Before starting this article, I looked at a few of the hundreds of frequently asked questions I get fromprivate clients in the earlier stages of our work together. All of them have diverse ethnic, racial, religious,and often industrial backgrounds. Their commonality and one of the draws that I have towards them isthat they are all analytical creatives who often prioritize the well-being and happiness of others overthemselves. I relate to that state of beingness from many years ago and want to dive deeper with you fora moment share a few intimate ways I’ve handled challenges around embracing self-love on my journeyto self-actualized wholeness.Let’s dive in:
1. Why is it so much harder for me to cultivate self-love or self-compassion than love/compassion forothers?
For many, it’s easier to focus on loving and being compassionate for others because society hasconditioned us to think about public accountability and expectations of how a “good person” should acttowards others. Yet, when it comes to me, there’s this gray area. I’ve noticed, from my own experiencesas a Psychotherapist, Trauma Specialist, & Sexologist who guides as a Balance (and) Relationship Advisor,that I can be incredibly hard on myself if I miss a deadline or fumble a presentation. However, when it’ssomeone else in the same situation, I’m the first to offer encouraging words and support. Why? BecauseI, like many, tend to magnify my flaws, holding myself back due to perceived limitations instead ofembracing and leveragingmy strengths to overcome or accept these flaws.
2. Why is self-love so essential for healthy relationships?
I firmly believe that you can’t authentically give what you don’t possess. If I yearn for a healthyrelationship, I must start by getting intimatewith myself: looking at myself emotionally, physically, andspiritually without any barriers. Only by acknowledging every aspect of who I am can I genuinely lovemyself without relying on someone else’s affirmation. In a relationship, a partner should complementyou, lifting each other up. That’s why it’s crucial for me not to hinge my identity on phrases like, “I needyou” or “You complete me”. Ideally, I want a partner who amplifies my energy and capabilities. Choosingself-love through positive self-talk, excellent self-care, and increased self-intimacy prepares me to eitherattract or maintain a relationship with a partner who enhances my life. And if they don’t rise to theoccasion? My newfound self-worth will guide me to make the right decisions.
3.What are some practical ways I’ve found to cultivate self-love, especially for those of us who might beco-dependent, love addicts, or struggling with self-worth?
Boosting one’s energy is paramount in the journey of self-love. One method I swear by to instantlyelevate my energy is by raising my heart rate to stimulate my senses. With increased blood flow toessential organs, including the brain, I release endorphins that boost my energy and mood. One of mydaily habits includes taking a couple of minutes to inhale invigorating essential oils like lemon,peppermint, or cinnamon. Breathing them in helps stimulate my senses, instantly lifting my energy. OnceI’m energized, I use that positivity to engage my other senses: perhaps getting a massage, trying a noveldish, or even heading to a comedy show with a friend for a bout of laughter. These simple acts help mebuild memories while nurturing my self-worth.