SELF LOVE – How Do You Like You So Far? , WOMEN in RECOVERY

How Do You Like You So Far? 

…. that is the question!

 

In 1956 psychologist and social philosopher Erich Fromm proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric.
 
He proposed that loving oneself means caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses).
 
He proposed, further, that in order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.

To have faith means to dare, to think the unthinkable, yet to act within the limits of the realistically possible; it is the paradoxical hope to expect the Messiah every day, yet not to lose heart when he has not come at the appointed hour.

This hope is not passive and it is not patient; on the contrary, it is impatient an active, looking for every possibility of action within the realm of real possibilities. Least of all it is passive as far as the growth and liberation of one’s own person are concerned….

The situation of mankind is too serious to permit us to listen to the demagogues – least of all demagogues who are attracted to destruction – or even to the leaders who use only their brains and whose hearts have hardened. Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with – the love of life. Erich Fromm (1973) The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, page 438

Self-esteem is a term in psychology to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent”, “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame.

‘The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, the positive or negative evaluation of the self, is how we feel about it’.[2] A person’s self-concept consists of the beliefs one has about oneself, one’s self-perception, or, as Hamlyn (1983: 241) expresses it, “the picture of oneself”.

Baumeister (1997) described self-concept as totally perception which people hold about him/ herself (p. 681). It is not the “facts” about one-self but rather what one believes to be true about one-self (Sarah Mercer, p. 14). Early researchers used self-concept as a descriptive construct, such as ‘I am an athlete’ (Rosenberg 1979).

Recent theories adapted self-esteem with more evaluative statements like ‘I am good at tennis’ (Harter 1996). The latter statement not only describes the self, as the individual identifies herself or himself, but evaluates the self by putting worthiness on it. Therefore, self-esteem is defined as both descriptive and evaluative self-related statements.

As a social psychological construct, self-esteem is attractive because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of relevant outcomes, such as academic achievement (Marsh 1990) or exercise behavior (Hagger et al. 1998).

In addition, self-esteem has also been treated as an important outcome due to its close relation with psychological well-being (Marsh 1989). Self-concept (i.e. self-esteem) is widely believed to be composed of more than just perceived competence, and this leads to the relative degree of evaluative and cognitive beliefs of the construct.

Self-esteem is viewed as the most evaluative and affective of the three constructs (Harter, 1999a). Overlay, self-concept is considered as the beliefs about perceived competence and self-evaluative in a specific domain.

Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, “I believe I am a good writer and I feel happy about that”) or have global extent (for example, “I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general”).

Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (“trait” self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (“state” self-esteem) also exist.

Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include:

  • self-worth
  • self-regard
  • self-respect
  • self-integrity

According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, “self-love” is “the instinct or desire to promote one’s well-being”.

When you make a decision to love yourself, you are really saying that you want to come alive. You accept that you are responsible for the outcomes that you experience in your life and would like yourself to shine from living a fulfilling life.

So if you’ve decided on loving yourself but are as equally stumped on how to love yourself, as I was back then, here are 17 ways which I believe can be helpful:

1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about what makes you You. Just like a flower that needs watering to grow, learn to nurture yourself in every way. Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect. This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings; instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your “flaws”. Look in the mirror and fall in love with the reflection that is You.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
Oscar Wilde quotes (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

2. Eliminate Self Criticism. Do you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing? Is there a little voice inside your head that often tells you that you are no good because you are stupid or make mistakes. If you find that you criticize yourself often, make an effort to stop the self criticism.

“I CAN is 100 times more important than IQ.” — unknown

3. Be Kind And Positive. When you start to think kindly and positively about yourself, the love you have for yourself just grows. Make it a habit to praise yourself everyday, while in the front of the mirror. Because of such thoughts, you naturally undertake empowering actions that support your development.

4. Acknowledge Your Effort. It is not always about winning or coming up tops in everything that you do. Many times, it is the effort that counts! Acknowledge that you have done your best, even if you have failed to produce tangible results.

5. Let Go Of Worry. Loving yourself requires you to let go of your worry. It is a horrible way to live a life filled with constant worrying. I can attest to that! Worry does not help in any way. It cannot, on its own, make things happen. Only wise actions can! So instead of worrying, spend time thinking about what you can do to help in the situation. If the situation is beyond your control, then make a request to the Universe/God about what you want. Next, surrender your outcome.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

— Epictetus quotes (Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)

6. Trust Yourself. Have confidence in your abilities. Know that you have the ability to make important changes for yourself, for as long as you put your heart to it. You can also support yourself by visualizing desired outcomes.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
Benjamin Spock quotes (American Pediatrician and Author, 1903-1998)

7. Forgive Yourself. If you have made mistakes in the past that had caused you to feel less worthy, then you need to forgive yourself. All of us make mistakes; so there really is no need to beat yourself up over them. Also, if you have been carrying around a baggage of emotional hurt because of a childhood trauma, learn to forgive yourself.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lewis B. Smedes quotes

8. Be Truthful To Yourself. Loving yourself requires you to be truthful about your own feelings. If you are happy, acknowledge the joy. If you are sad, acknowledge the sorrow. When you are truthful about your feelings, you do not try to lie to yourself or seek to bury your negative emotions. Instead, acknowledging what you feel provides a good guide to what your thoughts are. And as we all know, thoughts can be changed, so that healing and self growth can take place.

9. Grow Spiritually. When you spend time growing spiritually, loving yourself becomes automatic. You become more peaceful, connected, kind, loving and compassionate. You nurture a mind that grows more beautiful by the day. You naturally love yourself in the process.

10. Make Positive Affirmations Everyday. Reframe your mind with positive affirmations. For instance, say this to yourself “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.” Read your affirmations out loud several times a day.

11. Express Gratitude. Express gratitude for the person that you are. For instance, cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Also, feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.

12. Nurture Your Dreams. Why deny yourself your dreams? When you nurture your dreams, you would love the life that you are leading. Every moment that you live is a joy because you are expressing yourself fully.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  —Mark Twain

13. Boost Your Self Confidence. Make a deliberate attempt to look for opportunities that can help improve your confidence. For instance, if you are particularly good at doing something, set aside more time to indulge and improve your skills on it. Knowing that you have particular gifts can boost your self esteem.

14. Relax. Give yourself space to take breaks every now and then. If you spend your time working, without paying attention to your health, it also means that you do not love yourself well enough to take care of your own body. Fill your time with silence, soothing music and visions of beauty; anything that nourishes your Soul.

15. Have Fun. Inject some fun into your life. Life is meant to be an enjoyable. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. If you can think of life in this manner, you automatically relax and quit worrying over things that do not matter.

16. Look After Your Body. It is important that you strengthen yourself with proper nutrition and regular exercise. Your body is a temple and you should treat it with respect, love and care. It has been found that the lack of self love is often the root causes of conditions like eating disorders, obesity or even terminal diseases.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Jim Rohn quotes (American Speaker and Author. He is famous for motivational audio programs for Business and Life. )

17. Learn To See Beauty. When you learn to see beauty in every thing, you will also see beauty in yourself. Hence, stop to smell the flowers. Notice everything. Feel everything. The pink blush of the flowers in your garden, the greenness of the plains, the whisper of the gentle wind, or the myriad hues of an evening sky.
 

Here is a good affirmation to read and reflect on…..

“I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.

Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.

I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

Denis2005 Virginia Satir quotes (American Psychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)

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