3 Powerful Benefits of Sacred Self-Love
Written by Dr. Marwa Assar, PsyD
For over 10 years, I have been navigating and exploring how we can have a healthy, loving, and nourishing relationship with ourselves that is aligned with our relationship with God. Through studying psychology for 10 years and being a self-help junkie for even longer, I knew the importance of cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves for our mental and emotional well-being. But when I began this path many years ago, I found myself very confused about the link between our relationship with ourselves and our spiritual health.
I was 17 years old at the time when I began to navigate this topic (unintentionally) for myself. I had began immersing myself more in Islamic studies and found myself longing for all the areas in my life to be connected through God, but had trouble finding that connection when it came to the relationship I had with myself. This disconnect I felt within me and the confusion as to "how can my relationship with myself be connected to my relationship with God," was what guided the explorations that were to follow over the following years and decade. This work pulled my heart even before I started studying psychology formally, and I didn't know then that the pull I felt in my heart was just the beginning of a path that would lead me to be teaching a course about it!
Throughout this path, I had questions like "Is loving ourselves okay, or will it make me arrogant?" , "How can I love myself in a way that isn't ego serving?", "What does loving ourselves mean through an Islamic Lens?" But, most importantly, I wanted to know: "How can my relationship with myself be a means to God?" "What are the spiritual benefits of improving the relationship I have with myself?" "What does having a healthy, loving, and nourishing relationship with myself mean for my path to God?"
After many years of navigating this topic personally but also professionally with clients in a therapy setting, I witnessed time and time again the immense value that a sacred relationship with ourselves has for not only our psychological health, but for our spiritual health as well!
And although there are too many to discuss all in this one article, I want to share 3 of the benefits that I believe are truly important and powerful!
3 Powerful Benefits of Sacred Self-Love
1. You are More True & Authentic!
A sacred relationship with ourselves means that we align ourselves with God's Truths, for God has named Himself "Al-Haqq," The Truth, and what He has taught us about ourselves, our path, and our Destination is true. Loving ourselves in a sacred way requires us to live truthfully, to connect more deeply to ourselves, so that we align who we are and our inner world with the truth that we we are all born with (our fitrah), so that as we came into this world true, we return to God true (upon our fitrah)!
The work of loving ourselves and interacting with ourselves in a sacred way where God is the priority allows us to be more truthful when we speak to ourselves, when we assess ourselves, when we identify our inner thoughts and emotions, and when we express our inner world to others. Truthfulness (sidq), as we are taught within Islam, is an essential ingredient and practice on our path to God, and I have found that nothing helps us embody it and express it more in our lives, than cultivating a relationship with ourselves through our Creator, for only then does He unveil us from truth and allow us to shed what is false and what no longer serves us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, on our path back to Him!
2. You Understand What Loving Others in a Sacred Way Means!
Many of us are programmed to say "I love so and so for the sake of God," but have no true connection to what this statement really means. It is something we are taught to say, but don't really have a mental and emotional connection to its meaning and power, and this is because of our own disconnect from ourselves and what loving ourselves for the sake of God really means!
In Islam, we know the importance of loving others for the sake of God. We are even taught that having faith requires us to love for others what we love for ourselves, as we were taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
"No man is a true believer unless he desires (loves) for his brother that which he desires (loves) for himself."
Something we often miss though when we hear or read this, is the last part of the sentence: "which he loves for himself."
In order to love others in a sacred way, we must first love ourselves in a sacred way. We must first know what it is we love for ourselves! How can you love someone for His sake when you do not love yourself for God's sake? How can you free your heart to love for others what you love for yourself, when what you love for yourself is not rooted in your love for God? How can your heart be open to support the strengths you witness in God's creation, when you have not recognized the strengths He put within you? You are His creation too, and the more you see yourself as a means to Him, and the more you recognize Him as the Source and Creator of everything you have, the more you will see others through God as well!
That is the power of a sacred kind of self-love. It serves the heart. It frees the heart from the ego. And it propels you to deal with others with more heart and openness, and with less ego and stinginess. This is what leads us to love for others what we love for ourselves!
3. You Make Better Use of What God Gave You!
Everything that God gives us is a trust (amanah), and this does not only extend to external provisions (risq), but internal ones too! God has given each of us both internal and external strengths, resources, and gifts to utilize so that we can strive towards Him through benefiting and serving the world around us. We all have something to offer. We all have the opportunity to be utilized in a powerful and positive way in our homes, communities, mosques, schools, and even work spaces, but without truly connecting to ourselves, and cultivating a relationship with ourselves through our Creator, we will miss all the powerful ways and means He gave us to be utilized! When you learn that "humbleness," is not minimizing what He gave you, but rather, you recognizing Him as the Source and Owner of what you have, when you learn that the best form of gratitude you can express to God is to get to know and utilize what He gave you, you will begin maximizing your potential and time on this earth! And this all starts when you begin turning inward and learning how to have a relationship with yourself that is rooted in your relationship with God!
What I just shared with you are just 3 of the benefits I teach in my Sacred Self-Love Course!
To learn more and begin reaping the spiritual, mental and emotional benefits of cultivating a sacred relationship with yourself, I encourage you to bring your heart to my Sacred Self-Love Course! Click Below to Attend Online or Onsite!
May God help us all cultivate relationships with ourselves that serve our heart and its path to Him!
"Whoever Knows Himself, Know His Lord"
(a prominent saying of of our righteous predecessors)
LIVE ONLINE SACRED SELF-LOVE COURSE STARTING FEBRUARY 9th!
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Read What Past Students Have Shared About Their Sacred Self-Love Experience:
🌟"What I didn’t realize is that that only through this sacred self-love could I overcome the spiritual barriers and obstacles that were preventing me from progressing unto Him (God). It was Dr. Marwa Assar who helped me synthesize the connection between the two at her “Sacred Self-Love” workshop and it was she who provided me the missing link or key I felt was so vitally needed for my spiritual growth. She taught me the relationship between the heart, mind and ego, how each one served an important role and how each was created within us with a great purpose and wisdom. Dr. Assar accepted me into her workshop at a time that I felt heavy-hearted and like I had hit rock-bottom. And by the end of the workshop I felt light-hearted and felt that she had inspired me with hope – hope of Allah’s acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and love with a new set of tools I could utilize to draw nearer unto to Him." ~ Milad
🌟"Dr. Marwa's self love course was truly amazing! This was pretty much my first time delving into this issue of self love, let alone it being from an Islamic perspective. I was truly amazed by the content and discussions. Subhanallah after this course I got to look at a lot of the ayaat (verses), ahadeeth (sayings of Prophet Muhammad), Arabic words, and Allah's (God's) names from a totally different perspective and picture. It was such a heart warming course, i learned soooo many new things alhamdulilah. Dr. Marwa is so passionate about this topic that you can truly feel it in the way shes teaching the course and explaining it to us. Shes really knows what shes talking about and did an amazing job shedding light on this issue. She's done amazing research and analysis to back up all the points she discusses. Definitely take the course you will love it!" ~ Salwa
🌟"Experiencing a whole new level of sacred self-love in my life: The Self-love course by Dr. Marwa Assar answered my questions about learning to love myself through Allah and directed me to remove false beliefs about loving myself by helping me to renew my understanding that heart can help to connect to Allah and the mind is there to serve the heart and ego must be tamed as it is not meant to the king of our being and it contains the lower drives. Super happy and excited. Experiencing a whole new level of bliss in my life." ~ Muhammad
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