In personal development, we hear certain wisdoms, phrases and pieces of advice time and time again. But do we know what they look like practically?
It’s one thing to understand something at an intellectual level, it’s another thing to actually live it.
Self love is one such phrase. We’ve heard it often, but do we really know what self-love looks or feels like? What are some of the thoughts and behaviours that become your proof that you practice self-love?
Living self love means:
- You seek out and nurture friendships that nourish both parties.
Hanging around with a “friend” you don’t really like? Got a “friend” you’re often complaining about? That’s inauthentic and keeping it going is not self-love.
- You choose uplifting and evolving intimate relationships.
Is there a consistent unhappiness in your relationship? Is one of you always chasing the other to spend more time together? Is one person giving a lot more than they are receiving? That’s not self-love.
- You prioritise activities that bring you joy.
This is not the “duty and obligation” stuff. I mean hobbies and passions. They’re an opportunity to exercise a different part of your brain, have fun and reconnect with your innate gifts like drawing. It also informs other parts of your life including your work.
- Taking time off for R&R
You are not an automaton. Organising days off is not a crime. And trust me, your team at work will get on without you.
- Being careful with who you allow into your life. We’ve all been hurt or burned by someone, but if this keeps happening it’s time to re-assess how you choose friends and partners. Being open is not equal to allowing just anyone into your life.
- You take care of your spirit, your body and mind. All 3 matter.
You may be very smart, but how’s your spirit? Do the books you read and the TV shows you watch nourish or drain you? Personal experience with a certain TV show left me feeling down & discouraged for no apparent reason (it wasn’t until someone else told me he was experiencing the same thing that we realised “we need to stop watching this show!”). Still smoking? Oh boy, time to stop that one!
- Finding the kind of job/life purpose that is good for you. You’re there 5, sometimes 6, days a week – make it count. Make it worthwhile.
- Doing personal development work to help you evolve. Movement is key. It’s disheartening when we know we’re stagnating somewhere in life. Can you look back and reward yourself for how far you’ve come?
Consequences of self-love include not being needy, expecting others to give you the love you’d like. You also start to understand and appreciate the difference between “loneliness” and “aloneness”. The latter is a comfort with spending time in your own company.
Self-love is not:
- Being nice for the sole purpose of not looking bad – that’s inauthentic.
- Buying alot of “things” (especially if you can’t really afford it!) just to make you feel good. The feeling doesn’t last long.
- Duty and obligation (being a “good girl” or a “good boy”) that leads to resenting others.
- Complaining but not taking action to change your situation. That’s called – being invested in the drama.
- Being selfish. There’s a qualitative difference. Eking out the time and space to take care of yourself is different to being self absorbed.
- Being closed in the name of protecting yourself. The thing with having a protective shell is, even the good folk can’t get in and contribute to your life.
Both lists could go on forever. We all have quirky ways we can live self-love.
Take the time to really learn the practical expression of the words of wisdom we see in the personal development space. You don’t want to just say them in your head or know of them.
Living them is where you want to be.
Got something to share? Leave a comment so that someone else can learn from you!