Self Love is a buzz word in our current culture, often thrown about but with no idea how to achieve it. The struggle of self love is its very counter productive with modern beliefs.
Self love has an element of selfishness to it and from a young age we are taught its not good to be selfish. So our own needs are often pushed aside so we can fit into a similar box as our peers.
So how can we fit in self love without the feelings of selfishness and being true to what self love actually is? It’s probably a good idea to first look at what self love actually is?
Basically it’s showing yourself the same compassion you would for someone else. Taking on board the advice, respect and support you would give to another, yourself. Hushing the inner voice that often is our harshest critic. Then living with intention to be true to your self. To look at more ways to show yourself love take a look at our post 9 ways to show yourself love
The Triad Of Self Love
It’s a 3 prolonged approach; Being Mindful, having compassion for yourself and knowing your only human. Using these 3 aspects we can begin to build a firm base on which to shape our ongoing journey. Self Love unlike self care is internal work rather than external.
Living in the now and not getting to focused on the past or future, helps us to gain clarity when things get tough. Trying to approach life in a non-judgemental way and without expectations will help you to get clear on the truth of any given life circumstance. Have you ever noticed in an emergency we often go into autopilot? We don’t think things over, we tend to react quickly and the situation, more often than not, clears up successfully. Mindfulness is just this, not over-analysing things just taking the bull by the horns and going with your gut decisions.
Most of us have the habit of showing enormous compassion for those around us. We forgive easily and instil kind and courteous advice with great tenderness. We put ourselves in the other persons place and advise accordingly, empathy is expressed and used to formulate a plan filled with kindness. Yet when it comes to our self we listen to often to the voice that berates us and leads us to believe we do not deserve compassion.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. As with compassion we need to remember that we are all fallible and make mistakes. The good things with mistakes is they can usually be rectified and even the most angry of people will be forgiving if we show enough remorse. So remember no one is perfect and we all screw up, its human. It’s how you make right the mistakes that define us. To be human is to make a mistake and learn from it.
Utilising The Triad
When using the triad to love yourself we can integrate mindfulness, compassion and humanity and challenge ourselves. When we experience emotional distress we can recognise this and gently allow us to feel these powerful emotions. There is a difference between feeling and becoming though. Feeling is almost witnessing them from an outsiders perspective looking in. Whereas becoming is allowing the feelings to engulf you and every aspect of your life. We begin to create a narrative to the feelings, a story of sorts to help us process the intense emotions. Where as becoming mindful will have us see the emotions, the change in our heart rate, the physical pain we are feeling, where the tension sits in our physical body and accept this as part of what happens. We do not let the narrative rule over us, we do not concoct a story because we know the story will only take us deeper into pain.
If you saw a loved one in this kind of distress you would want to comfort them. Turn these feelings of compassion inwards and realise you deserve the same love and understanding.
Self Love, Guilt and Shame
Shame is often at the crux of an avoidance to embrace self love. Unlike guilt which says I FEEL like i don’t deserve self love. Shame says I AM bad therefore i do not deserve self love. This certainty in what we are is at the root of self love for most. Asking the question that ‘is this certainty absolute’? Essentially challenging the narrative in our heads can be a helpful way to breakthrough these limiting beliefs.
The struggle with self love is ourselves. The way we allow our shame and internal narrative to control our ability to show our self compassion and love. We get in our own way. Not life circumstances, not our behaviour towards others or external situations. The key is to challenge those narratives and the shame and then get out of our own way and make self love a priority.
Do you have something more to say on self love? Let us know in the comments.