January: Self Love Month

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Okay, so today we are winding down with our more introspective topics for January observances with something I feel most people would agree is important but not high on our “to do” lists, probably because it is one of those areas in life that require consistency and purpose on a daily basis, and that is Self Love. While researching, I really began to wonder why is it so hard for many of us? Here are my thoughts (for what it’s worth.)

It’s one of those dichotomies of the human race: We are innately selfish, we are naturally driven by “self.”  But for some reason when it comes to the “self” that involves overall evaluation or appraisal of one’s own worth (liking and loving our selves) the drive is almost non-existent. It is a struggle to survive at a minimal, let alone, a healthy level.

As I was thinking this, I was reminded of the “id” (as I can recall from Freshmen year Psychology 101 way back when, and I’m sure I have it all wrong, so don’t quote me!)  It’s like “id” versus “self-esteem.” The id is responsible for our basic drives and life instincts to survival: “It’s all about me” mentality. “I am,” “I want,” “I need” and I will do all I can to get what I want to survive comfortably. We may even walk on others, use others and sometimes abuse others for what we want or need to accomplish that. But for some reason that drive to survive in terms of our own personal worth and confidence lacks severely. The ability to assess our own worth with positive self-related affirmations and statements is something most people constantly struggle with. It does not appear to be a natural, innate drive as is that of the “id.” Okay enough of my interpretation of the psychic makeup of the human race 🙂

So, enter . . . Self Love Month:

Self Love, to me, is an umbrella phrase that encompasses self-esteem, self-image, self-concept, self-worth and self-care, and so on and so forth . . . During the month of January we are to focus on what is takes to develop a habit of giving ourselves positive affirmations to ensure a healthy “self.” 

I am sure we have all heard, or read, at some point the importance possessing these traits have in our lives. When when we can learn to love ourselves unconditionally and forgive ourselves of our mistakes, this fosters unconditional love and forgiving of others. This overflows into another aspect of our lives and that is, how you feel about yourself in turn has a lot to do with how others feel about you! Your perceptions of yourself has a lot to do with others perceptions of you.

It’s funny how many of us can feel guilty at times for showing a healthy confident esteem and self-love, and confuse it with being egotistic.  Nobody likes people who boast about themselves, therefore many of us tend to be very careful to be modest and self-effacing at every possible opportunity and minimize our accomplishments. We believe people should love us for who we are, not for what we do. I think we all feel that the person who is constantly talking about himself is not someone who is filled with self-love. He is more likely someone whose self-love and self-esteem is lacking and unhealthy. He feels the need to boast to boost it.

But to share one’s talents and gifts doesn’t require talking or boasting, and there is nothing wrong with being good at something and being recognized for it. I read somewhere that a flower wouldn’t refuse to bloom or a cat wouldn’t stop in the middle of an acrobatic leap out of concern that it might be considered showing off by others of its species, as it should be with us. When we realize our gifts and talents, and work and strive to develop them, we genuinely want to share and express them with others. It is not gratifying our own egos, but a generous act of sharing. 

I came across some sites that you might find interesting. I took this Self Esteem Quiz and actually scored lower on it than I should have. It might be food for thought to take the quiz and see where you are. Of course they offer some information and tips on things we can do to change things around and improve our self-esteem.I also came across this book, How do I love me, let me count the ways by Daylle Deanna Schwartz, (which by the way is free to download.) If you go to her website she also has given us a challenge, 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge, that you might want to participate in as well. We still have the rest of the month to chime in.

I am just including her list of 10 commandments of Self Love from her website, but if you want to visit her website for more information, click on the book title above, or the picture of her book cover below:

DAYLLE’S 10 COMMANDMENTS OF SELF-LOVE

1. I shall lovingly accept myself as I am right now.
2. I shall appreciate all the beauty that makes me who I am.
3. I shall regularly give thanks for all of my blessings.
4. I shall trust in my ability to take care of myself.
5. I shall not criticize myself.
6. I shall not criticize others.
7. I shall forgive myself when I make a mistake.
8. I shall be kind to others, without sacrificing my own needs.
9. I shall take responsibility for my life.
10. I shall love myself to the best of my ability.

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