Cultivating Self-Love

I know it isn’t necessarily a glamorous or popular topic, though as we pointed out last week, without it, we can’t have a solid foundation for really loving and being loved. Scott Peck (1978), the legendary author of The Road Less Traveled, defines love as the desire for your own spiritual growth or for that of the beloved. How would you define love? Would your description be similar to Peck’s—wanting growth and expansion for yourself or another? Or does love hold a different meaning in your world?

Regardless of how we come to define love, one thing has become quite clear to me in listening to others as well as making my own personal discoveries. Compromise has no place in a loving heart. For each time we compromise anything—be it our values, time, personal power, or good judgment, we are shaving off a little piece of our soul (and lamentably, sometimes it can be a huge chunk).

Join me if you will in reviewing the past week. As you look back, are there any occasions when you may have unnecessarily compromised yourself? Be honest. Good. Now without going into self-judgment or blame, ask yourself how you could be a better self-advocate next time.

If you can, call to mind a relationship between two people that you admire (and if you can't create one!). More than likely, a key component in this relationship is that the people involved have learned the art of negotiation. In my view to compromise means to sacrifice, and negotiation is about contribution—or what each is willing to offer in order to create a better outcome for the whole.

When we agree to tell the truth to ourselves, and stand in the power of that truth, inviting the other to do the same, we create a foundation for negotiating a favorable solution—one for the good of the whole. Ask yourself what you would be willing to offer in order to improve whatever situation may arise between you and another in the weeks ahead, and then be willing to set boundaries so that you won’t be tempted to go to the familiar “peace-at-any-price-mode.” Ya…we don’t really like conflict much, do we? So how can we turn the conflict into caring through “constructive discontent?” (A wonderful term I coined from an amazing coach, Peggy Farmer, Ph.D, Check her out!)

The only way is to love yourself so much that you wouldn’t be willing to compromise your values, heart, mind, body, or soul under any circumstances. No better time to begin exercising this personal commitment than now! If you are willing, start to be mindful of any temptation to give in from a place of fear or lack. And then see what it would feel like to let someone you really care about disagree with you—without you having to prove your point. Start small and then watch yourself go. And don’t forget to tell us about it so that we can all learn from your wisdom.

Way to go. Feel how you are growing leaps and bounds? Cannot wait to chit chat with you about it!

Happy Spring Equinox! Time to bring in the new!