Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson covers what self-love means and does not mean; a list of 12 of the many things healthy self-love helps us do; and how to work and grow using this list.
What Self-Love MeansHealthy, real self-love means you highly value, honor and enjoying the unique bundle of miracles that you are, and that you have been since birth.
Self-love means because you highly honor your own essence and your individual shaping by life, you treat yourself well respecting the one-of-a-kind self you are. Therefore, you are prone to act to safeguard and develop your gifts and appreciate your unique nature. Self-love also can mean that you powerfully strive to thrive, live with vitality, delight in your natural self, and that you can be in awe of your own, miraculous, natural processes.
Self-love can mean you actively desire and work for your own well-being and strive to be your best self, not only for yourself but for those you love and care about. You do that partially because the well-being of others, in a sense, selfishly means a great deal to you. Self-love also can mean that you take healthful pleasure in the many ways you are built to experience pleasure and share pleasure. Self-love also can mean that you work against the anti-self-love teachings, programming, and influences that come into your life that would rob you of your strengths, restrict use of your talents, and deprive you of becoming the best self you can become. Self-love also means that you act toward yourself, feel toward yourself and think about yourself in the ways that are in accord with the definition of love offered at this site.
What Healthy Self-Love Does Not MeanHealthy self-love does not mean becoming uncaring, ungenerous, mean, stingy, greedy, egotistical, covetous, uncharitable, miserly, narcissistic, hedonistic, sociopathic or self-absorbed. In fact it means quite the opposite of those things. That’s because healthy self-love leads to more and better love of others.
You see, when you love yourself healthfully you have the selfish desire to see your loved ones do well, and that leads you to act for their benefit. Their benefit is your benefit. It is those who are poor in self-love that go ‘out of balance’ and become stingy, destructively selfish, mean-spirited, etc. Healthy self-love helps you live by the ancient wisdom which says “Love Others As You Love Yourself”.
What Healthy Self-Love Helps You To:1. Believe that the love you have to offer others is good and, therefore, you offer it more
2. Have a self generating source of energy and power to get through hard times when no one else is giving you their love
3. Have greater self-confidence and, therefore, accomplish more
4. Have greater self-reliance and, therefore, be less dependent
5. Develop more adult maturity so you can emotionally take care of yourself rather than be like a ‘needy child’ who must be taken care of
6. Be free to ‘want love’ instead of living in a state of ‘need love’ like a weak and needy person more susceptible to false love addiction
7. Become more ‘inner self-directed’ than ‘outer other-directed’ and, therefore, live more true to yourself, rather than betraying yourself for the approval and acceptance of others, or rather than becoming dutifully or slavishly conformist
8. Enjoy the praise, thanks and compliments that come from others, rather than automatically discounting them, or being suspicious of them, or becoming addicted to them
9. Become motivated to take care of yourself so that you have more to offer both to yourself and others, instead of needlessly sacrificing and wasting yourself
10. Be careful that the love that’s coming to you is of good quality, instead of taking anything you can get (which includes phony love, contaminated love and love substitutes)
11. Open yourself up to love chances, opportunities and adventures, instead of being overly protective or defensive about the love you have and, thereby, letting lots more love in
12. Love life, love others and all that can be loved much more freely because you keep enough of your heart full through healthy self-loving to be able to give a lot
Working and Growing with This ListAs a sort of homework to help grow your healthy self-love, you might consider doing these things. Go back over the 12 items seeing which ones ‘grab’ your attention the most. It is rather likely that those are the ones that it would be really good for you to examine closely and see if they point to areas you might want to make improvements in. Are there any of the above items that cause you any level of discomfort or disturbance? If so, that may represent some area you perhaps are vulnerable in and which needs some strengthening.
Are any of the above items more puzzling, confusing, confounding or curiosity generating? Those, in particular, may (with study) yield clues pointing to areas you might want to and need to explore further. When working on healthy self-love many people make really good gains by journaling about their learning and growing healthy self-love, and you might want to do the same.
As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
♥ Love Success Question
Do you know the difference between when you are being healthfully self loving and when you are being destructively selfish, arrogant, conceited, haughty, contemptuous, scornful etc.?