I go every Thursday to this group, the Self Love Club. It was started by a wonderful woman who, like me, had discovered self compassion as a path to greater happiness peace and wellbeing. She wanted to join with others in exploring this process and experience and so we meet for 2 hours every Thursday which she facilitates.
It is the highlight of my week. Being with others who are willing to be open and honest and share their experience of the difficulties of loving themselves and the ways they are learning to. We all help each other.
It is often brought up that our culture does not encourage full self acceptance and self love. Our culture generally wants to maintain the status quo in the name of stability possibly. What would happen if everyone were to start loving themselves enough to be the kindest they could towards themselves? Perhaps they would no longer be able to tolerate tedious jobs in offices, or a boss that is abusive, or a partner or friends that are less than respectful? It could cause a massive change in the world. I cannot even start to fathom the implications of this if it took place in a widespread way.
What else would happen if we started really valuing ourselves and being our own best friends?
- We might find ourselves naturally gravitating towards living healthier lives, eat and exercise well and look after ourselves better.
- We may find ourselves gravitating towards daily practises that maintain our inner wellbeing such as mindfulness or yoga
- Perhaps we would drop some negative relationships and find new kindred spirits to be around who support us
- We might find ourselves becoming aware of guidance from our own hearts over the seeking of status or admiration or accumulating money and other goals we have picked up from external influences
- We could find the need of approval from others lessening as we give that approval to ourselves, and we would feel more free as a result
- We might find that we give up short term pleasure seeking that can be detrimental to our wellbeing, such as drinking, binge eating, drug taking etc. In favour of our medium and long term wellbeing, health and financial security.
- We would learn how to soothe ourselves in times of minor distress and be kind enough to ask for help in times of major distress when we need more assistance. Pride or fear would no longer stand in the way, when being kind to ourselves is a central goal
- We may find ourselves feeling more creative or playful and wanting to express that side of ourselves
- We might stop playing small and hiding our talent and strengths from others, no longer afraid of the reactions of others, or spending time with others who celebrate our strengths and successes.
- We may become aware and appreciative of our lovable qualities and love even our less lovable qualities, which we would treat with tender understanding rather than criticism
- Our feelings would be accepted and welcomed as they arise whatever they are, without judgement. We would regard our less pleasant feelings of anxiety, guilt, sadness and anger with tender caring and compassion as we would with a treasured friend. And maybe we would see these feelings as friends which remind us to up our level of self compassion and kindness
- Regarding our feelings with self compassion and kindness would likely make us less afraid to feel them, so we would bottle feelings up less and so these would be less likely to become health problems
- We would feel more worthy of opening up to the beneficial abundant side of life, instead of feeling deserving of scarcity and struggling…..these could include harmonious relationships, inner peace, financial abundance and we would allow ourselves to experience more of these and welcome them
- We might find ourselves feeling more courageous and bold enough to overcome some of our fears, such as public speaking, the skydive we always wanted to take, the mountain we want to climb.
- We may take many small daily actions that strengthen our new self love, such as buying flowers for ourselves, making our living spaces beautiful, keeping on top of our paperwork to create a feeling of order, writing lists of what we feel thankful for each day, or what we appreciate about ourselves.
- We could find ourselves forgiving others more quickly, as holding on to resentment no longer feels healthy to us.
- We would establish firmer boundaries with others and we would be able to assert our boundaries in a loving way, rather than waiting till we feel angry. We would not wish to harbour anger inside as we value our inner peace more.
To be continued!
And feel free to add any you can think of 🙂