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Self-Love and Self-Compassion



The month of February is a great time to talk about LOVE. There is a special kind of Love that we were not talking about often enough. I talk about Self-Love. Nitin Nambeo ones sed: “You become the best version of yourself when you know the value of self-love.” I believe that self-love and self-compassion are practically the same. This is not a new-age gimmick or fad. The latest researches show its importance for our mental and physical health. Even in scriptures, we find several passages about love. Everyone is familiar with “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:31 and Matthew 22:39). You cannot love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself. We can find the exact phrase in Torah: “love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). In Quran, we can learn that loving yourselves is to love your creator. We learn that we are Allah’s amaanah, that taking care of our soul also means taking care of the body where the soul resides.


We are do not exist by ourselves; we are part of the environment, part of the universe. We are connected to everything in energetic and spiritual ways. When we realize this, it is impossible not to be amazed, not to admire, and not fall in love. Love yourself, be self-compassion; it means seeing ourselves as part of humanity, feeling oneness with the earth. These feelings can originate only inside, then expand, affecting the world around us. Everyone who practices or is familiar with Reiki knows the fifth and last Reiki precept: “Just for today. Be kind to yourself and every living thing.” This precept is about self-compassion and kindness.


Every research on this topic shows that self-compassion improves our resilience when facing adversity, better coping with disappointment, and faster recovery from trauma. Practicing self-love and compassion will affect three aspects of our life: physical (how we see ourselves), mental (how we think about ourselves), and psychological (how we treat ourselves).


Do you practice self-love and compassion? Do you smile when you look in the mirror in the morning? Do you have “me time” to relax and enjoy life? How do you talk to yourself? Do you forgive yourselves?


Improving your relationship with yourself takes time. The first step is to start listening to yourself. Listen to how we address ourselves. Start talking to yourself, like talking to a person we love or our child. Our body, mind, and soul always react to our self-talk. Our thoughts could be encouraging or self-sabotaging.


Kristin Neff, Ph.D., the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (William Morrow, 2011), describes self-compassion as having three key elements. They are:

  • Humanity: We recognize that mistakes and negative experiences are part of everyone’s life. Our imperfections connect us to others and help us understand them.

  • Mindfulness: We openly and curiously approach negative thoughts and feelings instead of suppressing or ignoring them. We see them, recognize them, name them and let them go.

  • Self-kindness: We are gentle with ourselves, avoiding self-blame and self-criticism. We nurture ourselves with understanding, support, forgiveness, and patience.


Self-love and compassion also bring happiness. How often we tell ourselves: “When … I will be happy”. For example: When I finish school. When I accepted into college. When I finish college. When I am in relationship. When I get promoted. And so, one. We see happiness as something external that must happen to us to make us happy. Nevertheless, internal factors will determine our happiness. We have everything to be happy now. Self-love and compassion will bring it to the surface. They bring a realization of our uniqueness and worthiness, restore peace and harmony in our body and soul. Self-love and compassion help us fully experience happiness and gratefulness.


Be happy. You have everything to be happy. You deserved it.


With Love and Light,

Roman

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