There is a fine line between self-love and self-obsession. We live in a world in which we are constantly bombarded with messages about the importance of self-love and self care. I am a big advocate for cultivating daily practices that encourage kind, loving, encouraging self-talk as well as daily rituals for us to maintain balance and nurture ourselves but there is the other end of the spectrum.
I think it has become difficult to measure where one ends and the other begins. Someone who loves themselves is generally a pleasure to be around, they tend to be honest and open about life. Self-obsessed people can be challenging to be around, they often put down others, including friends.
Self-Love means taking care of one’s well-being and happiness, this involves taking care of yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and intellectually. Self-obsession on the other hand is a lack of concern or consideration of other people in the pursuit of one’s own personal profit and pleasure. Self-obsessed people tend to care a little too much about their outward appearance, they are often narcissistic, vain and arrogant.
In the past many of us failed to take care of ourselves for fear of appearing selfish, that resulted in many of us becoming worn down and stressed.
The more time passes in which we don’t give ourselves the time, love, and attention we need, the less we can truly be there for other people. Also, if we do not find ourselves deserving of our own love, often we find ourselves also not deserving of another’s love. Essentially, we need to take care of ourselves first to be there for others and have healthy relationships.
I try to maintain healthy self-love with the view that when I do something for myself I want to be of the greater good of other people too. When you want to decide if something is positive for you and positive for others, try and imagine a pure soul like Gandhi or Mother Teresa. Imagine what they would have said or done in that situation, then you have a good way to gauge the situation. It is simple. Sometimes we forget that we always have this choice in every situation.
As a coach I ask myself and my clients questions to get a better understanding of the inner workings of the minds, here are a few questions I would ask to determine if I have a healthy level of self love:
1- What are ways you are taking care of yourself?
2- What are your feelings when you hear the term self-love or loving yourself?
3- What would be the benefits of taking better care of yourself?
4- What happens if you don’t take care of yourself?
Asking yourself powerful questions challenges you to dig deeper and understand how you really feel, I hope you find this tool useful. Let me know your thoughts, send me a message on Instagram.
* The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com