Some say too much self-love can be destructive. Narcissistic. Selfish. Boastful. But is it, really? Is self-love destructive or maybe, it’s the flawed idea of love that makes it dangerous?
Self-love is a positive state of emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. It is the ability to deflect baneful thoughts as you ground yourself to who you truly are and what you’re capable of. It means appreciation of who, what, and where you are regardless of people’s erratic opinions.
Ready to learn more about self-love? In this post, let’s tackle self-love, what it is, what it is not, and how to love yourself.
What Self-love is and What It is Not
Love never fails. Do you believe it? I do.
The best definition of love I found emanates from nothing else but the 1 Corinthians of the Bible. I’m not trying to be preachy, but for years, it has set awesome standards of love, has corrected me when I’m going off course, and halted me from my prideful sentiments.
It says, “love is patient, love is kind…” and all the wholesome ideas of love. Who would ever deflect these concepts?
Honestly, at first, it was something I’d only care to memorize, because why not? But as I dug deeper into these words, I realized, wow, it IS the right definition of love after all.
Moreover, what amazes me is that it’s not solely focused on how you love others, but also covers the ways to love yourself.
What Does Real Self-love Look Like?
Basing my viewpoint from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, real self-love is:
You are patient with yourself.
Feel like you’re not going anywhere? Then I’ll remind you to not lose composure for yourself. Self-love is being patient with your growth. You may be moving slowly, but as long as you’re progressing mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, then you’re in the right path.
You are kind to yourself.
Be your own best friend. Get away from the agitation, distrust, and negative self-talk. Cheer yourself up the way you would hype for others.
Not finding the need to boast.
There’s a huge difference between happiness in your deeds (delight) and simply boasting (pride) about your acts. Loving yourself means your appreciation and gratitude are enough to fill you and don’t need other people’s validation.
Whether people cheer you on or not, you know your worth.
You keep no records of past mistakes.
Real self-love frees you from the regrets and doubts of the past. You don’t tally your wrongs. Take the lesson, but forget the shame. You no longer care how broken you were, but trust in who you are right now.
You accept the truth regardless of how painful it is.
If you disguise your true self to please other people, it’s not self-love. Neither if you accept abuse in the name of love. Don’t fool yourself.
You have to accept the painful truths about how you’re treated – their lies, toxicity, and selfishness. Wear steel courage to walk away from people who don’t allow you to grow.
Know when to protect your well-being. Now, that’s self-love.
What is Not Considered Self-love?
Some people think self-love means prioritizing yourself above all. But it’s not. Self-love is not self-serving. It doesn’t mean you can run around stomping on people to carry out your interests.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean demanding things you “deserve” and being ungrateful to people who fell short. It’s neither prideful nor boastful.
Moreover, self-love is breaking away from the negativity society feeds you – the criticisms, fears, and self-doubt – and finding yourself again.
When you’re cup is full of love – patience, kindness, truth, trust, and hope – you effortlessly fill others, too. When you’re full of love, you shine and do not get drained. You move forward and no longer fear.
10 Ways on How to Love Yourself
1. Gather wisdom.
When I was younger, I would roll my eyes whenever adults advise me like they know everything. Unfortunately, I was also a prideful kid who thinks she knows it all, too.
However, as I trudge through life, their stories and advice amazingly come into reality and I’m grateful they told them to me beforehand. Thankfully, I grew wiser from learning other people’s experiences.
Truly, wisdom leads to understanding; understanding establishes self-love. I must say, no one loves and empathizes better than someone who sees the big picture and considers different perspectives and standpoints.
That said, whether you hear criticisms from your parents, friends, or mentors, choose which ones you’d listen to, and which ones to leave out.
Improve yourself and be hungry for fruitful knowledge.
2. Stop pleasing people.
Do you want to know what to leave this year? The weight of people’s unrealistic, misaligned, and pressuring expectations.
I’m glad I had a strong sense of self since I was a kid. I may be stubborn in the eyes of others, but as I listen more to myself and follow the path I want, my purpose slowly reveals itself.
It’s nice to live the life you decided for yourself, not the life drilled on you.
I know it’s easier said than done. But I guarantee, living a life outside of people’s expectations wins some hefty amount of peace of mind.
3. Get to know yourself.
Sometimes, we’re so busy patching up our weaknesses that we forget what we’re truly good at. Unfortunately, there are times when conformity prevents us to see our truest selves.
Know where your interests, passion, and hobbies lie. Whether you are creative or analytical, choose a life that resonates with you.
4. Embrace failure and learn from them.
Everyone has experienced brokenness in their lives. Even my vibrant friends have their own secret battles. So do I. No one is exempted from it, not even you.
That said, accept how you’re indeed an imperfect person, too. But at the same time, keep in mind how you’re a capable, hopeful, and persevering person. Everyone deals with struggles but be someone who thrives and wins in the end.
Related Post: 6 Things to Do When You Think You’re a Failure
5. Express your emotions.
Take off the mask. Stop romanticizing keeping your problems a secret. It’s not bravery, but self-torment.
What do you do for self-love? Instead of keeping your bursting feelings in, express them to people you trust. Release the building-up frustrations.
6. Sometimes, you need to get out of your head and see what’s in front of you.
Staying too long inside your head leads to mind-whacking overthinking.
Being introverted, I spend most of my time daydreaming and self-reflecting. However, sometimes, regrets, the past, and what-ifs slide inside our thoughts.
Unfortunately, these are nothing but downers.
To cultivate self-love, get out of your head from time to time and actually live in the moment. Talk to people around you. Appreciate their perspectives. Help people.
We all know the rule – love people as you love yourself. Leave your inner critic and live in the moment with people.
7. Be grateful for everything that comes your way.
Whether you’re winning or stumbling right now, these experiences – the challenges and achievements – will help propel your growth. Be grateful for both the blessings and struggles. Develop a healthy mindset and live a life of gratitude.
8. Forgive yourself for the wrongs of the past.
As 1 Corinthians 13:5 said, love means keeping no record of wrongs, so leave the bad memories behind and continue to live with hope and a forward-looking vision.
9. Feed your passion, creativity, or interests.
Give time for your passion, creativity, and interests.
Those who spend time on their creative side (or what they’re truly interested in like business or sports) tend to be happier. I’m most fulfilled when writing, I got friends who are involved in creativity, too. So can you.
Self-love is cultivating your skills and innate gifts.
10. Enjoy your me-time.
Go on solo dates and give yourself a break.
Recently, I enjoy strolling around, walking at my own pace, and visiting random stores without a care in the world. I’m writing my heart out, drinking coffee while reading books, and bathing under the rain like a child.
Care for yourself, appreciate the littlest things, and detach from the busy world.
Cultivating self-love is powerful. Unfortunately, if you don’t have enough love for yourself, you will seek it from others, worse, chase people for it until misery dawns on you.
But when you love yourself, although disappointments may still approach, what matters is you know your worth and won’t stoop down to beg for other people’s attention and validation.
It builds strong relationships to a point that whatever and whoever walks away in your life, you’re complete and can still move forward.
Love is beautiful. It’s freely given, not asked. It’s inspiring, not destructive. Truly, in whatever way you see it, love never fails. If it fails, then it’s not real love.
Thanks for reading. Spread love. 🙂
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