Why Is Self-Love So Difficult?
Can you remember any time when you were so disappointed in yourself, thinking:
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I’m always making mistakes.”
“It’s all my fault.”
This is the typical train of thought for those who treat self-love merely as a reward for the day in which they finally become the person they want to be. This behavior implies that their self-love is subject to them being objectively “good” or “successful.”
However, as Aristotle stated:
“Humans, deep down, love the self more than their favorite others (family and loved ones). But, as cultural animals, they can come to believe that they love their favorite others more than they love the self.”
Which means, believe it or not, you already love yourself.
What Is True Self Love?
Self-love is not a desperate need to be better or more deserving than others. It’s not selfishness or vanity. It’s not conditional on desired outcomes. And it’s not an exaggerated sense of importance or classic narcissism.
Self-love is open and honest.
It’s the ultimate commitment; to get to know and accept yourself as you are. To fully experience life as it happens to you. And to continually seek ways to physically, psychologically, and spiritually grow from these experiences.
True self-love is giving yourself unconditional respect, and appreciation. It’s reminding yourself that you deserve to have all your personal needs met while considering yourself worthy, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
It’s fully knowing, no matter what you do or neglect to do, that you’ll always love yourself and be true to who you are — no matter what.
Is Self-Love The Best Love?
Self-love is confident, warm, and caring.
It’s the complete acceptance of who and what you are. It’s the appreciation and affirmation of yourself.
It’s the unconditional support, self-care, and compassion you give yourself that ultimately translate to good health, great self-esteem, happiness, total balance, and well-being.
Self-love is a basic necessity, a fundamental positive value that leads to inner peace and happiness.
Why Is It Important To Love Yourself?
You simply cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself first. When you truly, unconditionally love yourself, you can move through the world with deeper compassion for others, deriving a deep sense of joy and pleasure from the act of giving.
Self-love is, therefore, your fuel and foundation. If it’s not there, your entire life will be unstable and uncertain. But if you truly love yourself, life moves forward with ease and everything falls into place.
You’ll have greater resilience to withstand any challenging life event or personal adversity. Depression, anxiety, stress, and the strive to be perfect, will vanish in the face of pure optimism that self-love creates.
You will always know that this moment shall pass and say,
“I am okay, because I will treat myself fairly no matter the situation.”
How Do You Master Self Love?
Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Which means, it’s a not a destination — but an everyday practice.
But before we get to daily self-love techniques and exercises, here’s what you need to know:
You are the center of the universe — It all starts and ends with you. You’re going to be with yourself for eternity. Which means you want to operate from a place of self-love, rather than self-loathing.
You care for yourself the most — No one else is interested in you — your well-being, safety, health, happiness, and existence — more than you. No one knows better than you what makes you happy or what hurts you the most.
And isn’t it true that no one can make better choices for you, or give you a better opinion of what you need to do, other than yourself? No one is here for your spiritual growth but you.
The love you seek exists within you — Love from other people can only make you happy if it expands on or reflects your own self-love. And loving others can only originate from self-love: a reflection or expansion of the love you have for yourself.
5 Self-Love Techniques To Increase Self-Love
Here are 5 self-love techniques you can use to begin increasing your self-love:
1. Mind your inner voice
The mind is always operating from a place of duality, so to feel inferior or superior is normal. Become aware and conscious of how you treat yourself in your own mind. Pay attention to your self-talk and how it makes you feel. Discard the demeaning thoughts and direct your mind and actions to positive behaviors.
2. Clear your mind
Observe and understand your current beliefs and values, and the real motivations behind them (make sure you don’t carry other people’s beliefs and values). If your beliefs and values are not serving your highest good, question why you’re holding onto them.
3. Invest much time in good self-care
Nourish yourself daily with healthy activities; good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy, and healthy social interactions, with lots of time for fun, adventure, and relaxation. When you fuel and take care of your body properly, you’ll have optimum energy and vitality which builds upon self-esteem. Self-esteem and self-love go hand in hand, and participating in things you’re good at will boost endorphins and bring out the best version of yourself.
4. Set boundaries and protect yourself
Identify what is, and isn’t good for you, and gain the clarity you need to understand what you will, and will not accept in your life. Don’t ever tolerate being treated like a doormat. Bring the right people into your life who reflect your own self-respect and reputation. Live intentionally with purpose and design.
5. Explore your spirituality
Faith is the foundation for self-love, no matter what religion or system you believe in. Believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust itself. When you explore your spirituality, it will take you on a journey of learning things about yourself. And those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you. This will enhance your intuition and help to make decisions based on your gut.
If the above self-love techniques have you fired up for more, why not try a self-love meditation?
Putting self-love techniques into practice is important, but so is learning to focus in on the feeling of self-love within.
Guided meditation for self-love
Meditation is when you’re focused on a virtuous object to become peaceful and calm. Since your happiness co-depends on experiencing inner peace, incorporate any form of meditation into your daily life. Gradually reduce and eliminate your negative, disturbed states of mind and replace them with positive, peaceful states.
Self-love meditation script
This short transcript is simple and effective, which you can quickly record in your own voice, and listen to whenever you meditate:
Close your eyes…
Bring your awareness to your breathing — just breathe in… and out… be totally aware of it, do not manipulate it — just follow the inhale and exhale…
Allow your mind to settle into your breath — Bring your awareness into your heart.
Now mentally repeat to yourself three times: I love myself just as I am.
Breathe in and out… Mentally repeat to yourself three times these words (by Og Mandino):
I am nature’s greatest miracle…
Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me. All men are my brothers yet I am different from each. I am a unique creature.
I am rare, and there is value in all rarity; therefore, I am valuable. I am the end product of thousands of years of evolution; therefore, I am better equipped in both mind and body than all the emperors and wise men who preceded me.
Slowly open your eyes…
And smile — make the smile go through your entire body.
If you want to overcome a certain aspect or situation to accelerate self-love, use the mantra, “Even though I (insert your problem), I always deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Positive affirmations for self-love
Self-love techniques and affirmations are powerful statements with the ability to change your beliefs.
For the greatest impact, speak them aloud first thing in the morning or right before bed, so the words can sink into your subconscious:
I am worthy of love.
I have the ability to overcome any challenge life gives me.
My life is founded on respect for myself and others.
I am pure beauty.
My life is a celebration of my accomplishments.
I am cocooned in the loving energy of the Universe.
I love myself beyond comprehension.
Love rises from my heart in the face of difficulty.
I am worthy of infinite and unending compassion.
I am authentic, true, and expressive.
Love brings me youthfulness, energy, and rejuvenates me.
I am confident in my individuality.
The love within me flows through me in every situation.
I carry strength, courage, and resilience within me.
I honor and respect my limitations and thank myself for the capabilities I do have.
My body is a beautiful expression of my individuality.
I am enough.
I am exactly who I need to be in this moment.
Which of the above self-love techniques are you going to try? Let us know in the comments below.