The Importance Of Self-Love
In a world where external influences affect us more than our internal processes it is often easy to forget how self-love is relevant. Why love yourself if you can buy/achieve/earn/marry/collect/win it somewhere else? What's the point of taking time to appreciate your own being, your own existence if what's around us can distract us for almost our entire lives? We do so because it is easier and more straight forward. Me plus this equals some sort of satisfaction. An equation like this looks simple but underneath it lies the emptiness that comes from not adhering to the fundemental point; we need to love ourselves unconditionally.
This might sound like somy hippy nonsense. Self-love? Self-meditation? Self-compassion? What's the point of it all? Well i'll tell you. But first let's have a think of what life is like without self-love. Without loving yourself, being compassionate towards yourself you will go through life trying to fill a bowl which will never be full. Self-love is an ultimate feeling we can have for ourselves and without it we will never truly know what will satisfy us. If you cannot feel the ultimate feeling of self-love and thus self-sustained satisfaction then how will you know when whatever you want externally is good enough for you also? You have no bench mark with which to measure the success of something you have externally. It will never seem like enough and you will carry on chasing for something more.
Where will that chase lead you? It will lead you into pain. That is for sure. You will not know just what it is you want to feel from something else because you haven't developed self-love. So you will put yourself in experiences which are bad for you but you think this will lead to something you want. You will open yourself up to abuse. That's where the idea of feeling 'this is all i'm worth' comes from. If you cannot truly love yourself you will never treat yourself in the way you actually want to be treated. You will be open to suffering because you don't know just how valuable you are to yourself and indeed others and that suffering can make you feel like you deserve it.
Without self-love, self-compassion, without the ability to achieve a sense of value within yourself how can you be truly compassionate towards others? How can you love other people if you cannot love yourself? You might think you can but if you look back on the times you were in love with someone else but did not love yourself how honest were you in all of it? Did you feel taken advantage of? Did you feel you were sacrificing things you wanted, desired not only for yourself but for love itself, for the sake of someone else? That's not love. It's dishonest because you went into this love for someone else and not yourself. That's where the tension might have come from! You forgot to love yourself and so were at the mercy of someone or something else. This explains why you might have experienced a break-up you had no idea was coming. You probably thought you were doing all the right things. How could this happen? You did not love yourself. The other person did not either! Otherwise the break up would never have happened so randomly. Being able to love yourself would have helped you see the reality of the situation; how you were not actually getting what you wanted, how you felt it was OK to be abused mentally in some way and how you learnt to become dependent on someone else rather than on yourself.
There you can see just how without self-love we live lives we truly do not want to live. We open ourselves up to suffering willingly but without knowing. We lose compassion for ourselves and so we welcome in pain, regret, confusion and heartbreak. If anything, see the importance of self-love by imagining your life without it. Look back on the times when you forgot to love yourself. You will be frightened by the findings you will realise.
You need to take the time to love yourself. You need to take the time to meditate. You are surrounded by things that tell you that you don't need to practise self-love. You need to practice it. You need to close your eyes and love yourself. You need to feel self-love and a feeling of being content with who you are. If you can feel just how amazing you are or how amazing you could be then you will act like it. Self-love is giving yourself the confidence to go out and get what you want. Self-love is unleashing the positivity of you as an individual. Self-love is the bedrock by which we can do amazing things with our lives in the most positive and life-affirming way possible. Self-love stops us from being prey to bad things we in no way deserve. Self-love is what focuses the mind when things go wrong and stops adversity from being a devastating event in our lives. Self-love is self-respect. Self-love gives us courage.
The great thing about self-love is it is relevent in almost every aspect of our lives; the way we treat ourselves mentally and physically, in our relationships, in our work, in what we want to find meaning in our lives with, in our thoughts, in our darkest hours, in our brightest days. Self-compassion is not some make-believe idea of feeling better. It is a quality by which we can live our lives. It creates a benchmark for what we feel we deserve and with self-love we feel we deserve such wonderful things in life. So with that in our mind we orientate our lives to that betterment both consciously and sub-consciously. You won't even realise just how much of an effect being able to say 'i love myself' every night and believing it actually has.
How do we love ourselves? We practise self-compassion. Check out self-compassion meditation on YouTube for starters. Or take it one step at a time. Start putting your feelings first above all else. Start assessing just what you don't actually need in your life. Start looking at what you 'rely' on and ask questions about if it is necessary or not. Look at the base factor of you and realise just what you need to love yourself; an active willingness to make your life better, healthier, the centre of your attention. You have everything you need right now to love yourself. Acknowledge the distractions. See how little of an actual effect they have on you. Love yourself as much as you want. Why not love yourself in the greatest way possible? There's no harm in it. The more you find out just how little you rely on externally in reality the more you can feel free to love yourself. The more you love yourself the more powerful, the more brave, the more excited you feel to live. You will feel more brave, you will see things around you for what they really are. You must believe the line 'i love myself' in the most honest, compassionate, truthful way.
We don't need to say it. We can just distract ourselves. In the end if we don't we will be walking through life in the dark not knowing what is coming, what we deserve and what we want. At least with the ability to love ourselves we can start to look after ourselves in the way we live our lives. It affects everything we do. The reason you haven't done it now is probably because you didn't think it important, or you thought it would get in the way of what you have or want right now. In actual fact it is the seed with which everything grows. Self-love should get in the way of something because if it does whatever it got in the way of was not good enough for you, or good enough at all. It might hurt to acknowledge it but use this opportunity to change your life. It will be the best thing you ever do when it comes to deciding what you want your life to be.