We hear that Self-Love is the essential love but, how does this practically look? Through the years, I’ve found that True Self-Love is two-fold: The first being Self-Discovery and the other Self-Acceptance.
Self-Discovery is precisely as it sounds. It is to take the time and focused intention to come to know yourself. What are your values? What are your beliefs? What are your non-negotiables and boundaries in relationships? How can you communicate this when necessary?
What brings you joy? Who brings you joy? What are your triggers? What traumas have you faced, and how has it shaped your life? What are you doing to heal through past wounds?
What is your favorite meal? Favorite movie? Favorite holiday? What are your short-term and long-term goals? Who is your community of support? What are your love languages? How do you express and receive love?
As you can see, these questions can range from basic information to deep introspection that calls for action. And this is just the beginning. You would be surprised how many people do not know the answers to these questions. But would you actually be surprised, considering the face-paced world we live in?
Everyone is concerned about the next thing, but we’ve all got to slow down. Take a beat. I guarantee that taking the time to get to know yourself and understand why you operate a particular way, yields so much insight. It also provides an opportunity for you to course-correct and grow out of harmful habits and patterns.
Spend intentional time with yourself.
There’s a beautiful universe within you yet to be discovered, so take time exploring it.– Luvie
The second portion of True Self-Love is Self-Acceptance.
Self-Acceptance is rooted in mindfulness– accepting who you are, as is, at this moment.
In Self-Discovery, you may dig up some ugly truths. And that’s okay. The key is to validate your present truths with the caveat of understanding healing and growth are to come. To break this principle down, “I am who I am” is notjustifiable to perpetuate toxic patterns. Instead, try, “This is where I am at the moment, but I am consciously progressing and growing towards healing.”
On the other hand, you have to be kind to yourself through the change process. Instead of “Man, I’m such a terrible friend,” try “I recognize that I could improve in my relationships, so I will seek feedback on how I can better support my friends.”
Again, Self-Acceptance is loving who you are in the moment, knowing growth and healing are to come. So, what do growth and healing look like in the context of Self-Love?
As a Believer, I look to the Bible to understand the complexities of life. One being love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, I find that love is an action. I then ask myself:
“How are you actively loving yourself?” I use the passage as a framework to build a Self-Love Inventory. This inventory is a checklist to assess how I love myself. It sounds funny to hear, but the practical steps of walking through the checklist keeps me accountable for genuinely loving myself. Below you’ll see an example of a Self-Love Inventory:
Questions to Ask Yourself in a Self-Love Inventory
- Am I patient with myself?
- Am I kind to myself?
- Do I compare myself to others and become jealous?
- Am I rude to myself in what I think and say?
- Do I judge myself harshly?
- Do I keep score of my mess-ups?
- Have I forgiven myself for past mistakes?
- Do I treat others better than I treat myself?
- Do I trust my decisions?
- Am I hopeful about my future?
It’s one thing to get to know myself and another to then accept and love her.– Luvie
However you build your inventory, its purpose is to reveal what areas of growth and healing you need to pursue, whether forgiveness, comparison, negative self-talk, etc. The Self-Love Inventory also helps you reflect on progress along your journey. Maybe a month from now, you’ve learned to be kind to yourself, and now you’re working on hope. It’s all a journey and a beautiful one at that.
- Begin your Self-Discovery journey. Take some time out of your day and dive into the universe that is you.
- Create a Self-Love inventory. Use Self-Acceptance to validate where you are while acknowledging how you can love yourself better.
If you’re struggling with True Self-Love, Self-Discovery, Self-Acceptance, or you aren’t sure where to start, that’s okay. Give me a call at 470-854-2944 or schedule a free consultation, and we can get started. I help perfectionists, overthinkers, and people-pleasers dismantle destructive patterns and step into a brighter future. Often, the first step in doing so is affording yourself love and grace.