Updated: Oct 1, 2021
What is self-love?
What thoughts come to mind when you think about these words? When I think of self-love, my thoughts go to a song by the late Whitney Houston. It’s called the Greatest Love Of All. In a part of the song, she sang “I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows. If I fail, if I succeed at least, I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity. Because the greatest love of all is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.” These words say it all, doesn’t it? In essence, loving yourself is being true to who you are. Walking in no one else’s shoes, but yours. Trail blazing your own path. It is being your most authentic self. And when you are your most authentic self, you are joyous, fulfilled, and complete. But, if you can’t like/love yourself, how can you like/love others? How can you give or receive it? And how do you expect others to like or love you? The best investment you can give yourself is to learn to love yourself. The lyrics of the song say, “it’s easy to achieve.” Well, maybe for some of us or most of us, it will be a process. But not an impossible one. So, how do you achieve it? Find what works for you. However, here are some encouraging points to consider:
1. Listen to your inner self.
2. Honor and value yourself.
3. Saying ‘no’ to others is saying ‘yes’ to you. 4. Don’t neglect yourself at the detriment of others. 5. Treat yourself like you would want to be treated. 6. Be kind to yourself.
7. Be your own best friend. 8. Affirm and validate yourself. 9. Lastly, pray for yourself.
Prayer is intimacy. When you spend time in prayer with God, you not only grow close to Him, but you also grow close to yourself. Prayer is like a mirror. In prayer, God will hold up the mirror and show you amazing things about yourself that you just may like/love.
Here’s to embracing self-love!
Shanda Y. Smith, PhD., LMFT