From a young age we are taught to love and show compassion. Compassion being the wish for others to be free from suffering and love is wanting others to be happy. So why do so many of us ignore the importance of being loving and compassionate to ourselves?
There is a massive misconception that self-love is selfish. If you were to search definitions or synonyms for the term “self-love” you’ll find words such as narcissism, vanity and egotistical. Self-love is not simply thinking that we’re perfect beings, nor is it a preconditioned psychological obsession with ourselves. Yet this is the hugely problematic message that we’re sending out to our society and is preventing many of us from living the most wholesome and satisfying sort of life.
Self-love is something that I, personally really struggle with. Whenever I meet my GP, psychiatrist or care-coordinator the main recurring issue for me is self-loathing. Only recently, have I been able to make a connection with my inability to like myself with this notion of self-love being narcissistic. I’ve always felt a necessity to put everyone else’s needs before my own and if I were to prioritise myself, I’d be left feeling guilty. You should never feel that you need permission to prioritise self-care and never feel guilty for showing kindness to yourself.
So many of us spend far too much of our lives being slaves to our schedules, which are filled with obligations and “shoulds” and we end up forgetting how to satisfy our minds, bodies and souls. We no longer know what provides us with true happiness. We need to ask ourselves how can we love others when we don’t honour ourselves? We will only ever learn how to reach our full potential when we value who we are at our very core.
Please remember that self-love is not selfish. We need to apply and reinforce positive thoughts and feelings of our own selves to arise the most essential things in life such as hope, courage, determination and inner-strength. To love yourself is absolutely crucial because we will never be able to live a life of true happiness until we learn to really love and respect ourselves; mind, body and soul