I can’t speak for everyone but I wish self-love was much easier for all of us. Think about it, we are with ourselves and our thoughts 24/7, we spend more time with ourselves on more levels than anyone else probably ever will so when I think of self-love, I think it should be so much easier. But as stated in my post last week, a lack of self-love derives from an unhealthy upbringing, society, and even our romantic relationships. So no matter how close we are with ourselves, there are other factors that play a significant role in how we see and how we feel about ourselves. In fact, a lack of self-love can be so subtle we sometimes don’t realize it’s negative affects. Self-love is precious so we have to protect it. It helps us create boundaries, it helps us show up better for others, and it’s an overall testament of how we view ourselves, capabilities, and what we have to offer.
A lack of self-love plays a role in what we are willing to accept from other people, because when we don’t love ourselves, we don’t see our value or worth and we are willing to settle for just about anything from other people (especially if it’s bad). That lack of love is like a void, therefore whatever others are willing to give us to “fill that void,” we will take it no matter how it shows up. This is hard for a lot of people to hear but if you love yourself there’s a lot you won’t settle for and there are some expressions of love from others you will know is not accurate. For example, love is not abusive, love does not put us down, love does not discourage us, and love does not tell us that our concerns about things that don’t feel right is all in our head. A lack of self-love can be very toxic because you open up yourself to the possibility of being taken for granted, you lower your standards, and boundaries no longer exist. I mentioned earlier that a lack of self-love derives from an unhealthy upbringing, society, and of course unhealthy relationships. But there are also ways in which we can sabotage our self-love.
Staying In Unhealthy Relationships especially when we know it’s wrong. I can’t speak for everyone but I feel like my gut is never wrong. So if I have a gut feeling about something I don’t ignore it. I feel like our gut tells us when we’re in an unhealthy relationship (romantic, family or friendships). If you’re being taken for granted or abused in any way, and you choose to stay, then you’re likely sabotaging your self-love. If you love yourself, you will not put up with any of those behaviors from anyone. Even if you choose to stay, setting boundaries and sticking to them is a clear sign that you know your worth and you value the love you have for yourself.
Negative Self-Talk most people are probably guilty of this to some extent but I think it’s an issue when it sounds like the person has completely given up on life. I’ve met a few people that drained my energy because their outlook on life and the way they talk about themselves is completely negative, it’s as if they don’t see the bright side of anything and they expect the worse to always happen to them. If this sounds like you, then there’s probably a problem. People who love themselves may not always see the positive but they will likely follow up negative self-talk with something positive. They may have a bad day and feel like a failure but they know that things will be different tomorrow. Months ago I wrote a post about affirmations and I mentioned that our words themselves are affirmations so we have to be mindful of what we say because our words manifest.
Doubting Your Worth/Value like the above I think we all have some self-doubt occasionally and I’m sure it’s normal but when we refuse to try, or do something because we don’t think we are good enough or worthy; it’s sabotage. Even if things don’t work out, it’s not a sign that you are not worthy. A long time ago I applied for an online teaching job and the University responded and asked me some pre-interview questions via email. I didn’t respond because I thought I wasn’t good enough to teach, even though I applied for the position. Sometimes I wonder where I would be in terms of a teaching career if I had followed through. I don’t dwell on it but I brought this up as an example of how our doubts can ruin potential opportunities for us.
Choosing this topic for the month was a risk because I am not a mental health professional so I have to be mindful of the information I share because I don’t want to mis-lead anyone. I’m trying my best to keep these post on the surface while accomplishing my goal of making us aware of the consequences that are the results of a lack of self-love. Like most things, change won’t happen over night, and if you feel that you need help in this area I encourage you to get the help you need to aid in the journey of bettering yourself. I mentioned to someone recently (and probably in a blog post) that when we seek help, we are undoing years of issues so we have to be patient with our process of healing because the damage didn’t happen over night so neither will the healing.
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