A Spiritual Approach to Self-love
When it comes to others’ success (especially our loved ones) and the hard work we see them putting towards their goals, we are usually on top of the congratulating game. We are so quick to express words of admiration, support, and encouragement.
But if the lights are shining on us — we tend to be the last to congratulate ourselves. This lack of expressing self-love can escalate into other issues, like self-deprecating thoughts, self-loathing, and low-self esteem that impact our sense of motivation and drive to continue pursuing our goals.Respect. Honor. Empathy. Encouragement. While these are integral elements in all our relationships, they are so important in the unparalleled relationship with ourselves, too. Acts of loving yourself to maintain a healthy body and mind do not diminish your sense of generosity, rather, those acts increase it. If you fail to recognize the potential in you, you’ll lack the ability and strength to be of benefit to others. Not only that — acquiring a self-loving mindset is a form of ibadah (worship); it is a form of showing gratitude to your Creator.
Aisha (R.A) reported, The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent for Uthman ibn Mazh’un, and he came. The Prophet said, “O Uthman, do you not desire my practice?” Uthman said, “O Messenger of Allah, no by Allah. I seek your practice.” The Prophet said, “Verily, I sleep and I pray, I fast and I break my fast, and I marry women. Fear Allah, O Uthman, for your family has rights over you and your guest has rights over you. Verily, your own self has rights over you, so fast and break your fast, pray and sleep” [Sunan Abu Dawud 1369].
Nurture your mind and your body — both have rights over you. Be mindful of what you consume. Give your body the nourishment it requires, the activity that it needs, and the rest that it demands. Spend time alone to reflect on your thoughts, thinking patterns, and internal conflicts. Write. Paint. Create goals. Acknowledge the ones you have accomplished and be grateful for the work you’ve been able to put into the goals still pending. Do more of what fills your heart with peace and joy.In the Qur’an, Allah tells us, “We have certainly created man in the best of stature…” (95:4). Self-doubt will only prevent you from having the strength to pursue your passions and achieve your goals — and the only way to defeat it is to truly know that God created you with a purpose. He wants you to discover that purpose, acknowledge your strengths, appreciate the skills and talents He’s blessed you with, express gratitude to Him, and give love to yourself. A huge part of loving Him is loving yourself — not only one of His creation, but the best of His creation.