What's #SelfLove got to do with it?

It’s safe to say the cupid adorned V-Day bandwagon is fading off into the horizon for another year. Clinton’s shelves have now filled with Mother’s Day cards and sad looking roses poking out of bins are no more.

Like many, I have an issue with the Western world’s annual commercialisation of the most sacred human emotion. But also over the last few years, February has become a month where I reflect on how much I love myself, and how well I am expressing that love.

Why? Because Self Love matters. When I became single in 2014 I realised I needed to step up to the plate and start giving myself the love I needed. I also realised that one of the reasons my last relationship broke down was because I'd forgotten about my responsility to love me.

If you don't love yourself, how can you give love to, and receive love from, others?

Self Love means many different things to different people. To explore it's meaning we ran a Self Love Masterclass last Saturday. As a sort of positive, holistic rebellion against commercial, plasticky Valentine's Day!

We had beautiful roses (thanks to Sarah Waite!) and homebaked heart-shaped muffins. We had mindful, open, honest conversations about the complexities of Self Love, what it means to us and our personal struggles with it.

So what is Self Love?

There are so many interpretations. I trawled the Internet for a definition that summed up my personal take on the topic before the session. I found this one resonated with me:

“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”

- Deborah Khoshaba via psychologytoday.com

I like how holistic this definition is, and that it's action-focused. You’ve likely heard before that love is a verb. So it makes sense that so too is Self-Love - it’s nothing if we are not doing it.

Opinions in the room last Saturday reflected the variety I found online: generosity towards oneself; a learning journey & process; requiring an initial sacrifice & deferred gratification; accepting yourself and many others.

Self Love is necessary for happy & healthy living and is not at all easy to action. It is also a personal, non-homogenous, internal and conscious experience. It's different for everyone.

Sometimes it's easier to start with what something isn't. We spoke about what Self Love is not. Thoughts included: it isn’t short-term; self critical; narcissism; beating yourself up; sweeping statements i.e. ‘You always…’ or other generalisations made about you.

Self Love is not achieved by buying and consuming products or services such as food, beauty products or luxury items. And it is not based on our personal achievements or how loved or cared for we are by others.

So, over to you. What’s your personal understanding of Self Love? And what isn’t it? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.

My next blog will introduce the 'A, B, C of Self Love' model that I have created to enable more open, exploratory discussions about Self Love.

Naomi

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*A Love Less Ordinary Wanted - a Self Love Masterclass* was our second #LessOrdinaryLife event of 2016.

Tickets for our next #LessOrdinaryLife Masterclass: *GOAL GETTERS – A Goal Setting Masterclass* are now on sale here.