Why self-love is not what you think, and how to practice it
Relationships require commitment, and perhaps the relationship that requires the most commitment is the one you have with yourself.
Right at this moment I'm experiencing a deep sense of tiredness, low energy, and an all around feeling of "bleh." I also know that I haven't written any blog post today, nor have I gone to the gym yet. Those two things are my "non-negotiables" that I have with myself.
If I were to take a style approach, I could go back to sleep and never write anything. Or I could eat a bunch of tasty but unhealthy food to quickly change my state. Or I could keep lounging around and avoiding the things I have to do because I don't have the energy to tackle them.
All of these things would require less effort - that is, they'd be the easier thing to do. But would they be the best thing to do?
In contrast, I could also take the substance route and write this article, despite being tired, hungry, and feeling pretty bleh.
Luckily, I know this pattern and I know myself. I know that:
The longer I wait, the less likely I am going to do it later.
Even though I'm tired, I have the next hour free.
I can't let a momentary feeling get in the way of my promise to myself and the outside world.
All of these truths - which come from being self-aware - give me the push I need to sit down and crank something out.
And that's where self-love comes into play. You see, self-love is not pampering yourself with a hot bubble bath, roses, and champagne. That's fun but it's not real self-love. That's style self-love.
Substance self-love is when you keep the promises you made to yourself when you were by yourself. It's when you do what you know you need to do even though you don't feel like it. It's respecting yourself when you committed to doing something in the past. That's real self-love.
If you didn't show your significant other that kind of unwavering commitment, it wouldn't be long before they left. They wouldn't feel that sense of love you have towards them. So why deprive yourself of that love you have for yourself?
Even though I'm tired, hungry, and a bit cranky, I know that I made a commitment to write every single day, so I'm loving myself by sticking to that commitment. After this, I'm going to the gym because I know my mind and body crave that every day.
I'm still going to be tired and maybe a bit moody, but self-love is a question of rising above those feelings that don't serve us for any good, and getting in touch with what really matters - your commitment and relationship to yourself.
I hope you take the time to evaluate what commitments you have with yourself so you can start loving yourself a bit more each day.
What are your values? What do you stand behind? What have you committed to? Following through and staying true to all of these things is the best way you could ever love yourself, and ultimately be happy with the real you in there.
Live with substance!