The Dangers of Self-Love Advice
In the last several years, the topic of self-love has been trending across social media platforms and other media outlets. Indeed, the idea of self-love is important because we realize that if we love ourselves, we can create love for others. As you scroll down your timeline on Facebook, you’ll probably see lots of quotes and advice for people who are struggling to “just love themselves more.”
The problem is that when this advice is given by “Katie from Facebook” who doesn’t know the full story, psychological state, or emotional sensitivities of the person in distress, suggestions like “You just need to love yourself, honey!” may backfire big time, because a person who has never known what self-love is will have a hard time taking that advice. There are many people who didn’t get an example of self-love during their childhood, even with loving parents. Your parents might tell you that you’re the most amazing thing in the world, but if you grew up watching your parents not loving themselves, there is no concept of it in your mind. So no matter how many times you are told to “love yourself,” you are only going to be more frustrated. Everyone talks about self-love as an easy solution, and if you feel like you’re the only one who isn’t getting it, you’ll feel like something is wrong with you. This can kill motivation for any type of improvement and actually increase the feeling of disconnect from society, putting you in a darker place. It’s important to be careful when giving advice to somebody to love themselves.
In reality, in order for any of us to experience self-love, we need to go through three levels of understanding. Self-love can only be experienced at the third level. Let’s look at all these stages separately:
1. The first level is the physical level. This is where we experience reality with touch, smell, taste, etc. These senses create emotions in our body. It may seem this is an easy level to “pass” on our journey to self-love, yet unfortunately many of us are stuck here. Drugs, alcohol, pot, or prescription medications can change our feelings and our connections with the physical reality. Sometimes, this disconnection is so strong that we can’t feel ANY feelings at all, let alone self-love!
Last year I had a client, a really incredible man with a huge heart, who just didn’t have a concept of emotions anymore. He was hurt. He went through a lot of struggles in his life and completely disconnected from pain, which we often do. We think that pain is our enemy and we need to avoid it at all costs, which in turn kills ALL emotions. This was a man in his fifties. We had to use pictures to identify his emotions. He didn’t know what love, hatred, sadness or loneliness felt like…how can you just advise a person like that to love himself? You can’t. Lots of layers of healing needed to happen before he could reach self-love.
2. The second level is our interpretation of the world. This is where our old defense mechanisms and childhood experiences kick in. I have a client who broke up with her boyfriend because he didn’t call her on time. It seems silly to some of us, but for her, it reminded her of many times of feeling abandoned—for her, that call meant more than just a call. How can I tell her to love herself when she has no rational way of reacting to her triggers yet? We needed to go deep and heal from past experiences, then create new coping mechanisms, and only then she would be able to love herself.
3. The third level is the level of consciousness. You stop looking at events through the eyes of your trauma or ego, and start observing the world as it is, with only pure curiosity for learning more. This is the state where you can choose to love yourself. Only in the third level can you remove yourself from the equation, so you can choose to love yourself.
While self-love is important, it is equally important to recognize that some people may not be able to benefit from it yet. Before telling someone to simply “love themselves,” be mindful of their struggles that you may or may not be aware of and consider whether or not this is really helpful advice.
If you are ready to take your self-love journey to the next level, I offer a wide variety of energy healing services for any stage of your life. Connect with me at www.drmarinakostina.com, emailing to: firstname.lastname@example.org or TEXTING to (319) 594-5530.
ABOUT DR MARINA KOSTINA
Dr. Marina Kostina is a bestselling Author, Award-Winning Transformational Coach, Healer, Hypnotherapist, and Researcher. She guides consciously-minded individuals on a journey to reclaim the fragmented pieces of their souls. Dr. Kostina helps men and women manifest their biggest dreams and create a lifestyle that brings them freedom by breaking through their lethargic status quo and starting to live ravenously through her healing practice, online coaching, therapy sessions and spiritual retreats all over the world.