Lots of people screw up their faces and roll their eyes at the thought of ‘loving yourself’. Too touchy feely for you?? If so, ask yourself what bothers you about this thought.
What does it really mean to ‘love yourself’ anyway? I had a great conversation about this with a friend recently. Most people’s immediate reaction is to dismiss this and the ego quickly speaks up to say “I’m just fine, why do I have to love myself? That just sounds stupid.” or “I’m no hippie!”.
For you skeptics, maybe a simpler version of loving yourself is easier to swallow – how about the notion of simply accepting yourself. Do you honestly accept yourself for who you are? Don’t respond to that too quickly without thinking about it, because if you scold yourself for things, you probably are not accepting yourself as much as you may think. We often beat ourselves up for not being ‘enough’ for some reason, like ‘I’m not really good enough to have this job’, ‘I’m not doing enough to help my aging parents’, ‘I’m not earning enough money’, or ‘why do I keep saying the wrong thing?’.
To me, inner joy can come from:
1) accepting oneself, and then
2) liking/loving who you are enough that your behavior matches who you truly are inside. Imagine that… not putting up your facade just to be who you think you ‘should’ be in our society.
So if the notion of loving yourself sounds flaky, so be it, but put aside the label and think about how much you are accepting yourself, and how much your behavior matches who you truly feel you are. Most of us do mask our true selves to some extent. Have you ever stopped to figure out why you do this?