Have you heard of these popular terms? "You have to love yourself more." , "Why don't you love yourself?" "If you only loved yourself, this wouldn't have happened to you." "You can't love another person until you love yourself first." These are just a few of the self-love directives that we give or get to suggest a way to more living fulfillment.
What is self-love? Is it something you can buy in a beauty makeover or a new set of clothing? Can you get more of it by reading something inspirational? Or, can a new relationship make you love yourself more? The answer to all of these questions is No!
Although they feel good and are gratifying, you can't grow in self-love through these types of activities. Since, self-love is not simply a state of feeling good.
"Self-love is so misunderstood. If you looked self-love up in a dictionary, it is defined as conceit, vanity and narcissism but whoever came up that definition has it all wrong.
Self-love is the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, so solid, so unwavering that you choose only situations and relationships – including the one you have with yourself – that reflect that same unconditional love and respect" -Christine Arylo, founder of MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME
One of my favorite video about self-love vs selfishness, that I would like to share.
How to Know Whether You're Self Loving or Selfish? By Ralph Smart
Ralph Smart is a Psychologist. Author. Counselor. Life Coach. Relationship Guide. Alchemist. & Infinite Being.
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature you. When you act in ways that expand self-love in you, you begin to accept much better your weaknesses as well as your strengths, have less need to explain away your short-comings, have compassion for yourself as human being struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through your own efforts.
One of the ways to love yourself more is to stop comparing yourself to others. Although you are part of a whole, you are also an individual self, with your own path. The group and family belief systems you have taken on as your own can be obstacles to your self-love. "Everybody says it is good to meditate," you may hear some people say, and so you feel bad if you do not do so. The challenge of loving yourself is to step aside from everything people tell you and ask, "Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?" Ultimately your own experience is what counts.
Loving yourself means
stepping outside of guilt.
There is tremendous guilt in our society. Many connections between people come from the solar plexus(the 3rd chakra), the power center, from which people try to persuade, convince, control, and manipulate each other. Loving yourself means stepping outside of these kinds of relationships. To do so you will need to let go of guilt. If you do not play the same ball game as those around you, you may find they feel threatened. They want you to think and act in certain ways to fit their pictures, so they try to gain power over you through guilt. You can learn to detach from the reactions of others and from your own emotions if they take you out of calm, clear center. Loving yourself means asserting yourself with compassion. When you are willing to show others who you are, you open the door for them to expose their real selves also.
Judgment stands as an obstacle of self-love. Every time you judge, you separate. When you form opinions about another person, looking at him or her and saying, for instance, "This person is lazy, or a failure, or has terrible clothes," you send a message to your subconscious that the world is a place where you had better act in certain ways if you want to be accepted. By rejecting other people through your judgments, you inform your own subconscious that you are only going to accept yourself under certain conditions. This lead to an inner dialogue of self-criticism. (and this is one of the causes of low self-esteem) It can also attract many negative images from the outer world, for once you send out these pictures, you create a pathway for them to come back.
Look at the message you put out to other people. Do you accept them lovingly, without criticizing or putting them down? Do you smile at them? Are you friendly? Do you allow them to feel good about themselves, or do you walk away without acknowledging them? If you accept them, even just telepathically(that is, in your own mind), you assist them in finding their higher selves. You will find other people accepting you more lovingly also.
Another quality of self-love is forgiveness. Some of you hang on to old issues, feeling anger over and over. It is irritation at yourself, perhaps, or at another who let you down. The higher self knows only forgiveness. If there is anything you are hanging on to --anger, hurt, or a negative feeling about another -- then you are keeping it in your aura. The person you are mad at is affected, but not as much as you will be. Any energy or feelings you carry toward another person sits in your aura and acts as a magnet for more of the same. There is most definitely a reason for forgiveness, for it cleanses and heals you and changes for the better the circumstance you draw to yourself.
Self-love also involves humility, which is self-expression from the heart and not from the ego. Humility says, "I am open. I am willing to listen. I may not have all the answers." Humility is one of the qualities that will allow you to receive more, for humility implies openness. It does not imply a lack of self-confidence, but a great amount of faith and trust in yourself.
Only those who feel good about who they are can express humility.
Those who act the most arrogant or coldly confident are those who lack the very characteristics they are trying to project. People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous, and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness, and inclusiveness. If you know people who seem to be very wise and yet put others down, reject friends, and make people feel bad about themselves --no matter how high their words or what they teach --you can rest assured they do not love themselves.
Loving yourself involves faith and trust and belief in who you are, and a willingness to act upon your trust in yourself. It is not enough to feel that faith and trust; you need to experience it in your outer world. You are physical being, and joy comes from seeing around you those things that express joy comes from seeing around you those things that express your inner beauty -- a garden, flowers, trees, your house, the ocean. All of these are the rewards of acting upon and trusting yourself, of following your path and vision with action. The ultimate challenge of self-love is to act upon it, to speak up to people and to create in the world your heaven on earth.
If you want to bring your higher self into your life on a daily basis and increase your self-love, take one characteristic of the soul and, whenever you have a moment, think about it. Some of these are peace, appreciation, humility, harmony, joy, gratefulness, abundance, freedom, serenity, strength, integrity, respect, dignity, compassion, forgiveness, will, light, creativity, grace, wisdom and love. By reflecting or meditating on these qualities, you will begin to demonstrate them in your life. Whatever you think of, you are. If every day you pick one of the qualities of yourself to ponder on and identify with, you will create it as an experience of yourself.
Last but not least, do not take yourself so seriously.
Laugh and play. It is not the end of the world if something does not go right. The quality of humor is perhaps one of the greatest doorways to self-love. The ability to laugh, to smile at others, and to put your problems into perspective is an evolved skill. Those who come from a high level of self-love are often humorous, have a great wit, and love to bring out the childlike playfulness in others. They willing to be spontaneous, often find reasons to smile, and are able to make others feel at ease and to be happy themselves.
As you observe the people in your life, ask yourself (and do it without judgment), do these people love themselves? If you are experiencing difficulties with them, look at the problem area and ask, do they love themselves in this area? Send them compassion to use in whatever way creates their highest good, and enjoy the love you have just sent out as it comes back to you to use for your highest good.
- Living with Joy (Keys to Personal Power & Spiritual Transformation) Book Chapter 4 The Art of Self-Love by Sanaya Roman
- A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love Article by Warmly, Deborah from psychologytoday.com blog .
Read full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love
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