The idea of loving yourself may sound vain, but in reality it is the key to unlocking the best things in life and tuning into your purpose.
What does it really mean to practice self-love? It is a conscious act of caring for your Self that leads to health, abundance, and fulfillment.
The Gnostics knew it as philautia, or the love of oneself, which was the prerequisite to understanding and experiencing all other forms of love.
Most of us spend far too much time hating ourselves and allowing negativity to dictate our lives, never realizing how much this behavior limits us and keeps us from actually living.
It’s time to drop the negative mindset and starting loving yourself unconditionally. You have to learn how to be comfortable with who and what you are if you are to ever make real progress on your life Path.
We’ve compiled 4 of the best reasons to start practicing self-love, that will not only change how you see your Self, but could transform your entire life and everything in it.
1. Self-Love is Empowerment
You can’t go through life hating yourself. This is a low vibration state of being that only attracts more problems and denies you the full life experience.
It doesn’t matter what you have been through, what choices you have made, how successful you are, or anything else. Life is too short to entertain negativity.
This behavior stems from a spiritual misunderstanding as to why we are here to begin with. Life is about experiences and growth.
You are here to face challenges and overcome them. You aren’t supposed to wallow in negativity when you have problems, you are supposed to face them and solve them.
This is how you get to where you want to be in life.
It can be difficult to find the resolve to overcome negativity if you aren’t empowered, however. One of the best reasons to practice self-love is because it will empower you to do better.
By giving your Self the proper love, attention, and care, you will naturally feel better about where you are in life and what you have to do.
Self-love builds perspective. It grants you the ability to see your Self in a more accurate light and make the appropriate decisions.
It also frees you from the burdens of guilt, regret, attachment, and false opinions.
An empowered soul is boundless and sees opportunity everywhere. To love yourself is to give yourself a chance, the permission to go through life empowered and in control.
2. Understand Your Self and Your Needs Better
Being aware of your needs leads to better quality of life.
These can be physical needs, mental and emotional issues, or even spiritual holes that need to be addressed.
It is worth mentioning that “needs” in this sense are personal life tasks that need to be solved and fulfilled by you and you alone.
An “emotional need” is not someone else’s burden. It’s no one’s job to make you happy or feel loved. That is always and forever up to you.
The same goes for spiritual fulfillment. Your spiritual needs are no one else’s problem. You must walk your own Path, and while you can certainly learn from others and seek guidance from them, the work is on you.
You can’t get to the point where you can fill these holes if you don’t even know they are there in the first place, however.
When you hold a negative mindset, you create massive blind spots in your awareness where real problems go unattended.
By creating a space of love for yourself, you will begin to understand your real needs as opposed to the phantoms of negativity.
Here are a few examples of “fake” problems that often vanish once you begin loving yourself:
- What do other people think of me?
- How can I prevent others from judging me?
- What do I have to do to be loved?
- Why do I feel so lonely / empty / scared / confused?
- When will I get my big break?
- Why is the world so against me?
- Why does it seem like no one cares about how I feel?
- What if I made the wrong choice?
- Why does so and so hate me?
Although these are common issues that plague millions of people, they are essentially “non-problems” born of a lack of understanding when it comes to energy and how life works.
You can’t properly fulfill your needs on a soul level if you are constantly preoccupied with such nonsensical concerns.
Self-love, more than anything, is the process of turning your focus inward and overcoming the need for validation and approval.
That’s not to say this is a golden ticket not to work on your Self and grow. Too many proponents of “self love” are obsessed with the idea that it means they are beyond reproach.
Remember, karma never misses a beat. You aren’t competing against everyone else, but you are competing against your Self.
It is your job to recognize your problems, and then take the appropriate steps to heal your Self and become a better person. Self-love is only the first step in this process. The real work comes later on.
By understanding your needs, however, you have a great place to start.
3. Self-Love is Self-Care
Implicit in the idea of loving yourself is caring for yourself.
This is like understanding what your needs are, but on a different level.
To truly care for your Self means that you will begin to form holistic rituals and make better choices that will reverberate over all aspects of your life.
Self-care is not just being positive and taking time out of your day for mindfulness. It’s not just practicing a little yoga or spending time in nature.
To deeply care for your Self is to provide a space for growth and fulfillment in your life.
Here are some examples of what caring for your Self looks like:
- Making choices that lead to new opportunities.
- Prioritizing your health.
- Using holistic care products to create a healing environment in your home.
- Forming positive routines (work, hygiene, house cleaning, goal-setting, etc)
- Cutting off negative and toxic people.
- Being gentle with your Self and allowing room for mistakes, learning, and growth.
- Making time for fun and fulfilling activities.
- Not allowing your Self to be used by other people.
- Knowing when to ask for help.
- Living in the moment rather than being hung up on the past or stressed out over the future.
Practicing self-love is a conscious act of bettering your life from the inside out.
4. Loving Your Self Develops Empathy
Practicing self-love opens many doors for personal growth. One of them is the development of empathy.
Empathy is a wholly misunderstood ability these days, from both a physical and a metaphysical standpoint.
When you begin to love yourself, you begin to listen to yourself. Part of this growth process is being aware of your needs and knowing how to address them properly.
Once you understand how to do this for yourself, you will begin to learn how to apply the same template to other people.
Basic empathy can help you understand and relate to other people. This in turn will give you a higher emotional IQ, allowing you to navigate social situations, be a better friend or lover, and experience a new and richer dimension to life.
The more you take the time to listen to yourself, the deeper your capacity will be to understand what is happening around you and what others are going through. This eventually compounds, because once you can fully relate to others, you become more aware of your actions and the effects of those actions.
This is why many spiritual teachers consider self-love to be the beginning of all self-mastery. You cannot begin to master your Self before putting aside your negative views and giving your Self a chance.
Make time for yourself, be kind to yourself, and above all else, let yourself flourish.
A self-defeating, negative mindset is more dangerous than you may realize. If you want to experience what life has to offer, you can’t afford to handicap yourself.
To practice self-love is simple enough in concept but could have a dramatic effect on your quality of life. Once you understand your own value and act accordingly, the world around you will take notice.
The founder of Digital Sages, Matt has an extensive background in self-mastery and has authored several books on the subject. His goal is to demystify important esoteric subjects and help people transform their lives through self-awareness and personal empowerment.