I’d like to start this newsletter by giving a big shout out and expressing my sincere gratitude to the Marketing Team at L’Oréal. In particular, the team who came up with the slogan
Oh, how many times I’ve used that line to justify an expensive purchase, shake off any feelings of guilt and experience the rush of instant gratification that comes with it.
I’ve been confronted with the subject of Self-Love many times on my journey of personal growth in the last few years. Now I will say this in my own defence …… I come from the West of Scotland and ‘Self-Love’ is not a topic of discussion around the breakfast table. In fact, if someone utters the immortal words “You love yourself” – that’s considered a very low blow.
A powerful insult. Loving ourselves is NOT what we do where I come from. So this is all new to me – a fairly alien concept.
What I have come to realise and accept however is that ‘Self-Love’ and ‘Self-Indulgence’ are NOT the same thing.
Self-indulgence may take the form of overeating, emotional eating or consuming the wrong foods. For some, it may be abusing sex, alcohol, drugs or overspending on material goods.
There was a time when I thought that if I bought myself a new luxury pen, jewellery or an expensive handbag, I was treating myself – giving myself love. If I said yes to that piece of chocolate cake, or ordered my favourite takeaway, it was a gift to myself – an act of kindness.
In reality, these activities are a form of self-abuse. They certainly don’t lead to a sense of long-term fulfilment or happiness. They leave us feeling empty and wanting more. Over-indulging yourself in an effort to feel loved is like giving too many sweets or toys to a spoiled child. It doesn’t work. It’s even more likely that “loving yourself” in this way will ultimately lead to feeling worse than you did before.
Such behaviours of over-indulgence lead many women to feelings of self-disgust, isolation, desperation and low self-esteem. Trying to “love themselves” unsuccessfully, can result in being overweight, feeling out of control with a sense of self-hatred and shame that at times can be unbearable.
Of course, consciously, you just want to feel healthy, happy and whole.
So what’s the solution?
The key to loving yourself truly is to give yourself that which uplifts you, not just for the moment, but long term. What is it that you really want? And to answer that question honestly, you must reach beyond the desires of your ego and personality, and connect to the desires of your heart and soul.
Loving yourself isn’t as simple as stuffing something into your mouth or pulling out your credit card. It’s connecting to what you know in your heart and challenging yourself to step forth into your dream life.
Loving yourself is going beyond all the fears that have held you back up until this point. Self-love means asking yourself, “Why not?” when it comes to chasing your dream and encouraging yourself every step of the way.
Loving yourself is having the courage to FEEL your feelings—even the ones that aren’t so pretty—without judging them. It’s holding yourself when you are feeling sad, angry or lonely, with the utmost love and respect.
Loving yourself takes practice and a strong resolution. It’s the willingness to pick yourself up when life throws you a curveball. Even when you’re hurting – it’s important that you lift yourself up as if you truly were your own best friend.
It’s reminding yourself how strong you are. Amazing and unique.
Something I’ve come to realise only recently is that I (rather unwittingly) have spent years in a space of ‘self-abandon’ punctuated by moments of ‘self-indulgence’. But now it’s my time – I’m ready to start out on my journey back to LOVE. Self-Love.
Will you join me?
Let’s start with something very simple. An evening without technology. Switch off the iPad and the phone and put them in a drawer out of sight. Turn off the TV.
Light some candles, enjoy a relaxing bath, read a book. Just be quiet, be alone. Be without distraction and listen to the voice within you, listen to the whispers of your soul.
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.