Self-Love is My First Love

A relationship is a vessel in which entities harmoniously connect; the absolute best one to indulge in is [with self].

Healthy relationships with others are the byproduct of that which you build with you — and is indicative of self-love.

Furthermore, it’s impossible to truly love, serve, or care for anyone else without having come to a space of unconditionally loving you. With this in mind, I have been centering all of my decisions based on loving self, first and foremost.

Self Assessment

Introspection is a key to loving self. With that being said, whenever I come up against any situation or decision that needs to be made, I ask myself…

How should I handle this?

Then, I take the path of least resistance, rather than the scenic route. You know the route where you encounter sh^tty experiences that teach you what NOT to do moving forward. 

Self-Love Isn't All About Selfishness

The phrase self-love is often faced with negative criticism by those that lack understanding of its logic. Much like anything else that is inevitably written off because it’s misunderstood.

To some, the words  “loving self,” or self-love awakens a perception of self-centeredness or selfishness. However, self-love is neither of these things. As a matter of fact, the presence of self-love is what makes selflessness practicable. 

Loving Self

What exactly is self-love?

According to Andrea Brandt, a  psychotherapist, psychologist, marriage counselor, and anger management therapist based in California,

“Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love is the refusal to settle for less than you deserve.”

The issue with a lot of us is that we neglect loving ourselves and contour our decisions—and sometimes our entire life to please everyone but ourselves. Because of this, we journey down a path that essentially leads us to a place of unrealistic expectations of others. 

In other words, don’t assume that everyone’s love will resemble your own. With this in mind, it is imperative to understand that their foundational structure of love (or love language) is uniquely theirs—and should be treated as such. 

Affirming, Not Condemning Self

Professors Neff and Germer go a little further in defining self-love. They suggest that self-love or self-kindness includes being warm and understanding with ourselves. Especially, in instances where we are suffering, failing, or experiencing feelings of inadequacy. Instead of, whipping ourselves with negative self-criticism.

As an illustration, we’ve all said, “I’m more critical of myself than anyone.” Be that as it may, from a personal accountability perspective, this can be a useful tool when used correctly. On the other hand, many of us do not self-reflect with the intent of ownership that evolves into self-growth.  Instead, we self-condemn, and self-criticize to our own detriment.

" Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. It also means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love is the refusal to settle for less than you deserve. ”

Andrea Brandt Ph.D., MFT

Neglecting Self-love

Christine Aryolo, of Huffington Post, shares a number of symptoms of a lack of self-love that are sobering and will cause us to look within…

When we are feeling knackered and overwhelmed, it may very well be the fruit of a deficiency of self-care and diminished self-worth.

When we get trapped in unhealthy or unstable relationships, this is a strong sign of weak self-honor, a lack of self-respect, low self-honesty, and the absence of healthy self-trust.

Having a strong sense of guilt when we are not working or doing something that we consider productive. This is due to a deficiency of self-pleasure and a lack of self-worth.

Feeling as though we are anchored to a job that can no longer provide growth. Or, constantly doubting ourselves — is a sign of sub-standard self-empowerment and self-expression.

When we have low self-acceptance and self-compassion we are constantly comparing and critically judging others. Also, we are extremely critical of ourselves. 

Criticism and/or obsession over aspects of our body that we deem unattractive reveals the presence of low-self-acceptance. 

Settling in relationships that are unhealthy enable low self-esteem, lack of self-empowerment, and self-worth.

Making decisions that we will inevitably regret. Or, placing ourselves in situations where we are giving extensively without establishing boundaries. 

Feelings of being unlovable, unworthy, and inferior.

Constantly pressuring ourselves to do and achieve more, instead of celebrating small and large victories.

" What type of language do you use with yourself when you notice a flaw or make a mistake? Do you insult yourself or do you take a more kind and understanding tone? If you are highly self-critical, how does that make you feel inside? "

Loving Self by Focusing on Self-love

Increase Our Mindfulness

Become more mindful of our personal desires and dreams instead of focusing on what others think and want.

Act on Our Needs

Self-love is manifested when choosing things that are in line with what we need rather than that which brings temporary pleasure or satisfies desires.

Taking Care of Ourselves

When we diligently cater to our basic needs, we will feel better about ourselves. Additionally, exercise healthy practices such as proper nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy intimate and social interactions.

Establish and Maintain Boundaries

It is important that we know our limits in every facet of life. Also, Stoping ourselves and others from shutting their eyes to them.

Protecting Our Energy

Do not allow people into our space or life whose objective is to ultimately distract us with disharmony. 

Remember to Forgive Yourself

As noted earlier, we often build up resentment and are overly critical of ourselves because of past mistakes. We should always remember, making mistakes is inherently human. The key is learning to reflect on the decisions we’ve made, learn from them going forward, and do our best to not repeat them.


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Live Life with Purpose

When we live our lives with intent and diligent design, we will be more accepting and loving of ourselves.

As a matter of fact, when we acquire purpose in our lives, we will align all our activities to fulfilling this purpose. In effect, this will lead to a much more enriched existence.

Altogether, we should always remember loving self is the first and the most critical task in positioning ourselves for a fulfilling life. We can do this by making it our daily mission to ensure the person in the mirror is happy overall.

Our Series on Self-Love Will Be Ongoing
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    What type of language do you use with yourself when you notice a flaw or make a mistake? Do you insult yourself or do you take a more kind and understanding tone? 

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