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Self-Love, a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Mini love lesson #185
FREE, over 200 Mini-Love-Lessons touching the lives of thousands in over 190 countries – worldwide

Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson helps you look at how unknowingly you may have been subconsciously infected by destructive teachings about self-love and much more.

What They Say about Self-Love

“You can’t let people think you love yourself.  If you do they will think you are conceited, you have the big head and are stuck up.  Then no one ever will like you or want you around”.  Did you ever hear anything like that as a kid?  Did you ever think anything like that about yourself?  How about this: “You can’t love somebody else until you first love yourself”?.  I hear that idea about once a week from different people.  Then there is “self-love leads to becoming a sex pervert”.  Of course, there also is the great commandment or admonition “love others as you love yourself”.  Have you ever wondered what that “love yourself” part is all about?

Do these contradictory statements about self-love confuse you, or cause any inner conflict or have you just never given any of that much thought?  Whatever is in your subconscious mind about self-love – contradictory or not –  could be having a surprisingly big but hard to see influence on how well you do in life.  It especially could effect your success at love relationships.  Self-love has been found to be a big factor in love of others, work success or failure, the harmony or lack of it in child raising, general health, victory or defeat in any endeavor, defense against stress illnesses, resilience in overcoming setbacks and how much good you do or don’t do others.  So that we can really understand the issues involved in self-love, let’s briefly look at a few of its surprising and intriguing development issues.

How Did Self-Love Get Such a Bad Thing Reputation?

It is the government’s fault.  Does that surprise you?  You see, a major source of anti-self-love propaganda was put out to support the form of autocratic government known as monarchy.  That propaganda effort has been going on for several thousand years and continues to this day.  Historically, self-love was thought to encourage people to be for themselves instead of living for and in obedience to their liege lord, or monarch.

Self-love also was seen as a social order disruptor.  That is because self-love leads to individuality and that leads to being uppity or trying to raise yourself above your preordained, proper place and station in life.  Everyone keeping in their place in the order of things was understood to be the basis of social stability and collective safety.  Self-love meant self interest might prevail over the interests of authority.  It was greatly feared that self-love could even help lead to that horrible thing known as democracy.  By the way, that is why marrying for love never had much of a chance until America got invented.

The Royals and the priests of ancient Greece used religion to teach that the one thing the gods could not tolerate was human pride.  Apparently that was because prideful people could get uppity and in doing so might challenge and maybe even overthrow the gods and the Royals.  The early church seems to have picked up on this, joined in with the first Christian Emperor, Constantine, and has been, off and on, condemning self-love as a dangerous sin threatening authority and the orderly functioning of society ever since.

Words & Terms Used to Effect Your Thinking about Self-Love

Here are two lists of some of the words and terms that may have gotten into your mind and the minds of those you care about concerning self-love.  In the first list the words tend to carry negative connotations and trigger negative feelings about self-love.  The second list is more positive and represents more recent influences and understandings related to self-love.  Notice what you feel as well as what you think while you read each word or term.  That can help you ascertain how you may have been influenced or programmed to react concerning self-love.

Self-love has been called antisocial, alienating, conceited, disobedient, egocentric, egotistical, heresy, hedonistic, indulgent, jealous, narcissistic, non-empathetic, prideful, selfish, sinful, self-centered, self exulting, self-important, self interested, sociopathic, subversive, stuck up, uncaring, ungodly, uncharitable, and vain.  Is it any of these things to you?  Was it any of these things to the people who raised you?  Is it any of these things to the people who are important in your life now?

In recent years in many more modern circles, self-love has begun to be seen in a much more positive light.  Healthy, real self-love has been called autonomy assistive, altruistically beneficial, balancing, charity inspiring, constructive, confidence building, contributory, democratic, empowering, energizing, ego supportive, enlightening, emotionally healthy, freeing, good parent modeling, honest, individualistic, individuation fueling, mentally healthy, pride making, protective, resilient, socially beneficial, self caring, self honoring and self strengthening.

Can you see how healthy, real self-love can be helpful to each of these factors in a person?  Is it reasonable to you that each of these factors may be elements of self-love or its result?  Does it seem right to you to conclude that self-love is something you and everyone else would do well to have lots of?

Healthy Self-Love Against the Problems and Deficiencies of Today

Millions are in counseling or therapy today because they suffer from crippling low self-esteem, inadequate self-confidence, poor self-concept, inferiority fears, feelings and complexes, issues of deficient self worth, self limitation syndromes and the like.  Still millions more would do well to become engaged in counseling or therapy for the same reasons.

Then there are millions more suffering from overcompensation reactions to the same problems and that is what leads to narcissism, arrogance and the like.  Let me also mention those who are lost in escapist patterns of addictions stemming from the same root sources.  Then also there are all the millions of children, spouses and families ill effected by those who suffer from these same causes.

Developing sufficient, healthy, real self-love is seen by many mental health professionals as the cure, or at least part of the cure, for all this.  Alienation, debilitating isolation, love starvation and a lot of other problems can and frequently are made better by healthy, self-love development via love infused therapy.  That at least is the growing clinical conclusion being drawn from the new understandings of what healthy, real self-love actually is all about.

For Growing Healthy, Real Self-Love, Consider Doing These 3 Things

If you or anyone you know or care about seems to suffer from any of the maladies mentioned above, consider these actions:

First, read, study and put into practice what you learn from the following list of mini-love-lessons on self-love found at this site.  It might be best to read them in the order given but it’s okay to do it otherwise.

0.  Self-Love, a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? (You are doing this one)
1.  Self-Love – What Is It?
2.  Self-Love and 12 Reasons to Develop It
3.  Number 51: Your Super Tool for Healthy Self-Love
4.  Unselfish Self-Love
5.  Self-Love and Its Five Healthy Functions
6.  Self-Love the Enemy of Egotism
7.  Self-Affirmation for Healthy Self-Love
8.  Self Talk for Improving Love

By doing these additional, eight, brief mini-love-lessons on self-love, in effect you will have taken a short course on self-love and how to grow it.  There is lots more to learn but though I’m biased I say that is a great start.  These mini-love-lesson teachings on self-love have been known to help a great number of people to start and improve the way they grow their own healthy self-love.  Hopefully you can do the same.

Second, consider finding a good, love knowledgeable counselor, therapist, personal coach or mentor.  Then work with them on a regular basis focusing on the development of healthy, real self-love.  This can be done in individual or group sessions and sometimes quite well at personal growth workshops, special retreats and seminars.  But be careful.  We suggest you get user references before you select because quality can vary greatly.

Third, nothing helps you learn something like teaching it.  Leading a discussion group, a reading club, or facilitating a self-study class or giving an out right class on healthy, real self-love or something similar likely will put you in touch with a lot of fine people and help you really get this super important, life-changing knowledge.  You also informally can do something like introducing and talking over these self-love topics with friends, family, workmates or whoever.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question: Seriously, how often is your self-love an active part of your everyday life?

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