The Zen way of self love

Symptoms of self-love deficit

By Anjaan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Published: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 6:12 PM

There’s a pandemic going around humanity currently. No, I’m not talking about a virus, I’m talking about something more dangerous. Pretty much everyone I coach (both in 1:1 and in groups) is unkind and unloving to themselves in some way. Humanity is going through a collective stress and pain. Humans are more and more disappointed in themselves, angry at themselves, repetitively feeling inadequate.

This has given rise to the “self-love” trend on social media currently. There are so many posts saying “love yourself”. But what does that really mean?

Zen monks don’t practise self-love

The Zen monks can’t understand how a human being could not love themselves. Zen monks grow up in a loving environment and practise love and gratitude everyday in their thoughts, actions, rituals and behaviours. Because of this they naturally develop a sense of completeness, and love towards themselves and others. It no longer is something they have to separately “practise”.

Loving yourself has to be natural and automatic especially when you connect to the truest and most authentic version of yourself. This is what the monks do.

They grow into their authentic selves. And there is no reason you can’t too. Their environment, of course, is simple and their community is supportive. The monks thus simply adapt into their real selves because they have no reason to compare, judge, doubt or change who they are.

This could be in contract to how you are living your life. Constantly comparing, seeking approval from others, reactive and growing up in a judgemental environment that wants to dictate how you live.

Symptoms of self-love deficit

• Having a difficult time to set healthy boundaries in relationships

• Not devoting enough time, money, and energy to our own goals, needs and self-care

• Treating our body in self-destructive ways

• Being too critical of ourselves

• Being crippled by self-doubt

• Having a pattern of being in toxic relationships

• Being taken advantage of by people often

• Feeling the need to constantly get validation and prove yourself

The reactive self

Society, upbringing, familial pressure, education system and many other factors have crushed your real self for many years. Your sense of safety in yourself has been torn down in a sense. You have learnt to adapt yourself to minimise pain and, in that process, have become more reactive than authentic.

Your reactive self is NOT who you really are. It is who you have had to become to survive. Over time you perhaps even believe yourself to be this avatar you have created and then it becomes difficult to fully love yourself completely.

True self love will only come from an authentic place within you, and if you are more reactive than authentic it will be hard to love yourself. And this is why all the “Love Yourself” posts on social media don’t resonate with you.

The answer to self-love

Your authentic self is the origin of self-love and that is why just saying “love yourself” doesn’t work for many people. It has been deeply ingrained in your survival based “reactive self” and not loving yourself functions as a protective mechanism.

The only answer is to introspect, dig deep and find the qualities that you truly love about yourself and bring that awareness to your consciousness.

Below are a few powerful affirmations that can help you to love and appreciate yourself more




Recognise that YOU are your biggest supporter and start being kinder to yourself from today. Feel love for yourself as a healing balm, washing over your anger, stress, tensions, pain, fears or doubts. Let yourself receive this love like the love you’ve been craving.

You need this care. Let this pandemic stop with you. Once you are full and when you love yourself, you can love others better.

Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan

More news from