Nov 14, 2018 | Your Relationships

Catherine A. Wood

Why Self-Love Does NOT Equal Self-Indulgence

Last night on our coaching call, a client shared one of the greatest gifts she has received from working with me…

She used to relate to self-love as self-indulgence, and now she sees self-love as a form of self-respect.

I was blown away by the potency of her statement, and just how true that is for so many of us.

What I notice is that this seems to be a common pattern with people: They tend to relate to self-love as self-indulgence, as if loving themselves means they actually deserve to indulge.

In my experience, this actually helps to explain why people who do make high incomes carry credit card debt or why people do hold onto excess weight.

I was really struck with the high level of response and interest in my blog post last Friday, and what I got from my client’s aha moment is that the misinterpretation between self-love and self-indulgence is where it stems from.

We relate to self-love as deserving to indulge ourselves.

I think of little girls who have their dads wrapped around their fingers. It’s like they’ve trained their parents, or their father, or even themselves to give into their every little want as an act of proof that they’re deserving of love.

But in listening to my client last night and sharing in her experience, I really got that—when we completely love ourselves—then from there we can actually respect ourselves sufficiently to put boundaries in place in service of ourselves.

Boundaries around our expenses, our credit card debt, our physical health…

…boundaries that truly honor the person we want to be rather than who we are.

A beautiful place to practice this might start with self-care. From a place of truly honoring and respecting your body, what would expressions of that respect look like? What are the well being practices you would empower? How would you nourish your body? How would you enroll in exercise?

Another place to look is relationships. This is another area where the importance of self-love as self-respect truly shows up. Because from truly honoring and respecting ourselves, people can say whatever they want to us, and their words don’t actually become a reflection of us. They’re just a mirror—a reflection—of the other person.

Recognizing that self-love does not equal self-indulgence means that we get to respect ourselves enough to know ourselves and honor who we want to be.

If you find yourself wanting a shift in your own life in this area, I invite you to a complimentary coaching session to explore what’s truly possible in your life from choosing to honor yourself..

How will you practice this week? Share with us in the comments below.

To fully loving and respecting who we want to be,

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