When you think of the word love what comes to mind? Do you think about the people and things you care most about? Does it bring emotions of joy and kindness? When you think of the word love does it make you smile from the inside because love makes you feel happy? Most of us think of positive emotions when we think of the word love. When we allow ourselves to love someone or something it can bring emotions of passion and joy that are only felt when love is part of it. The energy love brings is powerful. So why when we add the word self to the front of the word love and create the word self-love do we start to hesitate and question if it is okay to have self-love. Thinking of the word self-love can even create a negative feeling inside?

Let me ask you a question . . . do you love yourself? If you said yes, how do you show love to yourself? What do you do to express self-love? If you said no, then I ask why not? You choose whether to love yourself or not. It is up to you because self-love is to you, from you. You give it to yourself.

Like the word love, self-love is a powerful word. However, when you look it up in dictionaries you can’t even find a consistent definition. I know because I have looked it up. Some dictionaries have a very positive spin to it and some include a very negative definition. For example, one dictionary only had the negative definition indicating that self-love was conceited and vain; whereas another dictionary described it something to the effect of having unconditional love for yourself in regard to your own happiness. It’s no wonder we all have different opinions about the word self-love. How can a word love, a word that creates such positive feeling and emotions become immediately questionable by adding the word self to the front of it?

Is it because we often perceive someone that is egotistical or conceited as having too much self-love? Do we confuse self-centered with self-love? Think of someone that you know that only talks about themselves with little regard to others or someone that is always talking about how great they are. Do you think they are showing you how much self-love they have for themselves? I think not, it is often the exact opposite of what is happening on the inside for that person. Often they are trying to fill themselves up with others approval and love because they have very little self-love.

Self-love is something I believe to be crucial to increasing our own happiness. I love the idea that self-love is love of “self” in regard to our own happiness. When we have self-love we allow self-worth. I believe that self-love is respecting yourself, taking responsibility for your actions, it is acceptance, and it is unconditional. Self-love is forgiving when we make a mistake. Self-love is recognizing we made a mistake and it is taking action to learn from our mistakes. Self-love is kind and positive. Self-love doesn’t always come easy. It often takes work on the inside to help create more acceptance and love for yourself but if you do the work you will probably be living a happier life and who doesn’t want to be happy?

I am not suggesting for you to be conceited, vain or let your ego run wild, but I am suggesting taking a look at yourself and deciding you are worth loving. I am suggesting, deciding that you deserve to think kind thoughts of yourself, for you to think and know you are good enough. When you accept yourself and love yourself you actually have more love to give others and you are able to receive more love from others. Allow the energy of love to envelope you and decide that you will take one step towards loving yourself more today than you did yesterday.

How you might ask? Maybe you decide to accept and love your body and as a result you begin to feed it healthier and more nourishing foods so it can be its optimum best. Maybe you decide to forgive yourself for a past mistake you made and instead of beating yourself up inside you really take note of the lesson you learned so that you don’t do it again. Maybe you decide to do something you enjoy doing because you have always put yourself last and deprived yourself for way too long. Do you put those you love last on your list? Probably not, so practice more self-love and move yourself up on your “to do” list.

There is only one of you and you are the only person that can decide to allow yourself to love you a little more. If you decide to practice more self-love, watch how your happiness increases and love, joy, kindness and compassion will come your way even more. Love is a powerful thing and so is self-love . . . give some love to you and let yourself shine!

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Saba, Holistic Health Coach, helps others see their inner strength through a new light. She offers valuable insight & lifestyle tips in her free monthly ezine, Wellness Tips with Carrie, as well as on her blog. Carrie believes our spirit is fed on how we think, what we experience, and eat. She empowers her clients and believes everyone should know their brilliance and enjoy life! Learn more about Carrie by visiting her website.