As the founder of The S.W.A.T. Institute, the world's number one online Personal Empowerment Coaching Certification School for women, I spend my days helping women to learn how to love themselves. When most of my clients first come to me, they desperately want to love themselves. But, they feel guilty or unsure of what that even looks like.
Many worry that they will be portrayed as selfish, self-serving or self-absorbed. They wonder, "what does self-love really look like?" Well, let me begin by telling you what self-love doesn't look like.
Twenty years ago, I was embarking on my 20s. I was a good-looking young woman who got more attention than I knew what to do with. Yet, could never understand what people were looking at.
I despised a million things about my body and face, which mattered because I had been taught from my mother that "appearances" were everything. As a young child, I had been teased incessantly by my older brother, and I saw nothing but the ugly version of myself he professed I was.
I had gone through a very challenging time in my teens, finally escaping my parent's bitter divorce, sexual abuse from my mother's "friend" and moving out on my own at the age of 15. I was insecure, disconnected, afraid and completely unconscious. I walked through life half asleep. I was an angry girl, who smothered the anger with lip gloss, wide smiles and a carefree attitude. I fooled everyone.
When I heard people talk about "loving themselves," I felt angry. To me, it was only selfish mothers who abandoned their children and who would say things like, "Don't make me feel guilty. I'm sorry, but I have to love myself first." It was only neglectful fathers who quoted lines such as, "If you can't please yourself, you can never please anyone else." How To Make Your Wildest Dreams Come True
I guess you could say I was an angry, grown-up child whose own parents blabbed on about "self-love" while they neglected, abandoned and emotionally devastated their own children. In my opinion, self-love was a cop-out for selfish narcissism.
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