Self Love Isn’t A Dirty Word
It’s day 11 of my self-love journey of taking care of me first, and my answer of how to do that today is that I need to write this blog, today for me and for every woman and girl out there in the world who doesn’t know or have self love or understand why it truly matters.
Last night I was in a room full of 50 women talking about self love, what self love is, what self love isnt, and why self love really is the answer to getting the relationships and love we want in our lives. And it was great! The women who came up to me after the interview told me of their own journeys to love themselves and what an impact it had on them. They told me of the work they were doing in the world to support other women… coaching women through divorces… supporting women in abusive relationships… filming a documentary on the desire for forever love. Work they could only do after they themselves had learned to love more of themselves. Leaving me even clearer that self love is so NOT selfish… that actually loving ourselves allows us to help, inspire and support other women and girls around the world to find safety, peace, and love.
Now I compare that blissful experience to the one I had this morning at my dining room table in which I was really saddened by these very different responses from women I received in the last two days:
- I had reservations in calling you because of all the self love stuff that is on your website. I think self love is pretty hippy dippy.
- Is Madly in Love with ME Day about masturbation?
- Self love isn’t for me.
These answers befuddle me. And they make me sad. What about self love is hippy dippy? Why do we think masturbation when we hear the words self love? And masturbation in this case isn’t said in the kind of way that masturbation is good, but in that it is dirty. How can self love not be for you? Would you ever tell your daughter not to love herself? Don’t we want our girls to respect and honor themselves so deeply that they take care of themselves… that they only have relationships that respect them… that they love their bodies for exactly what they are… that they love themselves for who they are… AND don’t we want that for ourselves, and for every other woman in our lives, and in the world?
I think we do… I think we do want these things for ourselves and our girls. Do you want these things for yourself? for your daughters, nieces, godchildren, and for the world?
Up until recently, self love has been a word reserved for therapy rooms or spiritual circles, not a topic for conversation at the dinner table or among mothers and daughters, or even girlfriends. Most of us don’t know what it means, nor do we know how to find it. And if I am honest, if you had told me 8 years ago when I was still neck deep in trying to find my happiness through my career titles, the size of my house, and getting my fiance to love and see me, I would have thought the same kinds of things. Self love would have felt totally irrelevant at best and it would have sounded like a dirty word at the worst.
As I sat at my dining room table today, being with the sadness I felt about the fact that women today still have these responses to self love, as if it is a luxury or nice to have, vs a critical component to true happiness, I remembered, “Oh yes Christine, your life mission, to reclaim the definition of self love for every woman and girl. And today in 2010, that journey has just begun. It’s your job to share what you’ve learned over the last 8 years, and keep learning… going from a woman who thought she loved herself to one who understands that self esteem is not self love… and that without self love, happiness, success, a great relationship, and a career that you love and that loves you back, is not attainable.
If you are not sure whether or not self love is for you… here are 4 reasons why it’s critical.
If you have self love…
- You won’t have abusive relationships or toxic friendships. Women and girls who love themselves would never stay in a verbally, emotionally or physically abusive relationship. 1 in 3 girls will be in an abusive relationship by the time she is 20, 80% will go back. Women who love themselves know they don’t need the love of another to survive, so if they find themselves in these situations, they leave. Women who love themselves don’t stay friends with people who drain their energy or that are not supportive. When a woman really loves herself she doesn’t attract ‘negative’ people into her life any longer.
- You won’t beat yourself up for everything you’re not. Women who love themselves never compare themselves to other women. They don’t judge themselves harshly. And they don’t focus on what they should have done but didn’t do. They are able to accept the person that she is right now and love that person, not for what she gets done it a day, or for what she accomplishes but just because of who she is.
- You’ll be able to take care of yourself, as well as everyone else, without exhausting yourself to do it. Women who love themselves believe and trust that if they take care of their bodies, their health and their needs first, that they will be able to do everything that needs to get done in a day to take care of their jobs, families, communities and responsibilities. And they don’t feel guilty for doing it. Women who love themselves do not take on the burden of everyone elses life or problems, and they don’t try to control everything around them. They are not martyrs or victims to their busy lives. They refuse to be busy. And they refuse to let themselves become exhausted. They are able to create a harmony in their life that make their life run for them, not them run through their lives.
- You’ll take care of your body because you realize that it’s what allows you to do what you love, not because you need tight buttocks. Women who love themselves understand that their bodies are like temples on loan, structures that need to be adored and taken care of, vs. shifted and shaped for appearances sake. She exercises, eats well and cares about her health not because she needs to lose 10 lbs, have flat abs or keep up with the looks of younger women. She does these things because she loves her body so much she wants to take care of it… the weight loss and the youth are the outcomes, not the drivers. Self Love is the source. It’s a big mental shift that women who love themselves understand, and women who drive or abuse themselves and their bodies without compassion don’t.
Those are only 4 of many many more reasons why self love isn’t a luxury, a dirty word or something that’s ‘not for you.’ If you truly want to help women and girls around the world, love yourself first. If you want to raise daughters who make great choices, love yourself first. If you want to be happy in this lifetime before you die, love yourself. If you want to experience great love, love yourself first. And if you need help doing it, join me and other women who know the power of self love at www.madlyinlovewithme.com
You don’t have to do it alone.