Time and time again we have heard that self-love is the pinnacle of happiness and joy.
But, what is self-love? Years ago, when I was going through a difficult time in my life and facing the end of my 18-year marriage, someone in my support group asked me if I loved myself. My response was simply, “Yes, I always dress nice and take care of my appearance.” Her response, “No, I mean do you really LOVE yourself?’ I was left speechless. What I didn’t understand is that I did not love myself because I didn’t take care of myself on an emotional and spiritual level, I didn’t even know how.
Most of us are never even taught to love ourselves.
We are trained how to behave to keep others happy or to avoid having someone be upset with us. This programming at an early age causes us to question who we are rather than love and honor ourselves as human beings. We spend our lives focusing on maintaining the external and abandoning ourselves in the process.
By abandoning our feelings and ourselves, we manage to cut ourselves off from the love that once existed within us.
As babies, we loved ourselves; we loved our toes, our belly button, and our chubby little thighs. Unfortunately, outside influences caused us to question the things about us that were worth loving. We became self-critical, self-sacrificing, and lost our self-worth and as the years went by, we surrounded ourselves with people who continued to validate those self-defeating beliefs.
So, What is Self-Love?
It is honoring, respecting, and embracing ourselves while nurturing the magnificent being that we are. This is not an egotistical love, but rather, a sincere and genuine caring for the person that our Creator designed us to be. If you are unsure that you have self-love, take the quiz shared below, and see. Be sure to answer ALL of the questions honestly.
- When you look in the mirror, do you usually notice the flaws about your appearance, body, and qualities rather than see the real beauty of everything about you?
- When someone pays you a compliment, do you have a hard time accepting it or do you minimize the compliment?
- When you make mistakes, do you beat yourself up profusely and have a hard time letting it go?
- When you speak up for yourself, do you feel guilty afterward?
- Do you feel bad or guilty about taking time for yourself when you know some things need to be done?
- Do you consider yourself a failure just because you have not achieved a certain level of success?
- When you feel stressed, do you turn to distractions like the computer or self-destructive habits such as alcohol, drugs, or smoking?
- Do you neglect your health by not going to the doctors or dentist when you need to?
- When someone criticizes you are you quick to defend yourself or do you fall apart like the world is ending?
- Are you comfortable in your own skin?
- Are you afraid to be alone with yourself without something to do or someone around?
- Do you have a hard time setting boundaries and allow people to walk all over you?
- When you have to make a decision, do you rely on friends and family members to tell you what to do instead of trusting yourself and your inner guidance?
- Do you have a hard time making decisions when it comes to what you want or what you like?
- When you are asked to do something you don’t want to do; do you say yes anyway because you feel bad turning them down?
If you answered YES to:
- 3 Questions or Less –
Good Job! You are doing a great job of listening to your gut and honoring yourself. Keep it up and know that you are a worth it!
- 4-7 Questions –
You are on your way to self-love. It sounds like you are asserting yourself in certain areas and listening to that inner voice. Speaking up and having integrity with yourself will build those muscles that protect your inner flame and your true essence. Keep working on the areas that speak to you.
- 8-10 Questions –
You may begin to realize that you have a voice and a right to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Every time you assert yourself you are showing yourself, love. Continue to remind yourself that you are worth it, and you have a right to speak up about how you are feeling. Practice makes perfect and baby steps are better than no actions at all.
- 11-15 Questions –
Let me first remind you that you are a magnificent being and you deserve to take care of yourself and set boundaries with others. Take notice of the people that surround you. If they do not honor and respect you, then it is hard to do the same for yourself. Distance yourself from people that make you feel bad regardless if they are family members or lifelong friends.
Try to notice when you are critical of yourself and when that voice in your head is telling you that you are wrong, ugly, or fat. Noticing your thoughts is a great way to slow the snowball effect of self-abuse. You deserve to be treated like the masterpiece that you are, and it all starts with you listening to your inner voice, being gentle on yourself, and practicing self-care.
Are you comfortable sharing your personal results of this self-love quiz with us?
Did this make you realize that you need more self-love in your life? Only if you’re at ease, please share your answers with us in the comments section below!