Self Love

You probably frequently hear phrases like “self esteem” and “self care”, and you may even have a pretty solid understanding of what those two things are, but I bet you’re less familiar with the concept of self love. Self love is the practice of having compassion for yourself, placing a certain importance on your own happiness, and your overall well being. Self love is being unconditionally accepting of yourself.

There is a long list of benefits to having a strong sense of self love, including increased happiness, greater resilience, better ability to overcome challenges and unexpected disruptions, a decreased risk of anxiety and depression, and the ability to show increased kindness to others. There are also many things that can make self love difficult, including prior trauma, difficulties with or disrupted attachment, feeling as though you have not received love from others, not feeling worthy of love, and simply not knowing how to practice self love.

These can be challenging things to overcome, and even more so if you attempt to do it alone. Working alongside a therapist to address your past traumas is a safe way to explore what has happened to you, and how that is impacting you today. A therapist can safely guide you through these challenging conversations and realizations, while also helping you to identify what it means to self love, and how to do it.

It’s important to note that self love does not mean buying yourself something to make you feel better, or “treating” yourself to certain food or drink, or other similar indulgences. Rather, self love is speaking kindly to yourself, taking breaks when you need to, not beating yourself up for making a mistake.

These things are easy to say, but harder to do, particularly if you are not used to doing them. Working on self love through therapy allows you a forum to focus on self love, to heal and take care of yourself without distraction. Therapy also offers you safe, non judgemental guidance from a professional who understands both trauma, and self love. A therapist can help you learn and practice the skills necessary to increase your ability to self love, and then continue to work with you on honing these tools and skills and identifying new ones as you continue in your work together. You’ll be able to practice skills on your own, and discuss progress in therapy sessions. Therapy is about you, identifying not only what has happened to you, but your strengths, the things you love about yourself.

While it most certainly won’t be easy work, learning the practice of self love is valuable work, and therapy is your greatest asset in doing that work.

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