and the ugly. You must also do the same for yourself.
Have you ever tried loving someone who never shows you “all of themselves?” You only see their “perfect” side; they never seem to be “real” and it feels too good to be true. If so, could you sense the lack of connection and intimacy?
You may not realize this, but people fall in love with each other’s rough edges. Paradoxically, it’s our flaws and vulnerabilities that make us unique and endearing towards others. The more we’re willing to reveal where we come up short, the more intimacy and connection we’ll generate in our personal lives, and the happier and healthier we’ll be in the long run.
Truth be told, your subconscious mind already knows who you are, and most of your involuntary actions, responses and choices are based on what you know about yourself. Basically you’re never really hiding anything, not even from yourself.
It’s impossible to erase what has already happened. Your subconscious will keep driving you forward with your past as your compass, causing you to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, until you accept, address and choose to love the person you are.
Self-love is about bridging the gap between the person inside you and the person you show to the world. The more these two identities are aligned, the stronger and healthier you will be. It’s true that you can’t make a bad past good, or a good past better. But you can OWN your actions and give validation to ALL that you are, not just what you want the world to see.
True happiness will come when you are able to be just one person whether you are alone, in a group, on a stage, with family or with friends. You can’t change who you are to match what you want the world to see, but you can try to understand and accept yourself so the world can love you for exactly who you are.
Recognizing that life is riddled with faults and mistakes, and appreciating them as much as the successes will allow for your faults to have no power over you. Instead of your faults being weaknesses, they will become your strengths and ironically, they’ll draw other people into you more than ever before.