Do you love yourself? No, really do you? This is a serious question that requires a thoughtful response; because just as it requires a lot of thought before you would tell anyone that you love them, you don’t want to tell yourself “I love you” without taking the time to clearly recognize your truest feelings.
First of all Self-Love is not narcissism. And, love is more than just a four-letter word. Love is an action. I could go through what I feel love is and go through everything that the Bible tells us about love (you can read it in my post LOVE IS MORE THAN WORDS), but love is something I believe is more natural than any food that you can buy at any organic food store. Love is so powerful; it even shapes our personalities. I can always see if a person felt loved growing up, just by seeing how they act or react in certain situations and the measure of grace they have for others; because “Hurt people, hurt people.”
Those who truly love themselves are authentic, they are transparent, they know their identity, they are proud of where they came from, they are confident, and most of all they are just as imperfect as everyone else in the world we live in. :) Love is felt inwardly, because it touches your heart, and it’s expressed outwardly, as you pay-it-forward and love others.
One of the things I struggle with the most is confidence. And, it was not easy to create this lack of confidence inside me, it took years of belittlement and an array of negative words that caused me to feel undervalued. So now I only spend time with people who are encouraging me, and I have to constantly invest positivism inside myself just to boost my confidence level. Experts say that we are naturally more attracted to remember negative words, and this is why many experts believe that it takes at least 5 positive encouraging remarks/comments to offset the effect that just 1 negative one has on someone. (read below)
~Studies conducted by Dr. John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago have shown what he calls, “the negativity bias” of the brain. Negatives have a much greater impact on our brain. Our brains are actually more sensitive and responsive to unpleasant news and remarks. That’s why personal insults or criticism hit us harder and stay with us longer. It’s why negative ads are more effective than positive ones—political or otherwise. Our brain contains a built-in partiality toward negative information.[click for more info]~
I feel there are so many people, men and women, who deal with self-love issues. Maybe it’s because they didn’t have a father or mother to tell them, “I love you. You’re a beautiful person inside and out.”, or maybe they had parents tell them they loved them but never showed them. How do you look at yourself when you wake up and look in the mirror? Do you say to yourself, “I love you! You are beautiful!”, or do you say, “Who would ever want to be around someone like you?” … let’s be real. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you. Be authentic! Be proud of who you are and where you came from! Be confident! Regardless of how you look or what others may tell you about yourself…. God made you and He doesn’t make mistakes.