Self-Love vs. Being Selfish

It is okay to take time for yourself. At times society can promote endless giving to prove you are a “good” person or worthy of recognition and acceptance by others. Loving yourself and putting yourself first in healthy ways, helps you stand strong in times of uncertainty.

So, what is true self-love? True self-love starts with acceptance of who you are today. You acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses as a human being. You know there are ways to be better in life for yourself, your family, even your employer, but it is not an emergency.

Genuine self-love is also taking simple measures to be happy and whole in life. Instead of spending years toiling away for that luxury car, have a second cup of coffee with rich, decadent hazelnut creamer. Instead of spending the month shopping for the perfect gift for your partner, order in one night, pull out a good bottle of wine, and your time and attention all evening is the best gift of all.

Self-love is also synonymous with self-compassion. You understand that whether you are having a good day or difficult day, all you need to do in life is your best at that moment. Perfection is a fantasy and when you make a mistake, learn from it, have a course correction, and keep going. Loving yourself is also being able to stand in this world where we are fed negatives messages about our appearance, talents, and accomplishments. What really matters is what we think of ourselves.

When you love yourself, nobody can shake you! An angry, needy friend cannot make you have a bad week. A jealous co-worker cannot rain on your parade when you win an award. Someone stealing your favorite parking spot, does not send you into a tiff. You navigate life with a positive sense of well-being even when you do not know what is around the next corner.

Start today and examine who you are in life. Acknowledge, how far you have come. What are the small, simple pleasures you can do for yourself to have moments of joy? How can you let go of the need to be approved by people and situations outside of yourself?

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