Does Self Love Make You Squirm?

The inquiry of what you love about you is shaking things up. Its making people squirm, me included. I have asked a lot of people the question this last week and it has revealed some cultural tendencies we carry around self worth, success and self love. I have heard responses like, “isn’t that narcissistic?” or “that’s a hard one” on occasion. Immediately and every time, I witness a physical reaction; fidgeting, eye twitching, emotions coming up through the voice.  Watching myself ask others the question, sometimes I feel a little uneasy and self conscious thinking, “do I seem like a wimp for asking this?”.

The question, what do you love about you hits right up against its’ opposite, What do you not love about you?

Asking and answering what do you love about you is healing and freeing physically, spiritually and emotionally

Watch how you and others react when you ask and answer the question. It really amazes me how quickly the question melts me into my Heart. Keep asking yourself, what do you love about you?

What you love about you is about is social change. We are refining culture to value self love. As I said in the previous post, this is not the next new age fad of love thy self. With a light heart, I am serious that in order to deal with the crises of human rights, clean drinking water, renewable resources and so on, we need to start at home with self love. A friend, mentor and extraordinary healer, David Elliott says this about self love:

“Self love connects you to everyone and everything. Once you love yourself you can effectively move out into the world and love others…For love to exist in the world it has to happen inside you first, then it can propagate 360 degrees around you”

Loving you takes some effort. It takes work. I’ve worked with thousands of people on this and the ones who change, keep at it daily. After some time, the change takes root and the old values fall away.

In general, the old values of success are based on material accumulation and physical sacrifice. From this antiquated notion of success we will never be able to solve our socio-environmental crisis without changing our values of success. Notice, I didn’t include economic in the previous statement. I’m confidant our economy will shift. The question is, can we sustain it?

To take it further – because we fundamentally do not value ourselves, do not practice loving ourselves, and self love is not a cultural value, we can’t truly love and respect each other, the planet and its resources.

This is not a black and white issue. Of course some of us do love ourselves to various degrees. What I see in the world is that most people don’t or have very little self love. The primary value around success is more like the following:

  • If you are not dog-ass tired by the time you finish work – then you didn’t work hard and you are not a success.
  • If you don’t have a big house and a fancy car then you didn’t make it.
  • If you don’t have your act 100 percent together then work harder.
  • If your health isn’t suffering a little then you are not sacrificing enough.

A strong work ethic is important, don’t get me wrong. I’m not promoting abandoning your real world responsibilities. The trend I’m seeing in my clinic in Eugene and in the media is that people motivate by beating themselves up, self flagellation – perhaps a relic from the Judeo-Christian inheritance. I am seeing people from every social economic stratum in major health crisis because they’ve beaten themselves up so hard with their over-sized commitments that their bodies are surpassing the tipping point of what can be physiologically withstood. I am seeing this trend in nearly every age range.

Self-love may seem simple and straightforward. It’s not.

Self-love does not happen automatically, we have to bring awareness to it; breathe it into our cells. Our innate default is to glaze over our achievements or just as useless, gloat in them.

Humility is not ignoring your goodness. It is deeply valuing it.

When we beat ourselves up and perpetuate the cycle of giving without receiving, the cycle of giving and receiving is incomplete. If we push hard enough, we reach a point of depletion, where we have to take a break or quit. This is not sustainable. At some point the body stops us or we become resentful of someone or some thing. The objectification of resentment is a smoke screen that hides resentment of self and the pain of not honoring your Heart. This all stems from lack of self love. 10 things you love about you. Love Cultural Revolution starts with you. Let’s go.

more Love… Luke

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