Self-loving is an embodied state of being and relating in the world; not just a mental concept. Just like not everyone wins the lottery for some people enhancing self-loving can be a lifelong process: for some it is their deepest life purpose, others heal & embody this before going on to help others, many stay blind & stuck perpetuating habits that gloss over & reinforce their wounds, some go slow chipping away & healing incrementally, others go right to the core using effective healing techniques to rewire their nervous systems & enhance self-love. Here are 7 key indicators of self-Loving:
1. At ease in solitude or relaxation
We are literally wired via our nervous system’s for connection from the time or in the woman especially for the first two years of life, after which we begin to explore the world venturing out in solitude, ideally from a safe base. The healthy version of this has natural cycles of intimacy with others and intimacy with self in solitude. Of course they’re different personality styles on the spectrum of introversion and extroversion but the sign is something a right lie in either end of the extreme: healthy solitude is different than frequent isolation and avoidance of intimacy, as well as healthy connection & social engagement vs. neediness of constant intimacy with others. Sometimes this shows up as isolating sometimes as fear of sustained intimacy with others while isolating OR fear of being alone while being hyper-relational trying to fill up self-love through excessive connection with others are both indicators of self-love deficiency.
2. Don’t allow or rarely attract disrespect
This doesn’t mean we need to fight at any questionable glance or speech but healthy self love goes hand-in-hand with healthy boundaries. We train people how to treat us based upon the degree of self-love and self respect that we emit and what we’re willing to put up with. Initially this might involve stopping others disrespectful words or actions by bringing their attention to it to conscious communication. Eventually as we feel deeper self-love & emit self-respect & healthy energetic boundaries, people naturally treat us with self-respect.
3. Able to receive compliments and acts of love
Paradoxically underneath and some peoples desperate wanting of love, we can have blocks around receiving love from others related to our own feelings of worthiness or scabs from past pain / unmet developmental needs. Notice how your body responds (via sensation in motion energetics I contact or staying in connection) when someone offers you a complement or act of love, as an indicator of your own threshold receiving which can be indirectly related to self-love.
4. Core shame
Feeling unworthy, defective, flawed, unlovable. Healthy shame is essential for interpersonal learning because it allows us to feel the negative impact we’ve had on ourselves or others. A small dose of healthy shame, plus emotional vulnerability empathy and connection are all essential ingredients in a sincere apology. Healthy shame can be thought of as as related to I have done something wrong, where as core shame is more related to I am fundamentally unlovable unworthy or flawed. For people who don’t know what shame is and complete blind spot around it, can indicate a bundle of course shame in their own core region making them unable to feel even small doses of healthy wrong doing because it hooks the big unresolved garbage bag in their bellies and initiates a toxic shame spiral of feeling not enough not good enough, unworthy or unlovable. The first step towards increasing self-love is to desensitize emotional charge on past and especially childhood-look for the first and worst charged experienced of feeling rejected and lovable not good enough or shamed.
5. Not afraid of being in intimate connection nor losing love or connection
Again we are designed to go through natural rhythmic cycles of relating and solitude. Sometimes feeling unworthy of love can either have us avoid connection or seek it constantly. Failure to go through some natural grieving in relationship transition probably indicates avoidant detachment, while continual fear of losing love could point to not being securely center within yourself. If you are leaning on a post and the post falls over then so do you, whereas if you are standing centered and in connection to the pole their would be a natural sadness if the post went away but you would not fall over. Again to the first item if you have a hard time being alone or quickly jump from one relationship to the next it is something to look at. Fear on either ends of this spectrum are our red flags for self-loving.
6. Self care with healthy body image
These are very clear indicators or self-loving; how do you care for yourself: Do you nourish yourself with quality food most of the time? Do you drink water when thirsty? Do you sleep when tired? Do you exercise and move your body? Do you take healthy space and reach out for connection when needed? How is your body image and acceptance of your body: the kindness of inner dialogues about your body is a good indicator here.
7. Seeking excessive validation from others
Of course as humans we all have healthy needs to be seen appreciate and acknowledged, but a healthy degree of these or feedback and objective reflection are different than validation and filling up our own worth through capturing others attention. Check in with yourself to explore the difference: did you share that thing for perspective, inspiration and connection OR to increase your own worth points?
5 Keys to Healing & Increasing Self-Love:
Positive Affirmations can be helpful but are like scratches if used first or exclusively in comparison to some of the below listed potent interventions (in order of priority) according to practitioners successfully working with people in the trenches who actually experiencing healing, transformation enhanced self-love over time.
1. Desensitize past shame experiences one-by-one (until the memory remains but there’s no longer any associated emotional charge).
2. Re-imprint unmet developmental needs as a child (healthy needs for breast-feeding, touch, connection, safety, attunement, presence, acknowledgment, autonomy, feeling seen, etc.)
3. Open body channels for giving and receiving love and connection.
4. Wire into the nervous system the ability to be embodied and related (vs. self-absorbed or losing self in connection).
5. Be in romantic relationship with a loving securely attached stable partner (song lyrics: “let me love you & i will love you until you love yourself”) (for much faster & effective results consider working with a developmental and body-oriented coach or therapist, Luminous Awareness Practitioner, EMDR or EFT therapist, etc.) in overflowing LOVE & OPENNESS.
May we all increasingly enhance our self-love, our ability to give and receive love with self, others work and life, ultimately opening as LOVE itself.