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Do You Love Yourself?

These days you look out among the landscape of mankind and you see that there are so many wonderful vistas the exemplify man’s achievements. You see a moment of where we as humans just shine in a dazzling display of love and caring. Ever notice that these moments are shared repeatedly in social media. You see everyone comments about how awesome that person was. Maybe you hear someone say they wished there were more people like that.

Then you also look out into the valleys of man’s realms and you see people fighting. There are horrible tragedies going on, kids who feel they can’t make a difference are making a horrible and desperate last-ditch effort to make an impact in their world. They are doing this by committing random acts of violence. Then you see people who can’t even take a little dissenting viewpoint without flying into a rage. We now have a cancel culture, and people running around acting as if they are the only person in the world who has been victimized.

This second instance is what I want to focus on. Now I know I am not going to fix the world’s problems, that’s not even my goal for this post or even this blog. The objective is to help those who what it. One of the biggest problems I see is not so much the lack of understanding or that there isn’t anybody caring for each other. It is a lack of love, and that lack isn’t for other people. You ask anybody who they love and they can name somebody they love. Yet we still have divorce rates that are sky-high. Why? They were in love with the person they married 5 years before. So what was the big change? The answer is nothing changed. The problem was there the whole time it’s just that so many people don’t think to look at this problem.

So what is the problem?

So many people don’t love themselves. They will not give themselves an ounce of credit but will instantly slam the hate hammer down on themselves for the slightest goof up.

You see people talk about others behind their back yet are the first to profess that they love everyone.  We have an obesity problem and people instantly point to sugar or fats yet I really don’t see that as the source of the problem. Now, this isn’t a push for a church. Nor am I going to say that you need to go to a church. Yet, a religious congregation does have tools that can help you with the root of the problem, that is if you can find a church that addresses the problem of struggling to find a way to love yourself. It seems to me that this lack of self-love and self-caring started growing as the idea of going to church fell out of favor. It is also tied to when churches started allowing secular ideas to creep in. All of a sudden, you are not talking about love and hope but churches started coming from a place of scarcity instead of abundance. They are talking about those who have been victimized and the unfairness of today’s society.

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Photo by Matt Collamer from unsplash

Now you see why I don’t say you have to go to a church because so many churches these days don’t even talk about loving yourself anymore. Yet in the Judeo-Christian, religion there is a verse in the bible Matthew 22:36-39 which reads

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:36-39

Now the key part is “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

So many people claim they love their neighbor yet don’t really show them the care or love. Why is that? Well because they love their neighbors as they love themselves. In other words, they don’t love themselves enough to fully care for their neighbor.

How do you know what love is?

Many people respond to that question with a comment along the lines of when people do something nice for me. To phrase it another way is that a person does an act that causes you to generate thought and that thought creates the emotion love. So why do you not feel love towards yourself? If you look over the previous sentence, you see that it is because you don’t think highly of yourself. Many people I would wager have a good deal of self-loathing going on. Especially with the amount of outrage and spite that is going through today’s society.

If you step back just a little and examine where people are coming from you start to see how self-hate and a lack of patience with themselves come causes so much of today’s woes.

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Photo by Elijah Macleod

What does love feel like?

What do you feel when you are feeling the love? Most of the time you are happy or full of joy. Perhaps you feel light and giggly. Love is often tied to happy and positive emotions. Never have I had love to be associated with negative emotions or bad feelings.

Love often causes you to want to do things for the person you are feeling love towards. You may want to actually take the trash out or surprise yours with a meal you took the time to cook. Love is the greatest emotion you can feel, and the cool thing about that emotion is that you can feel it anytime you want. All you have to do is think a thought that makes you feel loved. Then you can direct that love at anybody and the person you love has no control over that.

You can love anybody at any time and there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it. That is simply amazing.

You treat others as you want to be treated.

Perhaps you remember the golden rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. Yet I have noticed many people don’t do that because they believe they will be shortchanged. Say you have a couple of family members who are at odds with each other. One feels that the other has slighted them in some way. Why do they hold on to that grudge that obviously doesn’t feel good?  When they wish that, the other person would just say they are sorry.

The answer to why I hear from time to time is that the other side of the feud will be able to gloat or they will say I told you so. My response to that argument is why would you feel that you have to gloat or that you got a hand upon the person if they come to you and said they were wrong? This sadly often confuses the person because they are often not seeing that is what is really in their hearts. They know that their actions are not coming from a place of love, so how could their current adversary possibly not be in the same boat?

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Photo by Alvin Mahmudov from Unsplash

Yet if you truly love yourself letting the other person have the supposed and nonexistent upper hand would be just fine. That is because you actually get to heal that relationship and feel the love you want when being with that person. Yet people would rather punish themselves by making themselves feel like crap by denying themselves the opportunity to feel that wonderful emotion love.

What happens when you don’t love yourself?

Now I touched on it in the previous section but let’s dive a little deeper into what some of the key indicators that are observed when someone doesn’t love themselves. I have seen that self-hate is often the epitome of the saying when you point a finger there are three more pointed back at you.

Lots of Suspicions

Have you ever come across a person who doesn’t trust anybody? Do you ever wonder why they have trust issues? One reason could be that several people have betrayed them in the past, and that is possible. Yet everybody has faced betrayal at one time or another. So why does this person either attract so many Judases in their life? It could be because they are so overly trusting, but then they would not be suspicious. Many times people who are suspicious wind up not loving themselves because they actually betrayed somebody they were close to and they actually hate themselves for the very act they suspect others of doing.

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Photo by Atharva Tulsi from Unsplash

Punish themselves

Now you may think I am meaning actions of self-abuse like cutting and self-harm acts similar to this. Yes, that is one point. Yet, there are other actions that also amount to self-harm that I would like to point out.

Overeating

Probably the most common form of self-loathing the US has as of right now.  We all know the different health problems associate with being fat, yet still, people eat until they are stuffed. Then they wonder why they have developed resistance to insulin.

The number of reasons people overeat equal the number of people who actually overeat. Yet each excuse and reason delves back to the person not wanting to feel a particular emotion. Most often, that emotion is self-hatred for something that happened in the past. Whether it was their fault or not, it doesn’t matter, most people over-consume because they want to run away from a certain emotion.

What about people with thyroid conditions. Yeah, that medical condition is out of the person’s control. Yet they know that their weight is because of a thyroid issue. Yet, because they often see themselves as being fat or have become ugly, they don’t take the steps needed to rectify the problem at hand.

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Photo by Carles Rabada from Unsplash

I do understand the overweight issue if you have watched any of my YouTube video’s you see that I am a long way from being a toothpick. Yeah even, I battle with this problem. I get that I eat out of scarcity mindset and I don’t treat my body with the love and care it deserves.

Overeating is a form of buffering. This means that you use food as a type of shield so you don’t have to feel negative emotions. Those emotions may be generated by the thought of how big you are, or how wide your backside has become. Then you punish yourself by eating more because, you might as well do what your good at, right? This makes you feel stuffed and you are miserable because you did overeat. Then you start the whole cycle over again because you can’t stand how you look.

Much like the fighting sibling’s example, it takes you making the first step granting yourself some love and understanding.

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Over Drinking

Much like overeating over drinking is often caused by not having any love for who you are. Instead of food, you turn to the numbing agent of alcohol. Alcohol is a bit more socially acceptable form of self-punishment than say heroin. Yet it is often consumed for the very same reason. It gives people a reprieve from feeling negative emotions. However, we all have negative emotions in our lives. The act of resisting those emotions is an act of not loving yourself enough to experience that part of life. You as a human grow when you are stressed and uncomfortable.  Those negative emotions actually cause you to be a more well-rounded person. You often find that the negative emotion prepares you for great things in the future if you don’t resist.

That is why so many people who are drunks and alcoholics have such a hard time getting to the next level. They are not emotionally equipped to be at that next level. The alcoholic often doesn’t see themselves worthy of that success though you can hear them talk about how they wished they could become more successful.

Funny thing is, they can, all they have to do is accept themselves warts and all and start loving themselves for who they are. They will learn to see the value they have and that value becomes the love and desire to do better.

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Photo by Omar Lopez from Unsplash

Anger

Why are so many people angry these days? I have approached this question a few times, though I still feel like anger is one of the least productive emotions we experience. So many people turn to anger and its close cousin, frustration due to the point that they are feeling those very same emotions about themselves. Maybe they are angry about the girl that got away or they allowed a girl to break their heart. Which means they are again mad at themselves. Not allowing themselves to feel love and connection with another person all because they were vulnerable. They don’t allow themselves the needed grace and understanding to learn from that experience. Instead, they would rather keep all human interactions in a hostile form.

Often when you won’t allow yourself to be loved, you are also choosing to make sure you are not loveable. So One way many men do this is to side on anger yeah it keeps people away from you but that also keeps people away from you. When you have people close to you that is when you feel the best and have the most love.

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Photo by Uriel Soberanes From Unsplash

Resentment

Many times, there are those who stay angry at people for a very long time and I use to say that anger was a fertilizer that only created bitter fruit. Yet that can and often is the case it isn’t the only reason people are resentful. There are times that people that they were slighted and they harbor that feeling. They may not even remember why they hold that feeling so close to their heart yet they do. This creates people who hold a grudge.

A grudge is a tuned to you drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die. I know I have been this person before. I could be having a wonderful time and suddenly see someone that I “didn’t like”, here comes all my hatred, and any other negative emotion I could feel directed at someone who could actually couldn’t care less about what I am feeling.

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Image by Mikhail Shustov from Pixabay

You know what. They didn’t feel a thing, which is because those were my emotions. I turned all of my emotional happiness over to somebody I didn’t even like. Now tell me how does that make sense? The last person I would want to have control over my emotions was willingly handed over, and then they had the audacity to not even care! Now if that doesn’t show a lack of self-love then I don’t know how else I could ever explain it.

If I had really loved myself at that time, I would have a blast and made sure they saw that I was having a truly good time. I would have had full control of my emotions, maybe just maybe I would have chosen to feel nothing but love even toward them. Because they can be angry, at me, all they want but I have the pleasure and joy of feeling loved. That is real self-love in my books.

Self-sabotage

There are many different instances of self-sabotage going on in everybody’s life. From deciding to watch another episode of some show on Netflix instead of working towards your goal, or you eat another slice of pie though you want to lose 10 lbs.

One of the biggest indicators I see of men self-sabotaging and not showing themselves self-love is in the erectile dysfunction segment. I head more radio ads about men and their ED. People think that a pill will fix the problem when in reality the problem is in their head. They hate that they are getting older or they hate that they watch excessively much porn. This lack of self-love and allowing yourself some grace and puts more pressure on the person to perform and in doing so causes the man to have a limp noodle.

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Image by Amber Avalona from Pixabay

There are so many instances as to where you refuse to believe you can do something so you prove your point by making sure you can’t do that goal. Besides, for self-abuse, this is one of the largest and most common examples of a lack of self-love. Many people would rather sit around and complain about not being able to achieve their dreams. Than actually putting in the effort and showing themselves that they can actually do it.

Would you rather make excuses or blow your own mind with what you can actually do?

Feeling lost or frustrated

You even feel like you are just floating. Maybe you call it treading water. However, you want to express it. It is the sensation that you are not making any headway. You just sort of float and go wherever life takes you. If that isn’t self-hatred, I don’t know what is. You don’t want to try to achieve anything. A phrase fits this situation.

If you aim for nothing you will hit it every single time.

Really smart old dude

Why try to be great when you can just be ordinary? Who wants their dreams to come true? If that person is you, then you need to find some way to start taking massive action. You will never find your true happiness and path because, in reality, you don’t care.

You don’t like people

This is very evident in those who have to go to Walmart. How many people do you hear I hate going to Walmart? If you ask them why the response is often I hate dealing with people. Yet if you really pay attention to how often you interact with people at Wally world, you will notice that there is actually very little interaction. I am one who likes going just to see if I can find the rare Walmartians.  Watching people is actually a fascinating activity. Of course, I am probably the person you are most likely to interact with when at Walmart. This could range from you seeing yourself in other people, to you actually having to interact with people.

Yeah, there are the occasional impromptu Family or class reunions that can block the condiment aisle but in the grand scheme of things, it is nothing but a minor hindrance. So why are things like this such a big deal to those who are self-loved challenged? Could it be because they wish they could do the same thing yet don’t? Are they mad at themselves that they don’t talk to their families? The reasons vary but if you look inwards closely, you pick out the why.

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Image by johnpotter from Pixabay

Now, this isn’t to be confused with being an introvert. Being an introvert is when a person gets their energy from being away from crowds or by themselves. I know several people who love being around people but just happen to be introverts. Most people who claim to introvert use the word as an excuse so they don’t have to go out.

When you love yourself

Now it would be easy to say that take everything beforehand and make it the opposite would be the result of you loving yourself. Not entirely. Yeah, you end up enjoying the ability to be around people more. Yet it doesn’t mean that you will know right where you are and you know what you need to do next.

You show more patience towards yourself and others.

When you love yourself you are more accepting of the times you do something wrong. You often turn those oopsies and faux pas into a joke. Then your friends and you can laugh at them. Even if you are embarrassed, you know that you and the other people are just human. We screw up and make the wrong calls from time to time, or in my case more times than not.

You allow yourself more grace to be yourself. You become more welcoming to other people. They can see you are not out to judge them. You did see the bad choices and true you don’t like it. Nevertheless, as long as that action didn’t cross a boundary you let it slide.

You don’t judge

Now isn’t it interesting that those who scream so loud that they hate labels are the first to start putting up their own labels? There are people who have certain lifestyle choices that they want to be accepted. Yet they instantly throw out judgment and labels when they come across someone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle. Instead of practicing what they preach they throw the very think, they say they hate. Which is a judgment is it not?.

Now I could go into the hypocrisy of not wanting any judgment but that would become a 1500 word post all in itself. Therefore, maybe I will write about that somewhere down the road.

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Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Instead of being accepting that, people are different. People who are conflicted with who they say they are will scream loudly that they are <fill in the Blank>. While someone who is truly accepting of their choices is a lot more accepting of others’ choices whether they view that choice as appropriate choices or not. Many times people speak out and become frustrated again because of the self-guilt of not living true to who they are. There is a lack of acceptance of their choices.

If you do have experience self-love you are ok with yourself and that is all that really matters in your world.

Ready to Forgive

What happens is someone runs into you in the parking lot? Do you jump out and start gesticulating wildly about how it is the other person’s fault? Is your voice calm or are you trying to drown out the other person? What actions are you performing? Are you Calm and reserved or are you redlining?

If you love yourself, you again know that mistakes are made. Maybe they weren’t paying attention. Then again, it could be that you were trying to get the latest podcast phone as you were backing out and you pulled out in front of this guy. Getting angry and yelling again shows more of the anger you have with yourself than with the other guy.

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Image by dexmac from Pixabay

If you really love yourself then you can easily forgive the slight that happened. You can see that the other person is visibly shaken and you can put them at ease. You know you aren’t going to file a lawsuit over a small scratch. It really doesn’t matter in the whole. You are ok and you are not hurt, the same as the other guy. Any fender bender that happened can be fixed. Yeah, it may be an inconvenience, but I would much rather not have a car than being inconvenienced by the fact that somebody is in the hospital.

Self-love doesn’t get jealous

Jealousy is one of those useless emotions that show up in you when you are not secure. I have seen full-grown boys make themselves look like complete jackasses because they think they saw someone look at their girl from across the club. This Man-child starts flying into a jealous rage instead of being glad that they have a beautiful woman worthy of admiration by their side. Instead, they want to hide that beauty from everybody else because they may lose her.

Now that line of thinking is first a scarcity mindset. Yet, it also shows me that they are either so insecure in their own abilities that they are living in fear. This jealous man doesn’t understand that they are the reason for all the other girls leaving. Their insecurity is why the girls leave. Not that he is unworthy.

Then again, they could know that they are having frustrations with the fact that they are dating someone they can’t trust and they are angry with themselves that they don’t believe they can do any better than that. Both of these examples show that if you are not accepting of who you are you can’t accept who others are.

Self-love seeks to honor others

We know the occasional glory hound. They come and go but the guys who really ring true are the people who are out for the self-glory. They already love themselves so they have the admiration of one of the most important people in their world. Therefore, these people seek to help and serve other people by bringing glory to others.

How many times have you ever helped someone selflessly? Then see their face when you point all the glory to them. That experience is one of the best you could ever have. Then if you can honor another person and they not know that is because of your take that experience to a completely new level. So who could you honor? This is really a great way to experience the wonderful sensation of self-worth. If you can make someone else the star of the show and you let them take all the glory, you will be a truly happy person.

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Image by Jennifer Ditscheit from Pixabay

Self-respect allows you to see Beauty in others.

When you are happy with yourself, and you don’t have self-loathing on your mind, you can start to see the beauty in every human you encounter. Even the most disfigured Quasimodo has a beauty that, if you pay attention, shines through. You often see this example in the instance of homeless people who show acts of kindness to others.  

This is a wonderful benefit of people watching. Is seeing the light of humanity shine brighter as it touches other people. Be it in a pay it forward line at the coffee shop or someone dropping some doughnuts to a police station. Acts of kindness exemplify everybody’s inner beauty. It shines even brighter when you have love of who you are.

You protect yourself and others

We do have violent actions that happen in today’s world. That is undisputed. Yet those who love themselves see the beauty in others so they go to great lengths to protect that beauty, sadly to the extent that they give their lives selflessly. During the Aurora Colorado shooting, there were many men who shielded their girlfriends and total strangers from James Holmes. This act put themselves in the line of danger. Many that didn’t survive were described as happy people who loved everybody.

Self-love is more confident.

So many people feel that they can’t be confident. While confidence is built on doing. The act of loving yourself will actually push yourself out of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable is one of those actions that build confidence in the areas you want. You are confident that you can achieve an action you have chosen to make. Even if you fail, the first second or thirty-second try. You are confident that you can do it. Again, this example of self-love is giving yourself the grace to make the needed steps to achieve your goals.

You are also alright with failing because when you fail you are learning. You can take those lessons and become even better.

So inclosing of this huge blog post, I want to make sure you understand that you can love yourself it is good for you to do so. If you want to be able to accept and love other people, you have to first love yourself. You want to be able to accept who you are, warts and all. That is the first step. If there is something you want to change, later on, you can make those changes out of love. Not because you don’t like it. You will actually find it easier to lose weight after you have accepted your body as it is. Love your body and you want to honor it by starting to take care of it. You will not give up on the lack of weight being lost. Instead, you would start trying something different.

So if you are struggling with self-love, I know I do there are times I fight with myself and I see myself slide into the pits of self-loathing often. You have permission from me to be ok with that. So, find a way to accept yourself and start going down the path of loving yourself more and more each day.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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