Sometimes the concept of self-love can be misunderstood by many Muslims as an egocentric activity. If self-love for you creates pride and arrogance, then you’re doing it wrong. Self-love is about instilling a self-worth, respecting your body, mind and soul that Allah has gifted us and importantly taking the time to be comfortable with who you are. Ultimately, if you can love yourself, you will be better at loving those around you. We hope that these tips will be beneficial to single and married Muslims alike!
Grab your hot beverage of choice and see how these tips can help you fall in love with yourself again.
1) Positive Affirmations are more than just words.
According to psychological experts, positive affirmations impact the way we act and ultimately we shape our lifestyle. Walter E. Jacobson, research highlights that there is value in affirmations of a positive nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. According to Jacobson, what we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level can have a significant impact on the outcome of events. When you boil it down when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Think about the last time you had a boost of self-confidence and the impact it had on your activities for the subsequent hours that followed that boost. At first – using positive affirmations can be a tad uncomforting and awkward but remind yourself – statements and words become part of our mindset and psyche. What better way to love ourselves by reminding yourself that God has a plan for us and ultimately he is the best of planners. Try repeating your own custom affirmation in the mirror, when you wake up or after you pray. The benefits are amazing, In the pursuit of finding the right one, positive affirmations can help you realize your value and despite it being a stressful time for some here are some small affirmations you can tell yourself:
‘I know that Allah has gifted me with my talents, and blessings – he will provide the right spouse when the time is right..’
‘I am happy with the way Allah made me, I know that someone special is out there for me too.’
‘Allah has a great plan for me, as he has said he is the best of planners..’
2) Take time to have a conversation with… yourself.
This may sound very strange and at first, (P.S. it will be) – but take time to assess where you are and what you want. Importantly, outline what you love about your life currently. Whilst in this exercise it’s easy to drift and start aspiring towards other people’s positive lived experience, remind yourself that loving who you are and what you do on a day to day, is important in your journey of development. Some lifestyle experts recommend writing a love letter to yourself, and as weird and narcissistic as it may sound – your goal with the love letter is not that others fall in love with you, but you yourself are outlining what you love about yourself.
It can be difficult but try setting up a checklist or a journal on your phone and anytime something pops to mind note it down. With this set of love and fancies about yourself and your life, you will find tip number three to be more enhanced and more effective.
These ‘love points’ can also help guide your conversation as to what parts of your life you are content with, when finding the right soul mate an unusual conversation starter but can become very deep is to ask the opposite person what do they love about themselves? (Play it by ear but it is a very interesting question and can tell you a lot about the person and how they see the world).
Give Shukr, be grateful and thank those that mean something to you in your life. Firstly, the blessing of life is beautifully expressed through our difficult times and at times of ease. What is it about those times that we appreciate and ultimately our source of gratitude should be Allah. In Sura Luqman (a Surah which is amazing for self-tips and guidance from the knowledgeable and wise Luqman and his conversations with his son), Allah reminds us:
” And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for the benefit of his own self” (Luqman 31:12).
Gratefulness will help us count our blessings, focus on what is beneficial in our lives and importantly allow our mind to focus on the positivity. When you begin to count your blessing, also remind yourself if God has got you this far he has something bigger and better coming your way. As much as we count our blessings, Allah reminds us that he only bless us with more –
“If you are grateful, I will surely give you more and more” (Ibrahim 14:7).
To be in love with the biggest blessing of life is important but will only come about when you can truly say that you recognize its value. Being grateful is also about showing love and appreciation to those that mean something to you in your life. When you show compassion to friends, write someone a message as to why you value them and importantly express your gratitude to them – it will only fortify your relationships with them.
Isn’t it strange the people, we most often neglect in terms of telling them what they mean to us? Don’t leave things unsaid and ensure that you take the time thank people who are part of your journey. It’s a beautiful thing you can do for them but in the process the benefit and the amazing feeling you experience is indescribable.
4) Learn to forgive… yourself.
Pray for forgiveness, learn from your mistakes but don’t let them tie you down. A key part of seeking forgiveness is to promise to oneself that they will not repeat the same mistake again. When we seek forgiveness from Allah, we must also seek forgiveness from ourselves for committing that lapse in our journey. Doing it with the intention that you will not repeat the same mistake helps us in our progress and path as Muslims. When you have a frank discussion about the wounds of those sins, only then will we begin to heal and learn from those dark moments we have come out of.
Never despair, Allah’s mercy is all-encompassing and sincerity is always rewarded. When we begin to forgive ourselves we can also begin to start forgiving those that have wronged us too. By forgiving those around us we display glimpses of mercy, compassion and love only reciprocate it further. It is a truly liberating activity and can help you appreciate yourself. In a world of tough knocks, we need to constantly remind ourselves of divine mercy.
5) Stop comparing yourself to false ideals of perfection and completion.
In a world of social media and a constant barrage of overwhelming, it’s easy to be caught up in other people’s lived experience. Importantly what we each display as the perfect lifestyle can be very far from our actual lives. Very rarely people share their negative experiences, and if they do many will do it for a selfish gain for views, validation or fame.
It’s important that you constantly compare your journey against itself. Your value should be to emulate the lifestyle outlined in our religion, that lifestyle is encompassing, respects your individuality but importantly is realistic and tangible. We can get so caught up in other peoples marketed brand on digital spaces, that we begin to want their lifestyle for our own self.
This can be detrimental to spouse selection because we end up choosing partners that actually maybe suited for a lifestyle we don’t live or for a person we are not! Stay true to you, your values and when you begin to stop comparing yourself to others, you will begin to feel more confident in your identity. Knowing what you want, and how you want to achieve it is extremely important.
6) YOU DO YOU
When’s the last time you’ve done something for yourself? An important part of self-love is to take time to self-care. Be comfortable with your own silence, in a world of consistent and constant noise it becomes important to disconnect. Pick up a book, make yourself a cup of your favorite beverage or cook a meal for yourself from scratch. Giving yourself a small pick me up can be very productive in your output to others. Importantly, when making a crucial decision such as ‘if this is the right spouse or is this person appropriate for your future life journey’ – take a small time out, focus on you and then recollect your thoughts. Allowing time to settle, clears any other thoughts which may be superficial and allows you to make a more conscious effort on what matters. Remember focusing on yourself is not selfish if your end goal is to serve others. A productive mind is more useful to our society and community.
Take a long walk, go for a run or a swim. Do a bit of exercise and tell yourself that this is a means to show appreciation to the gift of the body which you have been blessed with. Exercise and a healthy body is conducive to productivity. A productive mind can focus on the right tasks, asking the right questions and importantly give clear direction. Without a doubt, as humans, we have progressively become worse at inculcating exercise into our routines. It’s important to exert yourself physically, why not even try a hike with a few friends? If you live in the city, try an escape to the countryside and allow fresh air to rejuvenate you!
It’s important to remember that when you display self-love traits you will begin appreciate yourself and be comfortable with that. Searching for love can be extremely daunting but the first step in finding love is to fall in love with your ownself.
What are your tips for self-love? How do you take care of yourself?
Let us know in the comment section below!
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