Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Let's face it, the term "self-love" can make some people cringe and uncomfortable. When I was growing up if someone "loved themselves", it was considered an insult meaning they were "up themselves", arrogant, selfish, thought they were better than everyone else, you get the picture.
Self-love hasn't been given a good rap in the past so let's clear the air and make the notion more user friendly.
The idea of self-love is similar to self-responsibility and valuing yourself. It doesn't in any way mean you are self-absorbed or self-centred. In fact, those who value themselves are quite the opposite. The women you see supporting other women, who are kind and thoughtful, not jealous and competing with others often have high self-worth.
Self-responsibility, worth, love, care are forms of wellness energy and an essential foundation to create an ideal environment to encourage other positive energies to flow within you. In a nutshell, we all need this energy to live harmoniously.
When we are self-responsible and value ourselves we make good choices that serve us well. We make healthy decisions about our well-being (lifestyle, food, exercise, relationships) because we know we deserve it.
The likelihood of setting goals and achieving them are higher when we don't settle for less than we deserve. When we are self-responsible we take steps to control our environment and make healthy choices about how we want to live. These elements together help us create happiness and the life we want. Living a life you don't want is not freedom and not a harmonious way of life at all.
Here's how you can encourage self-love:
Develop self-awareness of who you are, your character, behaviour, values
Discover your needs and how to meet them while still being kind to others
Understand and enjoy that you are unique and enjoy the uniqueness of others
Forgive yourself and others for any past wrong doings
Care for all aspects of yourself - mind, body, emotions, spirit
Believe that you and others deserve to be happy
Be responsible for our mistakes, own them, apologise - no blame, no complaints
Express yourself effectively, your ideas and feelings
Respect your body - eat healthy, exercise, sleep
Create and value good friendships
Be truthful with yourself and others
Treat yourself like you would your best friend
Look at your challenges as opportunities to learn
Show your vulnerability, it's ok to show your imperfections sometimes
Ask directly what you want
Keep in mind your safety, your health, and respect of yourself and others when making choices
Understand that likes and follows on social media will not give you everlasting happiness
Don't look to be validated by others, validate yourself
Talk positively to yourself
Actively create the life you want through good choices.
So whether you want to call it self-love, self-responsibility or self-worth or maybe not even put a label on it at all, the important thing to remember is that to live a life of genuine happiness and freedom, you really need to truly like and accept who you are.