You will hear several psychologists and humanists stress upon the importance of loving oneself. Sounds selfish, doesn’t it? However in reality, loving yourself is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of connecting with yourself and others. Loving yourself differs from the concept of narcissism and it helps you reap the many benefits of life.
The Exact Meaning of Loving Oneself
Breaking it down to its very basic, loving one self indicates a state where one has unconditional positive regard for the self. This means that you learn to accept the self, forgive the self, be nurturing and kind towards oneself. When you provide yourself with an unconditional positive regard, you learn to ward off the negative energies that come from other people or any outside source. Hence, you become your own strength. Besides, when you accept yourself, you learn to just ‘be yourself.’ You know how John Mason said ‘You were born an original, don’t die a copy.’ That’s how you don’t die a copy, by loving yourself.
Strengthening the Connection with Self and Others
You are one with yourself. Imagine the feeling in the following manner- your soul, your identity, your physical presence and your thought process are all in sync. They perfectly overlap and you literally experience being one with yourself. When this happens you are better connected with yourself. You understand better your feelings, emotions, likes, dislikes, fears and much more about yourself. It will be like you are analyzing yourself through a depersonalized experience. It will feel great because you will fully understand yourself without being critical or self judgmental.
When you connect well with yourself and understand how your own mind works, you will be able to solve your problems and handle your distress and magnify your happiness and manage your health. You will know how to live. Alongside this you will also understand how to ‘let live’. When you can take care of yourself and look after yourself, it makes you capable of looking after others and taking care of them as well. Put yourself first, because in the long run this will be a beneficial factor for every relationship in life.
This is not a Selfish act
Putting yourself first or loving yourself is really not a selfish act. In reality it shows that you are always looking at yourself with a thoughtful eye. Loving the self unconditionally does not mean that you overlook the negatives that are in you. When you put yourself first, you also take a quick and deep glance at your weaknesses and your negative side and accept it. When you accept the negative side, it helps you understand and look for ways of improvement.
Here is an example to help show you how this is not a selfish act. Imagine that you are working with a group of five other people for a project. Everyone has a unique perspective but you are all working towards a similar goal. On the day of the presentation you make a blunder and that causes your team to lose marks. At this point, two things can happen: you will find every possible way to engage in a blame game and shrug off the responsibility. Or you will take the responsibility, accept the blunder and make a sincere apology to your fellow group members.
When you try to sneak away from the blame and the responsibility, you act in a selfish manner. You try to bounce off any negativity or criticism that comes towards you because you don’t want to shake your sense of self. Additionally, this is how a narcissist individual would react. By not taking responsibility you show that you don’t accept yourself in the face of mistakes. Additionally you fail to connect well with others also. Therefore, you don’t love yourself and you stop others from even liking you.
However, if you accept the blunder and make an apology, that shows that you understand yourself and you are accepting of yourself and have a willingness to bringing improvements. Telling yourself that you are a human and are prone to making errors also shows that you have no unrealistic and inflated sense of self. Rather it shows how grounded and close to reality you are. Additionally, when you are sincere with others, they are likely to connect on a better level with you.
The Many Benefits of loving yourself
Take a moment to count the benefits that have been mentioned above. You will be more congruent and mentally healthy and more emotionally connected with the self and others. In addition to all this you will be able to benefit and reach the highest level of existence:
This is one of the highest and exalted levels of feeling that can be achieved by an individual. This puts forward a state where one manages to feel above the worldly affairs. This means that you will not feel low when someone fights with you over a petty issue. You will not feel the need to please anyone or set unrealistic goals for yourself. You will feel content with how you are and who you are. You will, in literal words, be above the rest.
However, this in no way means that you turn a condescending eye towards others. This will just indicate that you are accepting of yourself and the others around you and little issues are not likely to bring you down. You will step ahead and help others and look after them, but you will not be affected by the little negativities of life that easily bring us down. Additionally, this also in no way indicates that you will see a static life. You will rise above others and feel less entangled in the negatives of life but you will continue to grow and evolve as an individual.
A Quick Tip
To start to love yourself unconditionally, take out time everyday and meditate. When you close your eyes, think of the positive things that you have done in life that put a smile on someone’s face. For instance, if you helped someone cross a road and they thanked you before leaving, think about that moment. Think about how it made you feel warm and a little proud of yourself. Now think of the many different times when you helped someone and re live those moments. You are likely to build a great liking for yourself in a short period of time!