Now that the term self-love has gone mainstream and seems to be the latest marketing opportunity for every man and his dog, it’s obvious that there’s a huge lack of understanding around what It actually means. The outdated reference to narcissism still occasionally features which I find baffling. Surely we’ve moved on from believing that is the only definition?
Self-love is taking responsibility for ourselves and letting go of the need for external validation.
We are bombarded with self-love suggestions which seem to translate into a myriad ways of how we can spend money on ourselves. I enjoy having a massage and pamper as much as any sane person, from time to time. However, if having a manicure or facial is your only interpretation of ‘self-love’, you’re missing the point…completely. Can you commit to having some time to simply be with yourself?
This is about YOU having a relationship with you. I’m referring to how you relate to your thoughts and feelings about you, in case you’re still wondering what I mean. What are your most recurrent thoughts about yourself? How do YOU feel about YOU? More importantly, how do you then respond or react to these thoughts and feelings?
Self-love is NOT:
♥Maxing out your credit card on a shopping spree as you book yet another workshop or holiday that you can’t afford. It’s not buying shoes, clothes, jewellery, or a personal stylist, you fill in the blank, that you don’t need, so that you can temporarily feel better as you distract yourself from how you are feeling;
♥Saving up for non health-related cosmetic surgery, because your nose, boobs, lips, skin, stomach or another body part don’t match up to the fantasy image in your head and you believe ‘I’ll love myself when my….’ looks different. Or even worse, you believe you’ll ‘meet Mr/Mrs Right’ when you’ve had that procedure done. That’s called self-loathing…..
♥Spending half your salary on all types of practitioners and therapists to ‘fix you’ because you can’t stand spending time with yourself or look for the answers inside your own heart;
♥Depriving yourself on yet another diet and promising yourself you’ll treat your body with respect when you’ve dropped a size or two. (Don’t get me started on the 97% of diets do not work);
♥Extreme exercising under the guise of ‘being healthy and loving your body’ with that outdated paradigm of ‘no pain no gain’;
♥Posting a million ‘selfies’ on social media ‘doing’ all these ‘self-loving activities’. That’s called desperately seeking external validation, in case you were wondering….
Now you may feel I’m exaggerating. I am not saying never treat yourself to something nice or a bit of luxury. It’s when you become dependent upon this external input to feel good about yourself. What is alarming, is the rapid increase in anxiety and depression-related conditions, suicide, eating disorders, self-harming behaviours and millions being spent on cosmetic surgery by a society who is obsessed with reversing the signs of ageing. All of these behaviours are manifestations of a lack of self-love and this underlying belief in not ‘being enough’. This is NOT true. You are magnificently enough, just by the fact you exist.
We are all ageing in each moment and we all have to die. This is the only guarantee. Why resist reality? We are here for such a short time so let’s encourage each other to celebrate our unique and amazing bodies in all their shapes and sizes. If we put a fraction of the time into our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing as we do into material matters and relationships with others, our lives would be enhanced exponentially.
The next time you reach for your wallet, I encourage you to pause for a moment and ask yourself:
♥Which part of me am I most avoiding?
♥Is there a feeling I am resisting or ignoring?
♥What aspect of me would most love my attention?
Start to have a loving conversation with yourself. Your life will change – this I know is true. If that seems like a stretch, then start by being kind.
Not sure where to start? Start here. Right now in this moment. Notice your breath and place your hand on your heart. It’s beating. You’re alive. That in itself is a miracle. You are a miracle. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the box below. Please share if you found this post helpful.