You may have heard that being kind to yourself goes a long way. Yes, it does! My experience with depression, anxiety and conjuring the will to be kind to myself throughout this process of transformation and healing was not easy but necessary and it helped me in multiple ways to grow, learn to focus on solutions and accept that I will be making mistakes as long as I breathe.
Self-love is associated with valuing your own happiness and owning your personal needs, physical and emotional hence, it is a never ending and unconditional support for as long you live. In its purest form, self-love can become a well of care, compassion, happiness and worthiness. Self-love can be hard to practice without judgment in a world filled with barriers, which is why I find that having emotional support and considering cures like therapy are extremely important. Many may tell you that self-love is selfish, but it really is not about that, it is all about changing your orientation, your definition of success and thinking positive, striving to achieve a beneficial and balanced life.
Sometimes, self-love has been considered a cliché however it is an important component of your well-being. It is difficult but not impossible, content and independent, induces resilience and satisfaction. Through practicing Nichiren Buddhism, our condition is a mirror of our inner self; Self-love has helped me in overcoming obstacles without losing my center, has improved my abilities to solve my own problems, has assisted me in recognizing depression without being negative and combating the symptoms. Through traditional routes, psychological or scientific means, embracing your own darkness and troubled mind can improve your relationships and work life. Without accepting your problems, helping others can be; you will start projecting your own shadows on others and experience physiological dissonance when your behavior does not match your mental state. Without proper guide you can become distant and lose yourself in a destructive process, you cannot achieve self-love by mere words, it needs; you cannot feel accepted unless you accept the worst when you are solving this riddle of your mind, heart and life.
The seed of conflict with self stems from some major backward and destructive chemical reactions in the brain and neurosis which is a state of being at war with you. Such phenomenon arises due to lack of self-esteem; knowledge and suspicion that you are not right, or you are at conflict with another false identity inside yourself. This conflict can be spiritual with your own ego, basically a spilt in the personality. The source of neurosis can be from inside or external, anything that accentuates neurosis can make it worse and anything that mitigates neurosis tends to promote healing.
Often times, we are harsh to ourselves more than we are with others. We should try to be soft to ourselves rather than ignoring our inner voice, we should prioritize our needs, change our perspective and be more forgiving to our self. This practice of self-love is often translated in Yoga such as warrior poses and other self-care strategies that are aimed towards reducing stress level and battling associated diseases such as chronic illness, depression, anxiety, drug abuse, hypertension, obesity, eating disorder, cancer and post-traumatic stress.
Self-love can be a blessing if it is not turned into a crisis; it is the realization of our talent, personality, strength and the power of our emotions. Once you have figured out where you stand, you will find your path, and this can be done by simply talking to yourself and how you feel about it. Self-love is associated with certain Mantra techniques such as writing a compassionate letter to yourself that identifies everything that does not make you feel good enough, meditation, exercises, becoming mindful, introducing good self-care habits in routine or listening to empowering talks. I have learned that trusting my instincts, being truthful, setting healthy boundaries, listening to my body, taking a break from my work, decreasing screen time and introducing a healthy diet has also contributed to my spiritual, physiological and psychological growth.
Having discussed the core of problems and treatment options out there today, resolving you to exhibit self-love is crucial to a healthy life style. For me, the healing was mostly working on my thought process which involved working with my own demons, learning the uncomfortable truth, accepting my shortcomings and failures. Using modern psychology and psychotherapy is relatively new in this discipline, it is a rather complicated course, not so delightful to choose and might involve a moment’s hesitation. It pushes us to accept our own capacities of judgment, shame, anxiety and fear, without accepting these parts we cannot make a true connection to ourselves that is deep enough that we no recriminations for expressing our feelings. The healing process softens our inner war and we allow ourselves to be seen as who are truly are, granting ourselves right to exist without having to answer.
In other words, my experience tells me that self-love is basically telling myself that I am entitled to happiness, the accumulated anxiety took me years to overcome and taught me that downgrading myself is unnecessary and that only a positive approach can help me in recovering from depression. It has taught me that kindness, forgiveness and understanding is important in my life, it underlines that being aware of the suffering helps in dealing with a stressful situation and practicing self-love, mindfulness and being kind to myself is important in the midst of a rough patch, this approach has changed my thinking and outlook on life in general.
This all sounds simple but in reality, being simple is art and being good to yourself is always the most difficult. Being aware of self-love, having a simple outlook and acceptance in its true essence can change your take on life.