There's a lot of talk out there about self-compassion, self-love, and self-esteem, and let me tell you, self-love is not for sissies.
Ample research shows that compassion actually has healing properties, and one can only imagine what self-compassion can do. And if you're in need of love, who better to give it to you but yourself?
The reason I say that self-love isn't for sissies is that many people might think that self-love is for people who don't have anything better to do, who can't get love from others, or who are otherwise isolated or cut off from other people.
But to the contrary, some of the most powerful people I know are capable of great self-love, and that love is not selfish or self-serving, it's actually simple self-esteem and a strong sense of self-worth.
You see, it's my belief that people who are strong on the inside are actually more capable of loving themselves in a healthy way. People who believe in themselves and have strong self-esteem are more actualized, can accomplish more in the world, and can also create and maintain healthier relationships than those who are incapable of loving themselves.
When it comes to health, self-love is one of the keys. If you didn't love yourself, why would you try to lose weight, control your blood sugar, exercise, or eat well? If you didn't love yourself, why would you consider it worthwhile to go to the doctor, get your blood drawn or keep yourself in shape? If we love ourselves, we want to feel good and look good, and we want to do things for ourselves that improve our lives and our health.
Those who consider self-love as being only for "sissies" are missing the boat. In their defense of a hardened position against love and compassion, they cheat themselves of a practice that boosts the immune system, improves self-esteem, and allows us to achieve our greatest brilliance and well-being.
To love yourself takes an inner strength that comes from a healthy ego (to borrow a popular Freudian term), and that healthy ego allows you to move forward in the world with confidence.
Self-love is a key to well-being---be it physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually---and it's self-love that can see you through the tough times.
Use healthy self-love to buoy yourself against adversity and strengthen your resolve to live the healthiest, most vibrant life possible. You deserve to love yourself, and that self-love will only generate even more love and compassion for yourself and the others in your life.