You meet all kind of people on daily basis and every encounter tells more about yourself than others. Self-love means to love yourself unconditionally with the intention to grow and improve as a person. When you practice self-love, you don’t even judge yourself, rather you learn from your mistakes and work on being better. Read my initial thoughts on self-love here.
If you judge yourself or others, it is a clue that you lack self-love. There are various signs that show lack of self-love and first of them is being judgmental. Being judgmental, towards others and self, leaves us with no time and ability to love and accept our real self. The way you react and give remarks after meeting someone tells more about what you do and don’t accept about yourself. Every reaction of you in any imaginable meeting always tells more about your feelings towards yourself, your own strengths, and weaknesses.
Our minds are conditioned to behave in certain ways to feel loved and accepted. This starts in our early life and begins depletion of our true self. For example, when a person is born in financially conservative family, where spending every penny with care is a norm, he becomes conditioned to be stingy with money. He carries an impression that spending more is wrong. If he wants to be a little self-indulgent, his mind would not accept this. In case he does this, he would feel guilty or ashamed. It would give him feeling that he is less than perfect or don’t fit well in his family and society. In such a condition, if he meets someone who is extravagant, he will start secretly criticizing that person instead of acknowledging that he himself wants to do that. It is because that part of his feelings is not loved and accepted by him. Some part of him conflicts with another part of him.
If you don’t acknowledge your feelings and don’t accept something about yourself, it is an indication that you just don’t love yourself. Developing compassionate awareness towards your judgement and seeing where it originates, taking responsibility for them and accepting all the unloved and conflicted aspects of ourselves is the beginning of healing internally.
Similarly, if you are judgemental towards yourself and there is something in your life that you are not satisfied with, you will give out control to others over your emotions. If someone makes a comment on that aspect of your life, you most likely feel hurt because you have the same judgment about yourself. If you don’t have same feeling than you don’t bother. For example, ‘you look fat’. If you get hurt after getting the criticizing remark, the real reason is lack of self-acceptance not the criticizing remark by others. Other person is simply a catalyst to something already going on inside you. By acknowledging and accepting the aspects of yourself of which you have been afraid or ashamed, you don’t need to feel compelled to give power to anyone who is judging you or trying to fix you.
Moreover, if you constantly carry negative feelings for a person or situation, you need to check why you have that feeling and address from where it started. That person or situation can be just a trigger for your own self-rejection. For example, your partner spends time in an activity that doesn’t involve you. Your fear of being alone, will make you to become secretly judgmental and criticise. You might blame him for being selfish or ignoring the family. Your fear is your issue and it is because you are empty and wounded inside. You don’t trust yourself and don’t feel safe to open your heart to others. Others may have triggered your fear, but they are not cause of it. Conscious awareness of your own fear, will save you from blaming others. Taking responsibility of your own fear instead of verbally attacking others, will help in creating environment of unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves and others.
You have power to change the feeling and it comes from the place of self-love and self- acceptance. Self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you accept your flaws and weaknesses and just let it be. It starts with being honest to yourself that you are not perfect, that you have flaws and weaknesses but you must accept yourself anyway. You must accept that you have some good points as you have some bad points. This simple mind shift will help you to unconditionally accepting yourself and your feelings, you will be able to love yourself and appreciate yourself and it gives you hope that you can turn negative points in to positive.
To experience self-love, build strong loving relationship with yourself. Love your true self and not some sort of compromised version of you. Know your true, genuine self, and let your light shine. Don’t see yourself and others as right and wrong or as things that need to be fixed. Deep understanding, compassion, and self-acceptance is a very foundation of unconditional love. It cannot be forced, it simply evolves with living consciously.