What is self-love? How do we learn to love ourselves? Are we born with this knowledge? What are the influences which teach us to love ourselves?
I’ve often wondered how some people can be comfortable and love who they are. How they respect their ideas, ways, and choices. They don’t seem the least bit bothered by their quirks; instead they embrace them. So, it would seem, self-love also needs a dose of self-worth and self-confidence.
When I researched about self-love, I pulled up over 1,240,000,000 sources. That’s a lot of humans seeking, writing and explaining the meaning of self-love.
As a licensed mental health therapist, I have discovered that for most people, self-love is a skill we develop during the course of a lifetime. We learn to love who we are and accept our faults as well as our gifts.
Over the years, I’ve learned the most about self-love from a small handful of trusted mentors, therapists, teachers, and friends who I admire for how they love themselves. Their modeling and guidance have helped me find my own inner appreciation. When we see what self-love looks like in another person — and through a lot of practice, acceptance, and encouragement — we eventually see it in ourselves.
To demonstrate the concept of self-love, I read through hundreds of quotes from my research and decided the following seven quotes captured the essence of self-love and what I’ve learned from each.
I am a licensed mental health counselor in private practice. It’s been a surreal time of regrouping and finding my new normal. Like many, I had hoped by mid-April I’d be back to my office.
However, it looks like social distancing will be in place much longer.
During the last few weeks I’ve been offering telehealth options. In addition, I’ve been thinking more about what works for me, and perhaps how it can help you as we all adapt to the changes.
Managing space, schedules and routines
Give each other space. Some people who are introverted and highly sensitive might be overwhelmed by the amount of increased socializing with everyone home. On the other hand, extroverted people might need more attention.
This disparity can be frustrating for both. Identifying your needs and sharing them with your family members will help. Honoring and respecting our differences is quite the art of putting love into action.
Personally, as an INFP, and a highly sensitive person, I’m slowly leaning towards at least an hour or two each day where I’m off limits to everyone!
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."
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