Self-love is crucial in maintaining our mental wellbeing. Having the right amount of love only for yourself will save you from low self-esteem, insecurities and getting involved in toxic relationships.
So what self-love actually is? It's a state of genuine and unconditional appreciation for yourself. Self-love leads you to the need of growth in multiple ways: physical, psychological and spiritual. When you love yourself you want to take care of yourself, forgive yourself, be good to yourself. You appreciate and value yourself for just being you. And you understand that you are enough.
Your self-love started to shape when you were a child. Your parents had a huge impact on how you look at yourself. If you had emotionally stable relationship with your parents and you were also raised by people who loved and respected each other you are more likely to have no major problems with self-love but inheriting certain behaviour patterns from your parents is not the only factor that impacts our ability to self-love. Your school experience, first friendships and love stories - many things matter in your life influence your self-love. The bad news is - most of us didn't have the ideal start and probably our self-love is not as well-developed as it should be. The good news is that self-love is a process and we can learn it. What is more, we can't blame anyone for problems we're having with our self-love. And this is actually the very first step in developing self-love. Accept that no one is responsible for your self-love. It is entirely up to you: how you're treating yourself, how you're talking to yourself, how you're thinking about yourself... This is all in you and you'll have to make a decision whether or not you want to start giving yourself the love and attention you deserve.
Because you do. You deserve to be loved and respected. And no one ever is going to give it to you until you will. You can't expect anyone to love you when you don't love yourself. In every relationship you will feel undervalued and you will not be able to objectively state if it's honest and sincere. So you will either end up in a toxic relationship with someone who manipulates and uses you or you will keep pushing away people who genuinely care about you. You will not be able to see this pattern because without self-love you will feel that your toxic relationship is in fact what love actually looks like, and every break up with a genuine person who cares about you, you will see as another proof of your hopelessness and of you "not being enough".
How to start loving yourself? Start with just thinking about the concept of self-love. And when you feel ready, start to incorporate in the process the notion that whatever happened in your life, you are responsible for yourself and your happiness. Soon, in my next posts, I will share the next steps of developing self-love.