Do You Love Yourself?
February is the month for love, relationship love, that is. But what about self-love… Do you, love yourself? And do you treat yourself with the same compassion you show your best friend or even a stranger? And if not, why?
“Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.”
As I’ve discovered in my own life journey, self-love and compassion make healing of any kind easier. Whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, loving kindness and compassion are always the answer. If a client requires more than one hypnosis session, typically I either start or finish with a script based on self-love. Heck, I might even slip it into every script just for good measure, doesn’t hurt.
I know firsthand that self-love helps you move on from old toxic relationships and previous traumas with ease and grace. If you are constantly judging yourself for who you were, you’ll have a hard time seeing yourself for who you’ve become. Sometimes the toxic relationship you have to let go of, is with your past self. Compassion allows you to embrace who you were like a good friend, understanding that you were someone doing their best with the tools they had at the time, often a child. I personally imagine my wounded younger version sitting with me, I embrace her, I give her my time, I listen to what she needs and talk to her in a kind, concerned and caring way. I truly forgive her for not knowing any better.
Let’s begin with self-love?”
According to Dr. Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us, adds Dr. Khoshaba. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our shortcomings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts. It is about valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect.”
“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” Alan Cohen
And just to clarify, self-love isn’t the same as narcissism, they are two very different concepts. Self-love is taking pride in your performance and achievements, feeling worthy, validating your needs and loving yourself without obsessively comparing yourself to others, craving external constant validation or judging others. When you love yourself you know it’s ok to doubt yourself from time to time. When you truly love yourself you are self-focused, while narcissists are other-focused, they are always busy comparing and judging themselves to others.
“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.”
And what is self-compassion?
Self-compassion according to Dr. Kristin Neff N.D. “is being kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings.” What that means is that when times are tough you treat yourself the same way you would a friend, with empathy, loving kindness (aka self-love) and understanding.
“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” Robert Morely
According to research the 3 main components of self-compassion are:
1. Self-kindness (aka self-love)
a. Accepting yourself flaws and all
b. Being understanding and supportive when you make a mistake
i. You’re human and a mistake is a learning opportunity
c. Refraining from self-judgment
d. Treating yourself with patients
e. Recognizing your unconditional worth even when you fall short of YOUR OWN
f. A great place to find useful information and resources is Michelle Chalfant’s
2. Common humanity
a. Having a connection with others rather than seeing yourself as separate from
a. Metta translates into Loving Kindness; the following is a meditation by Davidji on
the topic of Loving Kindness: https://youtu.be/dI0FDys1k2U
Those with low self-compassion tend to avoid their problems, have more ruminating negative thoughts and feelings, and have a higher chance of suffering from chronic depression. Having self-compassion allows us to cope better when a negative situation presents its self or when we slip into normal situational depression, because shit happens.
The Benefits of Self-Compassion and self-love:
· Greater happiness
· More optimism
· More positive moods
· A greater sense of wisdom
· More motivation and willingness to take initiative
· Increased curiosity, learning, and exploration
· More agreeable
· More conscientiousness
You may also find the following TEDx talk by Kristin Neff interesting:
The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff at TEDxCentennialParkWomen https://youtu.be/IvtZBUSplr4
If you have any questions on how hypnosis can help you build a more loving and compassionate relationship with yourself contact me for a FREE ½ Zoom Consultation.