“Love Yourself ~ Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.”
A couple month ago, I stumbled upon this petite 59-page wonder book by Kamal Ravikant. It’s not a new book, but oh, what joy it etched into my heart and soul. I mentioned it briefly in my blog on humility last month, and I felt the need to take a deeper dive into it’s revelations.
The cover of the book is a black silhouette of a guy holding a gun to his head. Yikes! But his heart is big and bright red. How interesting. A book about love with a man ready to do himself in? What a great juxtaposition. It really ratcheted up my curiosity.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised in the era where it was considered gauche and immodest to even think about self-love. Sunday School taught me to “Love one another,” and that was grand. But there was nothing about loving yourself. On the contrary, we were taught to be humble, “Don’t talk about yourself. Don’t strut your stuff.” My precious Mom also reminded me, “Don’t get too big for your britches.” I learned from her by osmosis not to put myself first. “Always do good deeds for others. Be considerate.” Super learning, but looking back now, never feeling good enough or worthy as a kid, I could have used a good dose of “atta girl!” too.
My lovely, stoic Methodist grandparents, and I adored them, admonished, “Children should be seen and not heard.” At least in the house. Outside we could rip and rear on their dairy farm, but pride was not allowed in the front door. Or the back door for that matter! “Work hard. Life is its own reward.” Very true. But now my positive psychology coach self says LOVE is a wondrous 4-letter word as well. And some days I need more LOVE than WORK.
As a clinical psychologist now for more that, gulp, 46 years, I would always applaud those folks who would tell me they loved themselves. Good for them. But for me, on a nice day, liking myself was enough. I still had that ethic that LOVE was too strong a word. LIKE was easier for me to swallow. But even saying that made me twinge a tad. I never wanted to allow how I felt to invade another’s self-love, however, and I applauded them. But for myself, I left my own discomfort out of the scene in that ” love yourself” play.
It took me until my own personal coaching 11 years ago to open my own self-love door to my soul. I needed to learn to say it, “I love myself.” I still don’t enjoy saying it, but I can say it now. I know I am worthy and enough. Creative, resourceful and whole.
How did I learn to savor myself?
I re-wrote my life script. Humility is good (see my last month’s blog), but so is knowing you are lovable. Now I understand self-love’s empowerment. And even better, I know part of my life’s purpose and mission is to pay forward my self-love to others. I hope you do, too. To own your goodness and your talents and your positive qualities. What better gift can you give yourself? No, you don’t need to shout it to the rooftops, but you need to own it inside your lovely big heart. You are a blessing! And you are grateful to be delightful you!
As I thumbed through each mind-expanding page, Ravikant’s petite book of wisdom plastered a huge grin upon my face. It was as if I was unzipping my innards and having a lovely positive spirit of acceptance arise within me.
Your juicy goodness awaits when you can truly say without reservation, “I love myself!” Watch your happiness and well-being soar. And get this. You can still be humble. But in your total identity self, your whole being, you know you are a great person. I so wish that for you always.
Remember one of the 24 Values in Action character strengths is “The Ability to Love and Be Loved.” And that includes you loving yourself. Fascinating to me, I needed coaching to help me focus on the goodness within myself. Me who has spent my career helping folks don their t-shirt embroidered in bright shiny sequins, “I am lovable!” I needed to get past my perhaps too humble beginnings to embrace myself and to know I am lovable. Again, not that humility is wrong, but some days it can be too much of a good thing.
How about you?
Ravikant in his infinite wisdom relates, “The truth is to love yourself with the same intensity you would use to pull yourself up if you were hanging off a cliff with your fingers. As if your life depended on it. Once you get going, it’s not hard to do. Just takes commitment…It’s been transformative for me.”
He further relates, “Here we are thinking that one needs to be in love with another to shine, to feel free, and to shout from the rooftops but the most important person, the most important relationship we’ll ever have is waiting, is craving to be loved truly and deeply. And here’s the interesting part. When we love ourselves, we naturally shine, we are naturally beautiful. And that draws others to us. Before we know it, they are loving us and it is up to us to choose who to share our love with. Beautiful irony. Fall in love with yourself. Let your love express itself and the world will beat a path to your door to fall in love with you.”
My fervent hope is that you embrace remarkably lovable you!
But maybe self-love is a challenging concept for you to embrace. Maybe you need help taming your inner critic who too often reminds you of your failings but ignores your ability to appreciate yourself. If so, please flash me an email, text me or give me a ring. I’m the positive psychology coach who will help you mine the gems to help you shine.
You only have one life, live it well. Please be thankful and grateful for delightful you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. To my foreign compadres, please know I am thankful for your friendship and camaraderie, too.