“My own self must be as much an object of my love as another person”
(Fromm, 2013, p 80.).
The Divine Feminine is the embodiment of all things woman. She is life, love, and creativity. She can be found in every culture on Earth from Egypt to China to Native American tribes. In this blog, we will explore what the healing powers of self-love means for you as a woman today and how you can nourish yourself with self-compassion practices.
Self-love is something that more often than not gets pushed to the back burner when you get busy or overwhelmed with life. But the reality is that self-love is incredibly important to your well-being.
Having the capacity to love yourself is the bridge to being able to embrace your true and authentic self. Loving yourself can help you through your day because it can help you avoid getting caught up in negative thoughts or feelings (Schrader 2016).
Self-love is described as highly beneficial to psychological health leading to emotional stability. Specifically, self-love has been seen by researchers and authorities alike to be a critical resilience factor in preventing emotional imbalances which can lead you down an unhealthy path towards developing disease(s) or other mental illnesses (Schrader 2016).
Self-love is strongly linked with self-compassion. Self-compassion is associated with well-being, healthy coping styles, wisdom, feelings of social connection, happiness, and optimism (Neff & McGehee, 2010).
Studies show, “Self-compassion has also been implicated in increased adaptive psychological functioning including greater happiness, optimism, wisdom, belongingness, social acceptance, and healthier coping styles” (Neff & McGehee, 2010).
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Without self-compassion it can be difficult to love ourselves because we tend to beat ourselves up for the things that we cannot change. However, by practicing self-compassion on a regular basis it can be easier to forgive yourself so you can better love yourself for who you are.
Self-loathing causes a person to lose sight of everything that makes them happy and/or what lights them up, even causing them to lose touch with the fundamental sense of who they truly are, all they can see, feel or think about themselves is negative and self-critical.
Fortunately, there are ways out for these hurting souls. If only we take time enough to look around us, at all the different paths that can lead you back into your heart, then self-acceptance, self-forgiveness & self-love are always there, waiting just around the corner.
So Much Love: Ways Back to the Heart of Self-Love
What would life be like if we all took care of ourselves? In his book, The Art of Loving: A Course in Personal Conduct, Erich Fromm (2013) argued that self-love is one of the five forms of love, including:
- Motherly love,
- Brotherly love,
- Erotic love, and
- Love for God.
Self-love is not egocentric, or a feeling that we should try and suppress. Rather it is a continual practice that we need to embrace because by doing so our hearts will become fuller with compassion for others, while at the same time cultivate inner peace.
Love is not passive and it is not a given state that once we “find” it, we keep it! No, love it is like a muscle that needs to be continuously exercised and cared for as we strive for happiness, growth, and freedom. Love is a powerful and positive force for good. It has been described as the “declaration of one’s own life, with all its joys and pains” – which includes loving oneself (Fromm 2013).