I’ve had too much time available this week to witness too many examples of people not loving themselves enough. If I don’t love myself enough I risk spreading my angst to those around me, and I’m aware that I can not not influence others, so I compiled this list as a reminder…
Top 5 reasons why self-love is so important:
1. It allows me to live longer. The obvious answer here is that self-love means I will choose foods and exercise regimes that show I love my body. Hmmm…still struggling with that one (but getting there!). I do know though that self-love also means I make mental choices that lead to a happy peaceful life. Honest and authentic choices that may appear selfish to others but reduce the daily stress for me. I’m not afraid to put my needs first when needed. It’s quite surprising too how the absence of ego can create so much peace and calm inside.
2. It puts me in a very powerful place. If I truly love myself then it doesn’t matter what other people think of me. I’m driving the bus. I can choose how I will react to situations and nobody can make me feel sad, angry, joyous, inspired or angry. Self-love means I don’t have to measure my worth against others because I understand that their journey is nothing like my own and that’s ok. This is a critical point for me because I often consider myself not worthy when I compare my needs to others. Self love means we’re all worthy and we’re all equal. No body is more deserving than me.
3. It gives me choices about how I connect with others. When I love myself, I can choose how I will respond to those around me, even when their opinions are different to mine. The other day I asked a good friend why he chooses to be so respectful to others when clearly he’s not responsible for their reactions. His answer was because he likes to interact in a positive, approachable way. He wants to make that choice. I think he’s spot on. When I love myself, even if my buttons are being pushed, I have infinitely more response choices available to me.
I’ve witnessed two examples of this throughout the week. Both were blog posts that were written in response to people giving the authors perceived negative feedback. The first was by Corrine Grant over at The Hoopla. Corrine was fed up with being harassed by a Hoopla reader and wrote a very defensive piece as a counter to their comments. I wonder if the tone of the post would have been different had she simply loved herself enough to not care about the opinion of the other person? In the overall scheme of her life, does it really matter? The second was by Alice Nicholls on her site The Whole Daily. Alice had overheard a negative comment spoken about her at a presentation she had completed recently and she used the situation to process her own thoughts and feelings about the negative comment in an honest and vulnerable way. Her love for self recognised the awkward situation but she chose to move on regardless. I’ll choose peace over irritation any day.
4. It affects everyone around me. Not everyone thinks the way I do (thank goodness!) so if I don’t practice self-loving behaviours I risk sending negative ripples out into the world, and there’s enough of that out there already! Yes, I am not responsible for anyone else, but I do have to live on this rather small planet with billions of others. Therefore I am invested in having a pleasant stay.
I’ve become particularly conscious of this as I represent The Rebuild Foundation. This week the ABC Australian Story focused on the mental health issues that TV man Adam Boland has faced. It caused quite a stir on the free to air channels which was interesting to watch until the commentators lost their sense of self-love and fell into a defensive mode. When I love myself I have a far greater opportunity to influence others in a positive way than when I lose my positive self regard.
5. It helps me to better understand the world. Now that I appreciate the importance of self-love I am able to recognise it (or spot the absence of it) in almost every encounter I have. I am so grateful to be around people who love themselves because they offer a shining example of the numerous traits I plan to develop in myself. People I may have tagged in the past as being egotistical, full of themselves, or cocky are the ones who may in fact leave this world a better place. My reaction to them says more about my own level of self love than it ever will about them as a person. Likewise, people who are bitter, angry or jealous for exmple, are probably missing some self love in their life. Perhaps they need a hug.
I’m going to keep this little list handy so that I can remind myself whenever I need a self-love refill. I’ve learnt by having this blog that sharing ideas is also a loving act so feel free to use the list however you feel it may help you too. Have a wonderful week xx