Top 6 Reasons Why You (and I) Need MORE Self-Love NOW!
Remember that Whitney Houston song, “The Greatest Love of All?” Basically the song is about self-love: “...learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.” While it is fairly easy to understand this idea conceptually, it is harder to really get it at a gut level, and harder still, to LIVE it. I think it can be especially hard to know “what is so critical about self-love anyway?” “What does self-love actually mean in real practice?” or “where does self-love stop and selfishness begin?” I want to share with you my attempt at answering these questions. Having self-love is important because:
It allows you to accept yourself, warts and all. When you love yourself, you can accept who you are, with all your imperfections and shortcomings, while also appreciating your strengths, gifts, and talents. Maybe you have a quirk, a birthmark, or a habit you don’t like, or maybe you’re a little overweight. Self-love means loving and accepting ALL of you, even the parts that you don’t like so much. Self-love gives us the strength to look at the areas in our lives that we need to change or where we need to grow, but without shaming ourselves for perceived flaws.
You can more easily correct and grow from your mistakes. Self-love and, more specifically self-compassion (which I see as part of self-love), allows you to recognize when you make mistakes while also separating the behavior from the person. For example, instead of saying: “I’m a terrible mom for yelling at my kid” you might say: “It was wrong of me to yell at my kid.” When you can look at the mistake for what it is and not make a generalized judgment about yourself, it is easier to make the necessary corrections and grow from a negative experience.
You see yourself as worthy and deserving of happiness. When you love yourself, you understand that you do not need to earn love, abundance, success, or happiness. You deserve all these things just by virtue of being on this planet, and you don’t need to go around doing or accomplishing a million things to earn or prove your worth. Self-love allows you to see yourself through the eyes of God, and to Him, you are precious no matter what!
You can let go of comparisons, judgment and competition with other people. Loving yourself means that you see yourself as no more and no less than anyone else, and because you are ok with who you are, you are able to more fully accept and love others for who they are. Plus, when you see yourself and every other person as uniquely suited for a special purpose, there is no need to compete with anyone.
You are more likely to do the things that are required to take good care of you. Yes, I am talking about self-care, i.e. the care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. When you see yourself as valuable, worthy, and loved then you will be more kind and respectful toward yourself and cultivate wellbeing in all aspects of your life. Guess what? When you are doing well in all aspects of your life, your family benefits from that, both directly, because you have more to give, and indirectly, because you are modeling this for them!
You can bring your light to the world! When you see yourself as part of an abundant universe, deserving of all good things, and uniquely suited to fulfill a purpose in the world, then you are able to give freely of yourself, rather than withholding your gifts. This is the way that you can bring your very best to everything and everyone around you, and live a life of purpose, fulfillment and deep contribution.
I hope that after reading this list it is clear why self-love isn’t selfish, but rather the opposite of being selfish. It is also worth reiterating that self-love is something that we cultivate, rather than a goal we achieve. My wish for you is that you will give this some thought and begin to cultivate even greater self-love every day of your life so that you can bring your absolute best to a world that really needs what you have to offer.
To learn more about ways to cultivate greater self-love in your life come join me in the “Reclaim the Woman Within the Mom” Workshop. You may also find more of my free content by joining my email list, where you will receive my “supermom syndrome” checklist followed by tips and strategies to go from cape-wearing, burned out “supermom” to thriving, authentic “super” mom.