I was recently asked to facilitate a class on-line called Self-Love as part of a program called Conqueror. I have been asked to teach on self-awareness; why it is important to preserver; importance of self-care, etc. However, this got me thinking about what really is self-love? I mean, what is really at the core of self-love? Is it something we do for ourselves or to ourselves or is it much deeper than that? What I discovered is self-love can be truly challenging at times and I deem is directly related to our sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-image or lack thereof. When we have a poor relation to any of these three aspects of ourselves it can lead to un-forgiveness of ourselves and others.
Let’s first define self-worth, self-esteem and self-image. Self-worth comes from a source inside ourselves; created through faith, by acting on a singular belief that we matter. This is the foundation of our ability to believe in ourselves. Self-esteem is outside thinking-thinking well of one’s self based on something someone has actually done. Self-image is one’s perception of how we think others see one’s self; traits people use to define themselves.
At the core of self-love is having self-worth, without self-worth I believe it is truly hard to have high self-esteem and a positive self-image because one builds on the other. If we have low self-worth we do not believe we truly matter and in turn this causes us to have low self-esteem, surmising we cannot truly affect change in any real way which affects our self-image, deducing others see us in a negative light. This all leads us to assuming we are not deserving of good things happening in our life. We are stuck in a shame-based cycle of thinking, “I am bad” instead of thinking “I did a bad thing or a bad thing was done to me.” This thinking keeps us stuck in depression and low self-worth believing we cannot overcome and what I am is permanent and hopeless-we are not worthy of forgiveness and this lack of worthiness is projected onto others. “If I cannot forgive myself, I surely cannot forgive you.” This maybe happening on a subconscious level, but at times in my own life and in the lives of my clients this is what I am learning to see at the core that keeps us stuck and leaves the door wide open for negativity to enter into our lives. Truly forgiving ourselves and others is what sets us free and nourishes self-love, it closes the door to the past wrong doings done to us and by us. Not forgiving only really hurts ourselves. Ask yourself these questions: What is my pay off for not forgiving?Who would I be without the hard hardness of unforgiving? What cycle does it keep me stuck in? Forgiveness is a daily task, not a one-time venture. Get a journal and every day write in it what you are grateful for and what and who you forgive that day. Forgiveness is a daily habit that we gift ourselves and really sets us on the path to true self-love and true freedom from negative ties that are holding us back from being the person we are called to be. I have faith, belief and hope that forgiveness of ourselves and others is what truly makes us a conqueror!