What Does Self Love Look Like?

The first person we need to love, and I do mean the very first, is ourselves.  Of course, you’ve heard that a million times. But, realistically, what does it mean?
Loving ourselves is certainly not about self indulgence. And definitely not about arrogance. No one of us is better than another so it’s not about competition. And it’s not about looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you.”
It’s closer to self discipline.  Yes, I truly believe that self love is reflected in self discipline. When we eat healthy food in moderation and exercise regularly and maintain some type of spiritual discipline, I believe we’re living in a self-affirming way. We’re not identified with any one part of us and denying another.   We know it’s fine to be angry and to feel frustrated and hopeless sometimes.  
And we always know the difference between feelings and behavior. No matter what we feel, we choose appropriate and respectful behavior. When we act, we consider the other person. When we feel, we look at our feelings as we feel them. Feelings happen inside us. We want to be aware of them but not to let them drag us around. Another form of self-discipline.
And taking an inventory every now and again is good practice.  Every night can you find something to pat yourself on the back for?  Something you did right? That’s part of being your own best friend.  The other part is recognizing when you screw up, either with another or within yourself.  With others we may not be considerate or respectful.  With ourselves we may be abusive (how many times have you criticized yourself?) or unrelenting in our demands (ever felt driven?). How we treat ourselves is as important as how we treat others and a major part of adult self discipline (read: self love).

 

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