The Self and the Other
Civil rights expert John A. Powell explores the delicate yet enduring cord between our spiritual ...
Many people feel like self-love is selfish. Can you relate? We live in a culture that tells us that going after what you want and focusing on yourself is selfish and egotistical. But the truth is, genuine self-love is not selfish at all, but rather a form of true care and compassion that we give ourselves and can then extend to others.
The way we feel about ourselves and the things we say to ourselves matter. Our feelings about ourselves and the quality of our self-talk impact every area of our lives, including how much money we make, how people perceive us, and the amount of happiness we’re able to feel.
When we don’t practice self-love, we’re more likely to be critical of ourselves and others and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionist tendencies. I know from personal experience that when we don’t love ourselves, we’re more likely to tolerate mistreatment from others. We may neglect our own needs and feelings because we don’t value ourselves nor put our worth in our ability to care and be there for others, which can lead to self-sabotage and making decisions that aren’t in our own best interests.
But when we truly love ourselves, we build healthier relationships with all of life. Self-love is the foundation that allows us to be assertive, set boundaries, and create healthy relationships with others. Self-love means that we accept ourselves as we are, treat ourselves with kindness and respect, and nurture our own growth and wellbeing.
The following are examples of what self-love can look like:
Saying positive things to yourself
Forgiving yourself and others
Being assertive and setting boundaries when necessary
Meeting your own needs first so you can show up for others
Prioritizing your mental and physical health and wellbeing
Spending time around people who support you and build you up (and avoiding people who don’t)
Asking for help and being open to receive it
Letting go of grudges
Recognizing your strengths and utilizing them
Valuing your feelings and sharing them with loved ones
Living in accordance with your values
Pursuing your interests and goals
Challenging yourself to grow and go past what you know
Accepting your imperfections
Setting realistic expectations
Acknowledging your progress and effort
Affirmations are one of the best self-love tools. When repeated regularly, you will most likely see a difference in how you feel about yourself. Self-love affirmations can help you build your self-esteem, release negative thoughts, and welcome in compassion.
I have loving compassion for all things to be as they are, where they are, starting with myself.
I don’t force things to fit or try to control the outcome; instead, I relax, release, and surrender into the flow of life.
I trust myself, my body, and my mind.
I am doing the best I can, and for today it is more than enough.
Out of all difficulties grow new beginnings. I trust the process.
I love who I am becoming and embrace all that I am.
I love my mind, body, and spirit.
I am a source of inspiration, love, and joy for myself and others.
I show up for myself in ways that I never have before.
I allow myself to express what I need to share. My needs are important.
I feel connected to my wellbeing and show up for myself daily.
I am empowered and alive. In this moment all is well.
Where I am going is far greater than where I have been.
My self-worth is not dependent on anything outside of me. I know I am enough just as I am.
I love the person that I am and the person I am becoming.
How I feel is more important than how I look.
I deserve better.
I am worth more than I have settled for.
My body is beautiful just the way it is. I nourish it and listen to its needs daily.
I have beautiful qualities to offer this world.
I follow my own heart, not the expectations of others.
I don’t chase—I attract. What belongs to me will simply find me.
My natural beauty is what makes me beautiful.
I deserve love, compassion, and empathy.
I am worthy of love. I am lovable. I am sourced from divine love.
You can repeat these affirmations throughout the day for inner guidance, support, and love.
These affirmations are inspired from my book The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself.
Stay calm with these affirmations for anxiety relief.
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