Type the words “self-love” into any index of psychology journals and you will pull up nearly 300 articles on narcissism. True story. In my academic job, I have been conducting research on self-love for a couple of years now and I am getting tired of reading about narcissism.
When I think of narcissism, I think of people who are arrogant, lack empathy, willingly exploit others for their own gain, and are emotionally unstable. (And, believe me, I should know – before I met my current life partner, I dated a few men who fit this bill.) But none of those behaviors appear on the surface to be loving, do they?
When I think of the word “love,” I think of affection, intimacy, friendship, effective communication, trust, honesty, caring, consideration, sharing, support, appreciation and respect. As I’ve gotten older, I have even started putting the word “unconditional” in there because I think love should involve being there for your loved one whenever or whatever happens.
into something that involves narcissism. Isn’t it time we changed that definition?
In her book, Madly in Love with ME: The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend, my friend and colleague Christine Arylo defined self-love as “the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, so solid, so unwavering that you choose only situations and relationships – including the one you have with yourself – that reflect that same unconditional love and respect.” That’s a beautiful concept isn’t it?
– when you Inner Mean Girl keeps telling you how flawed you are? Step one: learn to forgive yourself.
In today’s video, I explain how to write a letter of forgiveness to yourself and start to let that sh*t go.
If you want more help and support around learning to love yourself, I invite you to join my new sacred circle and on-line community where we are working on self-love this month.