Self-Love is often mistaken with narcissism or having a big ego. But is that correct? Isn’t it more like having high regard for our own well-being and happiness, taking care of our needs? Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you think you are the best, most beautiful, smartest and s.o, but it means accepting yourself, who you are with your shortcomings and weaknesses. Self-Love means to give yourself (your body, brain and heart) what you need in order to survive life as long and as healthy as possible.
When we have Self-Love we accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, we don’t need so much to hide or explain our shortcomings, but we also don’t let pride overshadow our judgement; we have compassion for ourselves when we fail or face adversity; it is easier for us to find meaning in life and to live according to our values.
Self-love is important for a good life. It influences the image you project to other people (friends, colleagues, bosses, business partners) and thus influences your success both in terms of work and in terms of building good connections. The more self-love we have the more successful we are in those fields.
It is extremely helpful in times of adversity. The more self-love we have the better we cope with problems, failures, and loss.
Here is a practice for you to do the first thing when you wake up tomorrow. It is suggested by Shauna Shapiro, a Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University who works on mindfulness.
- When you wake up, place your hand on your heart. Focus on your palm and feel your heartbeat.
- Take breath, and say: Good morning, [your name] or Good morning, I love you, [your name].
- Notice how this makes you feel. See if you can bring kindness and curiosity to however you are feeling. There is no right or wrong way to feel.
- Trust that you are planting the seeds of presence and compassion for yourself and that these seeds will grow and strengthen your self-love.
If you create a habit of greeting yourself with love each morning, these first moments of the day can transform the rest of your day, your life, and the lives of others.
Watch how prof. Shauna Shapiro describes this practice (you can use the video subtitles and automatic translation, if needed): https://youtu.be/CqxNevDwMM4