Self-love. What do you think of when you hear those words?
If you’ve been around for a while, you may have heard a similar term used and promoted in the Hippie movement in the 1960-70’s–“Free Love.” Today, we’ve come to understand that self-love (not free-love–LOL!) is essential for everyone, and it can have a drastic impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
If you want to be truly happy in life, you must take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Focusing on self-love is key to finding happiness, and it’s essential to love yourself before you can truly love others.
Prerequisites of Self Love
Before you can practice self-love, however, there are some prerequisites you’ll need for success. These include:
- Acceptance of your faults.
- Compassion for yourself.
- Knowing the difference between what you want and need.
- Letting go of perfectionism.
- Being able to listen to yourself.
These are some of the most important prerequisites of self-love. Being able to accept your faults is especially vital.
Many people mistakenly believe that self-love is all about focusing on the positive. However, it means accepting yourself exactly as you are. You are aware of your weaknesses, and you love yourself regardless.
It is so important to be compassionate with yourself. We tend to be our own biggest critics. Think about how you usually talk about yourself in your head, then think about whether you would speak the same way to a friend. Chances are, you wouldn’t.
If you want to love yourself, you need to have self-compassion and learn to be your cheerleader rather than your critic.
Another misconception is that self-love means indulging in the things you love but aren’t necessarily good for you. Many people think it is more about giving yourself everything you want.
The truth is, self-love is more about giving the mind, body, and spirit what it needs, not what it wants.
For example, if a person is overweight, they may want to indulge in their favorite foods, but what they need is to start eating healthier. So, learning to focus on what they need and not what they want is essential.
Just as you overcome focusing on your faults, you need to let go of expectations of perfectionism.
Nobody is perfect, yet today’s society expects it. It can feel like there is a lot of pressure on you to be the perfect parent, friend, and partner. Studies have shown that striving for perfection isn’t just bad for your mental health, it can be bad for your physical health too.
So, if you want to provide yourself with self-love, you’re going to need to let go of perfectionism.
Finally, listen to yourself. It is easy to be influenced by the people around us. However, when you do things only for other people, you won’t be happy in the long term.
Self-love is about focusing on what you want and need. By developing the prerequisites for self-love, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.