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Understanding Love - 5 Ways to Tell if You Love Who You Are

A lot of people think that 'loving themselves' sounds selfish and arrogant, rather than an essential part of the love process. While being 'in love' with yourself can be unhealthy, it is always a good thing to value yourself for who and what you are. Here's 5 ways to tell if you love who you are, and why doing so important.

1. You Don't Always Need Other People's Approval

If you don't know within yourself what you have to offer the world and feel comfortable and confident with that, then you may spend a lot of time seeking other people's approval in order to feel good about yourself. This is insecurity (for more about being secure, see here). If instead you're able to show yourself respect by not letting others walk over you, put you down or hold you back, then it's likely you have a healthy relationship with yourself.

2. You're at Peace With Yourself

Instead of always being plagued by self-doubt, confusion and worries, if you love who you are, you know what you can and can't do and are at peace with that. You don't feel like you're lacking in some way, have to prove yourself or that there's something wrong with you. This doesn't mean that you're blind to your faults or mistakes, just that you don't let them define who you are.

3. It's Easy for You to Give of Yourself to Others

People who like themselves often find it easier to like others and show them love. The reverse is also true - those who are unhappy with themselves usually have little to give other people. They are either so full of self-hate or feel so empty inside that the thought of giving of themselves to others is draining, overwhelming and/or even stressful. Instead they may (perhaps subconciously) project how they feel about themselves on others, making it difficult to sustain healthy relationships. As the saying goes, you can't give what you don't have, and without loving yourself first, it will be difficult to truly love others.

4. You're Happier in Day to Day Life

If you love who you are, most likely you will be happier in every day life. This is because you aren't constantly fighting against yourself or wrestling with low self-esteem. This also means you don't stress as easily over simple tasks, other people's opinions or doing what you need to do. You don't dwell in self-pity or feel resentful towards life, but rather feel equipped to make the most of what opportunities come your way.

5. You Don't Feel the Need to Overfill Your Life

Often people who aren't comfortable with themselves overfill their life with work or commitments to other people. This then leaves them with neither the time nor the headspace to think about themselves and/or about how unhappy they are. If you love who you are however, you are happy with your own company and don't need to escape from yourself, nor do you need to prove your worth by constantly doing things for others or working too hard, nor punish yourself by burning yourself out. Instead, you are able to live a balanced life.   

If you don't think you appreciate yourself as much as you should, then a good way to start is by realising that no matter what your past has been, no matter how people have treated you, no matter what mistakes you have made, there is still something in you that is worth loving. By discovering and appreciating that, you can come to be at peace with yourself, and only then find it easier to engage in fulfilling and loving relationships.