“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere.” – Buddha
Buddhism, Greek mythology or Hinduism all point to loving ourselves, not in the purview of Narcissism but in healthy ways.
There is a difference between feeling good about ourselves all the time, even at the expense of others (which is Narcissistic) and feeling we are valuable (which is Healthy Self Love).
When we know we are valuable, we have a solid sense of self and are secure inside; we do not seek external validation. Our interactions are not based on who can be our narcissistic supply.
We move through life with a wide open heart, sharing our love and compassion with everyone.
Finding this sweet spot of healthy self-love is difficult.
We mostly oscillate between Narcissism on one extreme and pseudo humility on the other.
The quality of love that we feel for ourselves is a direct reflection of what our “Sense of Self” is.
When we are born, we have no sense of self. We can’t tell ourselves as being different from our Mammas. Our sense of self is totally enmeshed with our primary caregivers.
As we grow up, we gradually realize that we are a separate individual and we start developing a sense of self or “Ego”.
If we receive consistent love during childhood, we grow up with a healthy ego, solid internal sense of self, ability to solve problems and relate with others in a healthy way and an overall sense of well being and security.
If we receive inconsistent love or face excessive humiliation or trauma during childhood, we grow up with an unhealthy ego.
Our unhealthy ego is basically our inner child that didnt get love and affection and therefore it shows up in dysfunctional ways to cope up with the hurt and protect itself from further pain.
Unhealthy ego shows up in following ways:
Feels it is not adequate or good enough.
It is defensive, passive-aggressive, and reactive or gets triggered easily.
It does not face fear or challenges head-on and finds ways to escape it.
Takes what others say or do personally.
Has very high expectations of self and others and chases perfection.
Uses escape mechanisms like blame, criticism or denial to deal with difficult situations or people.
Has a sense of grandiose or entitlement.
Seeks a lot of external validation
Does not have an ability to show compassion or empathy and does not try to understand the viewpoint or opinions of others.
If you resonate with some or all points on this list, I want you to embrace your inner child or wounded ego with love and compassion, acknowledge that it is hurting and showing up in dysfunctional ways and that there is some amount of genuine healing required before you can begin to practice healthy self-love.
1). Re -Parent the Inner child
Your inner child looks for love and validation that it didn’t get. It longs to be cared for by someone who has its genuine well being at heart. And that’s you. Embrace it, soothe its pain, celebrate the little victories; motivate it, discipline it with love and compassion, and show it the unconditional love and acceptance that it never received.
Re – parent the inner child. It will learn to develop a solid internal sense of self and help you to move from dysfunctional ways to healthy ways of loving yourself.
2). Seek Therapy
If you didn’t get love and affection as a child, you grow up feeling a constant void that you always seek to fill, with no time left to focus on your dreams, goals or life, because you’re preoccupied with thoughts of how incomplete you are.
It is essential to create a solid internal sense of self to fill this void.
Therapy helps you to do that by healing the early experiences and fearful subconscious patterns that created the unhealthy sense of self.
And then replacing it with a Healthy sense of self by giving you a safe and nonjudgmental space to discover your strengths and embrace your shadow side.
You gradually learn to embrace yourself in totality and develop a rock solid internal sense of self.
3). Self Discipline and healthy boundaries
Unhealthy ego makes you operate in extremes:
You overwork chasing perfection or procrastinate endlessly (due to a feeling of not being good enough).
Clinging too much or remaining too detached in relationships (due to fear of abandonment).
Inability to delay gratification (due to lack of trust in future)
Or being too harsh with oneself and foregoing all fun (due to feeling not being deserving enough).
Since now you are aware of the unhealthy patterns, you need to choose Self-discipline to find a balance.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde
Create healthy boundaries in work and relationships. Learn to discern when to put yourselves first and when to extend yourself to others. Schedule work and fun, my time and relationship time and avoid the tendency to operate in extremes.
However, self-love is not a one-time activity of healing our inner child or taking up therapy. It is a lifelong journey of self-discovery. You can use any or all of these methods or more to embark on the scintillating journey of Self Love.
“Loving oneself is a beginning of a lifelong romance” – Oscar Wilde
Ruminating in the visions of what could be,I mellowed to the burden of the expectations whose existence no one could see.Lost in a land that convoluted its being into the beauty of forever,Wearied by the nonchalance of my circumstance, I buried myself in the tireless strive of my endeavours
Metaphors of irony struck their symphony in the tale I forged in,Enchanting the ones I meet with a smile, submerging and silencing a storm within,To make hay while the sun shines, they tried to tame my soul,Alas, the fire within me burned their hands, as they mercilessly tried to reach their goal.
Often we feel imposters in our lives, not embracing the joy of the now. The power of being present in the moment we forge in belies in the acceptance of what we are. To be or not to be the ones we are deemed to be, to not know what our life would be is often the stem of our angst and doubt. Uncertainty is the only truth about life, as much planning and having a definite vision about what your existence should reflect, we need to understand that no matter what path we hail for we to be the one we are destined to forge. Life never turns out to be how we envisioned it to be, but it always leads to something that forges to be in our best interests.
The journey we stride upon pivots around the focal point of believing in ourselves. We do not need to
Darkness in its entirety hounds us in the silence of the looms,Ensnaring the voice of doubt in our mind to leave no room.Sometimes the light we seek sublimes under the shades of grey,And we wish to hide in a land, where our hearts are not left astrayed.
Betrayal creeps in its hinds mighty and galore,Tormenting us with no bounds, leaving us gasping for a sip of amour.Pain hails in its fangs deep,Slicing and rendering the soul in every vow it is deemed to keep.
The tale of survival often seems too good to be true,No one knows the concealed wounds that hid under its sinew
For me personally, I see a massive difference between a vacation and a honeymoon. You take a vacation once or twice a year for some time to enjoy yourself and rest and recharge from life responsibilities for a while.
You’re able to get away with your family or your friends or maybe take a solo vacation, whatever works for you. I have taken some fantastic vacations with my family growing up. We spent a week in ocean city Maryland and it was awesome. We still bring up memories of those trips years later. I have also been on trips with one of my best friends, to cape cod and a birthday trip to Philly. These were amazing vacations, filled with memories that I will forever remember and that will last a lifetime.