What’s The Difference Between Selfish and Self-Love?

 

Yesterday, I ran a workshop called Commit to a Balanced 2012 (and Do Away with Resolutions!!).  A wonderful, warm group of fabulous ladies joined me for the afternoon; we cried, laughed and worked our way through an enormous amount of material.  The workshop was designed to help participants identify their own personal motivation style and thereby understand why past resolutions haven’t worked.  Each participant then had a chance to determine what their lives look like on paper, in terms of how much time they spend on 6 important areas and make commitments in areas that required more focus.

To make a commitment that they are more likely to keep, they learned the following:

1.  To use the motivational method that best suits them and

2.  Most importantly, to make commitments to themselves from a place of SELF-LOVE!!

You try it.  Make a statement about something you would like to add in your life and then ask yourself, “Why do I want to add this in my life?”  If the answer is anything except “I love myself and am worth being loved and taken care of”…then re-evaluate your need to focus on it.

For example, one workshop participant suggested she needed to add more to her “spiritual” life and felt she should be going to church more often.  When I asked her why she wanted to go to church more often, it became clear to both of us that her reasons stemmed from a place of guilt.  That is not a commitment made from self-love, it is not self-serving and it will a) not stick b) not add anything to her life except stress and c) not really give her the spiritual connection she is looking for.

It sounds simple and like something we should all be able to do, but it’s a challenge for most of us.  To really love oneself often requires a lot of peeling away at layers and removing harmful underlying beliefs that we have accumulated over our lives.  But this workshop was a step in the direction of change and progress, and a reminder that support is available when you are ready to take those steps.

Because self-love is the basis for making all areas of our life work (and this is something Louise Hay writes about in her book, You Can Heal Your Life), it is important to understand what it is and what it is not.

Self-love is not being selfish.  According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of selfish is:  concerned exclusively or excessively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure or well-being without regard for others. 

Loving yourself or believing you are worthy of love has no relationship to being selfish – there is no disregard for other people, just a kind regard for yourself.  I would even say that the more you commit to acts of loving yourself, the more loving energy you put in to all of your relationships, interactions and activities.

What are YOUR thoughts?  How often have you struggled with the notion of self-love being selfish?  We all have at one point or another.  What we learned at the workshop is that when we share these experiences, they are easier to understand and work with.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

4 thoughts on “What’s The Difference Between Selfish and Self-Love?

  1. I just finished a book study with some ladies from my church on a similar subject. The book is called “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It basically comes down to knowing and enforcing your limits. If you help people, whether through volunteering or family obligations or at work or whatever, and your motives are not pure, you are not only NOT helping yourself, but sometimes you are harming the people you are trying to help. The book goes into a lot more depth, but this post would compliment that book quite well.

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