The Definition of Self-Love
“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”
Your boss just scheduled a meeting with you. This shouldn’t be a surprise; meeting with your boss is normal. However, the topic of the meeting is “update”. There is no agenda in the body of the invite, which is standard practice for your team. That’s standard practice so you always know why you are going to a meeting before you go to it. If you were truly following standard practice you could just not attend the meeting because it’s the organizer’s responsibility to include the agenda. But since this is your boss you are going to attend. You go to the door and your boss doesn’t look too happy. You know how the rest of the story goes. You messed up. You failed to get the job done. You made an error in judgment. You cost the company money. You broke the code. Your punishment is whatever the company and/or your boss decide. Now that the damage is done you now have to pick up the pieces and move forward. How successful you are at picking up those pieces will depend on your most powerful relationship, the relationship you have with yourself.
Why is your relationship with yourself so powerful? Let us first understand where the source of energy that delivers the ultimate power in your life comes from. That source of energy originates from love. As has been written in several previous reminders, Life Coach Brooke Castillo’s model states that Beliefs create thoughts, Thoughts create feelings, Feelings create actions and Actions create results. Love is the ultimate feeling. Actions taken out of love will deliver wonderful results. Wonderful results will result in a wonderful life and that is what we all desire. Therefore love is a very powerful source of energy for you.
Next let’s agree about life in general. Things are going to happen to you throughout life that you can’t control. For example you can’t control if your company decides to downsize and your entire department is outsourced. You also can’t control if a pipeline ruptures causing gas prices to climb to astronomical prices that cut into your discretionary spending money. What you can control is how “you” react to either of those situations. You can control yourself. You can control what you believe, what you think, how you feel and what actions you take. You can’t control every specific result but you can control the results over time.
With that said those two important factors (you and your energy) make the equation you + love = self-love. Self-love is critical to your success on this earth. There is little doubt you have heard or read literature about that term. You will argue that it isn’t an issue with you because you love who you are as a person. How could you not? It is you. Yet even when though you do love yourself sometimes you decide to place conditions on that love. True love is unconditional and that means self-love should also be unconditional.
What is Unconditional Love?
Let’s break down and define what unconditional love for another person really means.
- With unconditional love you don’t judge. You accept that person as they are and only want the best for them. If you are a parent you most likely can relate. Even without children you should know what it means when it comes to your parents.
- With unconditional love you forgive. You understand that things will happen that may be undesirable but because you love and believe in them you forgive.
- With unconditional love you appreciate who that person is and the things that they do. You are grateful for the things that you love.
- With unconditional love you are also willing to let down your guard and apologize for the things you may do that feel undesirable to that person. You are open to seeing life through their eyes. When you have unconditional love you tell that person you love them. You don’t keep it to yourself because you know they should know.
Now let’s break down what unconditional self-love should look like to mirror the unconditional love of others.
- You should not judge yourself. Accept who you are and always desire the best for yourself. If you are slightly overweight accept the fact that you don’t eat as healthy as you should. Don’t place judgment; acknowledge it so you can decide how to act on it.
- You should always forgive yourself for anything undesirable that you do. You will mess up. You will make mistakes. Beating yourself up about it will do more harm than good. You never feel good when you are beating yourself up. Remember how you are feeling will impact the actions you taken and therefore the results you will get.
- You should always appreciate yourself and the things that you do. Take time to be grateful for not only the things around you but also the things within you. When you are grateful for things you will attract more of those things into your life.
- You should also tell yourself that you love yourself. After all no one can do it for you so if you don’t it won’t happen.
The only thing you can control is yourself. That is why self-love is important. You have power within that only you can access. However, there is more benefit because the more you practice on yourself the better you will be able to do it for others. We aren’t properly taught self-love at an early age. Some of our parents did a better job than others but they all had the difficulty of counteracting the fact that the world loves to focus outward. How you show up in the world will determine what you get out of it. The best way to show up is to show up as the best you. You can’t be the best you if you are down on yourself for any reason. It is important for all of us to understand the consequences of our actions. But that is where it should stop. Feeling bad, angry, incapable, or like you just can’t get right are all thoughts that will not help you. They can only harm you. When you truly love yourself you learn to treat yourself the way that you should be treated. You treat yourself the way everyone wants to be treated. We all want to be able to apologize for our actions, be forgiven, be appreciated and receive the love of others. We all desire unconditional love. The great thing about it is it is possible if you decide to do it.
You Don’t Get A Pass
It would be an injustice not to address the elephant in the room. Self-love does not give you a pass. It doesn’t mean you can just go around doing undesirable things and be ok with it. If you mess up you will accept the consequence of your actions. We are all humans and will make mistakes. There is no way around it. Your goal of course is to learn from each and every one of your mistakes so that you can do better at your next opportunity. In order to learn you will have to take action. You will have to reflect on what you did and why you did it. You will have to think of how you can do it differently if ever confronted with the same circumstance. You have to be determined to learn. Sometimes that learning will entail you falling down. You have to be ok with that fact so you can be motivated to get back up. You must be anxious to move out of the pain and into the learning. That is why you will be able to apologize and forgive yourself. You appreciate and love the person that you are and you know you will be an even better person because you will learn from your mistakes. Life is about growth and if you are consistently making the same mistakes over and over again you are not growing.
Some of you will realize that I have intertwined the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono into this entire reminder. If you aren’t familiar with it you are now. It is the practice of an individual person saying, “I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” If you read some literature on it you will see its use has had some great results. Whether you believe the literature or not; you can’t deny how good it feels to say these words to yourself. By saying I am sorry you are apologizing for the errors you have made (we all make them). By saying please forgive me you are asking for forgiveness for those errors. By saying thank you, you are practicing gratitude by acknowledging your appreciation for life and your role within it. Lastly by saying I love you, you are saying I love you to your creator who has given you this wonderful journey called life and everything within it. If you will recall from a previous reminder your creator is a part of you. Therefore you are saying I love you to yourself as well. That is the unconditional love that we all desire to give and receive. That is the self-love that we all are blessed to have within us. It is your job to bring it out. You will be highly impressed with the results once you do. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. As always I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.
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