Self-Love...Can it be defined?
Over the last 15 years there has been several forms of media, lectures and books written on self-love. When we now talk about self-love it seems to be more of a cliche' then anything with true meaning. Most people would agree that self-love is important, but we basically ignore it in our day to day lives. Do you think it's because we have so many perspectives on self-love, and it can't really be defined as a whole?
I teach self-love based on spiritual and quantum concepts. This means that loving yourself can take the form of a very spiritual path and be easily integrated into most religions. It also means that self-love can be a science based belief with an energy and matter perspective. I believe that self-love is all encompassing in both spiritual and energy concepts. It is truly when you can put the two together that you gain power in the belief of self-love! Teaching self-love in this way is still very general, and this is why I feel we need to try and dig deeper in our definition of self-love.
Sometimes it is easier to say what something isn't than actually try to define it. So lets start by listing what self-love is not!
* Self-preservation. The basic instinct of keeping yourself alive can easily be accomplished without self-love. Loving yourself goes much deeper then self-preservation.
* It's not being selfish, greedy or egotistical. These are traits that include only your own wants and desires so that you outwardly appear above others. This is done by people that need to feel above others in order to compensate for lack of self-love.
* Any thought that is not self-serving. This is thoughts you have that make you feel any form of negativity. Negative thoughts about anything is lack of self-love because you are ALLOWING yourself these thoughts and therefore the feelings of disharmony.
* Any action that is not of the highest good for all. This is when you do something that you know in your heart wasn't the best choice. Think hard about this one. Do you really have loving feelings about yourself when you do something harmful or hurtful to others. This also extends out to anything living including nature.
* Self-love has nothing to do with materialistic possessions. Self-love is a feeling of love held within you, and it is not based on the condition of having things.
* All addictions. Habits that are good or bad are not contingent on self-love. Having balance in your life is important to have self-love. Even too much of a good thing will eventually land you in a position of disharmony in some way because your point of focus is taken away from other important aspects of self-love.
Do you get the idea that self-love also includes others? Yes it does! Do you understand why it must include others? You would never be able to obtain self-love with a "me" attitude. Selfishness is only a short lived happiness. Loving yourself first and extending that love out to others is a part of the "whole" self-love concept. Anytime you get in the mind-frame of being separate, it creates feelings of disharmony. When you are in disharmony you are not loving yourself.
Did you catch what I said about loving yourself first? Yes, this is like putting the oxygen mask on to save yourself before you can begin to help others. The process of self-love starts with you! By obtaining unconditional love for yourself first, then the love you have spills out onto all others naturally. Giving love to others is easy when you tackle loving you first!
There are two other points I would like to make about self-love that I feel are extremely important.
First, self-love is a feeling we have and not a thought. When we FEEL love, then our thoughts (mind) are in alignment with our true self (soul). From a non-spiritual point of view, you could look at this as our thoughts just being in alignment with our feelings. Our inner conflict always comes when we think one thing and feel another. This is one of the main concepts that I teach, and it will be addressed again and again in nearly all of my blogs.
Secondly, there is an important fact that we all must know in order to live a life of loving yourself.
YOU MUST HONOR YOUR TRUE SELF!
Basically this means to recognize your uniqueness and follow your own path with loving acceptance. It's easy to fall into the beliefs of our parents, friends and family, but are they truly our own? It's also easy to just be a "follower" rather than stand out in your own individuality. It's easier to judge yourself rather than accept the true person inside. Loving yourself is recognizing how YOU feel and honoring this by having the courage to create new beginnings and ultimately a life of peacefulness.
In all my studies of self-love this is my attempt at a definition: Feelings that are love based and are for the highest good of yourself and others.
This definition is the end result of loving yourself. You have arrived! Keep in mind it is our thoughts that give us the freedom to allow feelings of anything love based. The thought is the "driver" and the feeling is our "destination". This concept is prevalent in all my teachings of self-love.
My objective for this blog post is to get you thinking about what it means to love yourself. It shouldn't be just a cliche' that we talk about in conversation. It is important and it should be defined by you. Once you can define self-love then you can take the next step to cultivate it into your life. How do you know what to change or how to change, if you haven't thought about what it means to you?
All of the things that I teach surround you with options to move closer to self-love. With each person it is different because of their beliefs, and I try to keep it general so you can integrate this information into your own self-empowerment. I hope this leaves you with some thought provoking ideas, and this helps define what self-love is for you!
Susan J Witt - Love Just Is