Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. We treat ourselves more harshly and unreasonably than any other person, and are our own worst critic. This behavior can deprive us of enjoyment of any achievement and lead us to an anxious or depressed life.
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It’s time for some self-love!
What is self-love? It’s appreciation of our efforts and achievements. It is tolerating our human mistakes and criticizing ourselves constructively instead of ruminating on them as absolute failures.
It is setting appropriate boundaries in dealing with others. It is treating ourselves with the due respect and compassion that every human being deserves.
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If we show ourselves this respect and compassion, we will be able to seek out concrete improvements in our lives in response to setbacks. We will develop appropriate relationships with others. We will be ready to project tolerance and compassion and respect outward to other people.
A key practice in developing self-nurturing attitudes is mindfulness. Take time to pause in the moment and examine your feelings. Your feelings are real and should be respected. Recognize how you are feeling before acting on your feelings.
Probe the cause of your feelings.
Is there some need or cause creating these feelings in you? Why is it present? Examine the source of the feeling. Is it something positive or negative? If it is negative, what could you change about your situation to ease the feelings?
Sometimes we cannot readily find a cause for our intense feelings. Then is the time for a serious effort at detachment from our feelings, to refrain from acting out on the emotions. Just accept that this is a time of intense emotions, and if they do not seem to have a definite cause, they will ease with the passage of time. Be safe in your emotions.
Looking Critically At Ourselves
It is important not to feel guilty. We are all human, and we all can develop situations beyond our best intentions or plans. Mistakes will happen, and it is a measure of our worth and value that we can admit that something needs to change, and take a pause in our lives to seek that positive change.
It may be that positive change will be a gradual process, over time. For example, I’m seriously out of shape and sometimes that makes me upset to realize my limits. I can admit to the source of these feelings, and I need to commit to a long-term solution. There’s no point feeling guilty or angry at myself about it. I need to stay positive and focused on the long term.
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When we can approach our failings with that positive, constructive, and tolerant mindset, we are seriously better prepared to interact with others in a positive, constructive and tolerant way. We are prepared to create work, social, and romantic relationships on a sound footing based on self-respect and mutual caring.
Is Self-Love Narcissistic?
Some people think that too much self-love is destructive. Possibly so; I doubt anybody reading this is in danger of being too self-centered and preoccupied with approving themselves! Probably the reverse is true: that we are inclined to double down on bad feelings and negative thoughts and attack ourselves for having bad feelings and negative thoughts. Please, please be aware that our capacity to question ourselves and our feelings is the beginning of progress towards a better self!
You can do it! You deserve it and are worth the small effort needed!
You are beautiful!
Christopher Andrew Balsz
PLQ Contributor and Motivator