Self-love can be difficult. We tend to look outside ourselves for love as if self-love is wrong in some way. Self-love is not a narcissistic, selfish love. It is being your authentic self and recognizing your self-worth.
The Importance of Self-Love
Self-love is the most important type of love. Why? Because you need to accept yourself. Love and acceptance of others often depend on your ability to love and accept yourself.
People sometimes build a wall around themselves and don’t let others get too close to them. Feelings of unworthiness, low self-esteem, and lack of self-love create emotional barriers. Self-loathing can draw people and experiences into your life that will keep you feeling bad about yourself. Who would want that? You have to start loving yourself to create the opposite.
The Guilt Complex
Some people feel guilty about loving themselves. They have the misconception that they are supposed to love others, not themselves. They believe that loving themselves is putting themselves first, and that is somehow wrong.
You must overcome the guilt and realize there is nothing wrong with loving and caring for yourself. When you care for yourself, you are better able to care for others. However, overcoming guilt or any emotion is not always easy.
The first step to overcoming guilt is to acknowledge your feelings. Realize that guilt keeps you stuck in the past.
Perhaps you feel guilty because you weren’t as loving to a friend, parent, or spouse as you should have been in the past. Apologize if you can. If not, acknowledge your feelings and move on.
Live in the present and become more loving toward others now. Recognize that everyone has made mistakes and wrong choices. That doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love. No one is perfect. You’re a different person now than you were in the past. We are all constantly learning, growing, and changing.
Be the person you want to be now.
Know Your Authentic Self
People sometimes have difficulty loving themselves because they don’t know themselves.
You are more than the body you see in the mirror. We focus on our physical bodies and sometimes dislike ourselves because of physical imperfections. However, everyone is physically imperfect to some degree.
Get to know your authentic self, not your body. Your authentic self is your inner self. Your ethics and values comprise the core of the true self.
How do you get to know your authentic self?
It is a process of self-discovery, but you can begin by making a list of your passions and deepest desires. What makes you happy, angry, or sad? What do you want to achieve in life? What are the values that you feel so deeply about that you won’t compromise? These are the things that make up your inner self.
Knowing you are at your core makes it easier to love yourself.
Be Your Authentic Self
Once you have discovered your true self, start being that person. Start to accept yourself along with your perceived imperfections.
So, how can you be your authentic self?
First, realize that most people don’t show their authentic selves to the world. We worry about what people will think of us, so we aim to please and impress. We often become conditioned to live someone else’s life rather than our own.
If you want to be authentic, stop pretending. Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. Stop worrying about what others think. Stop trying to please others. You’re never going to please everyone all of the time, no matter what you do. Be honest and truthful. Be accountable and own your mistakes. Realize that authenticity is a process of unfoldment.
As we grow and mature, we discover new aspects of our inner self. Learn to accept yourself one step at a time.
You Are Worthy of Love
Most of the time, we are too hard on ourselves. We dwell on our mistakes and focus on our flaws. But when we can love and accept ourselves, we can change our perception. Life is more enjoyable when you love yourself. People will notice a positive change in you. You will project a different image to the world. People will enjoy being around you, and you will enjoy your own company, whether you are alone or with others.
When we begin to love ourselves, we change our perception of ourselves, others, and the world around us.