Self-love is a term that has been bandied around for some time now. We are told we should love ourselves, in fact we know we should love ourselves. But it seems hard to understand, many ask, ‘how is it done?’, as if it is something we need to learn to ‘do’. It seems the world has forgotten the meaning of what love truly is.
We have forgotten because over time the magic word ‘Love’ has been barbarised to the hilt. We have chosen to believe that love is something that comes to us or something we give, is only for the lucky few, and that love can be lost. None of this is true. Love is who we truly are, it is our essence, the core of our beingness.
In understanding this, how does loving oneself apply to relationships? Why does it matter? There doesn’t seem to be much purpose around why it’s so important, yet it is, actually it’s vital, otherwise what are we bringing to our relationships?
To really appreciate the importance of self-love we need to understand it’s purpose – the Why
When we love ourselves, it is simply about deeply understanding where we are at in our development and what needs to be healed, which by the way, is not who we truly are anyway. Let me explain. When we are emotional – hurt, angry, disappointed or frustrated for example, we are reacting to life or an experience that has hurt us. By not addressing that hurt and holding on to it, it sets up patterns of behaviour and responses to life that come from that place. Situations and people trigger those unhealed hurts and we react. But the hurt we carry is not part of who we are, it is not supposed to be there.
As the years roll by and we continue to carry that hurt it becomes deeply ingrained and we start to identify with it as part of us. We believe we are damaged, scarred, broken. We lose touch with our true selves. We hate feeling like this, and as a result start to loath who we believe ourselves to be, leading to self-worth issues.
To self-love is to hold yourself in absolute honour and respect no matter where you are at, knowing that at the core of your being you are divine. And this very fact is what trips us up, as we have forgotten this truth. As we all innately know, everyone on this earth is equal, we all have the same origins. This is a basic fact. But many of us are lost, some very lost. But this never takes away from the divinity that lays within each and every one of us equally.
Self-Love is key to all healthy relationships
Treat yourself gently and with great tenderness, you are precious and have been hurt. Seek to heal your hurts and understand yourself, not beat yourself up or abuse yourself. Only then can you start to live the love that you naturally are, even if you have areas to work on, which all of us do anyway. When you live in a loving way with yourself it is simply a stepping stone, as you can then begin to Be Love with others and bring the magic of true love to all of your relationships. Ultimately, when we allow ourselves to Be Love we realise there is no ‘self’ in love after all.
Kate Chorley is a psychotherapist & couples therapist practicing in the Parramatta & Blacktown areas of Western Sydney. She supports her clients in raising their self-awareness to lead more productive and fulfilling lives. Contact here or phone 0402134097 to make an appointment.