Love Yourself!

There is this tendency to think that when you love yourself more than you love others you’re being selfish. There is a fine line between self love and selfishness.   I have always believed that the first person you need to love is yourself.  You spend some part of your life looking for love, looking for “the one”.  The search is so intense at times that you forget the first thing you need to do is love the one closest to you: yourself.  My mom always said, loving is not “giving” it’s the “giving of yourself”.  According to this proverb, loving yourself first makes total sense because no one can give something to someone else they don’t have to give. 

It’s hard to love yourself when the opinion you have about yourself depends exclusively on the opinions of others. I fell into this trap until I realized that what my ex husband, family or friends thought about me personally shouldn’t be defining who I believe I am.  Who I believe I am must solely depend on how I see myself, what I feel I am capable of doing and what I achieve and have overcome.  When you start to see yourself with your own eyes, a self acceptance process starts to happen.

Self acceptance is a stepping stone to self love.  It’s the opportunity to look at yourself with kindness and allows you to see yourself as a whole person.  This includes all of you; the good, the bad and the ugly. Self acceptance is import because it allows you to gain a sense of who you are. Once you have a sense of who you are, you’ll be capable of becoming the best version of yourself, for you and for all those you share your life with.

One way of practicing self love is taking care of the body that holds you up every single day.  You might say, well... that’s obvious! Believe me, I forgot this part constantly.  I would forget to eat if I was too busy, I would do anything to avoid going to the doctor. I wouldn’t even properly care for myself when I was sick. All these little things may sound trivial, but they are important.  You can’t function properly if your body is not running at its best.  

Shenaia Lucas
Getting into a consistent physical routine is never a bad idea. For me that means running.  Finding that physical activity you like may require trying many different activities until you find something that you enjoy.  Understand, you will have to follow your routine consistently in order to create that positive effect in your body. Big changes happen with little steps at a time. You need to patient in order to see and enjoy the results. 
  
Self love is also knowing your boundaries and making them clear to those around you.  Better said, learn how to say NO.  I had this belief that always saying yes was the equivalent to being kind. I didn’t realize that if I say yes when my answer should be no, I am not loving myself. How do you know when saying no is the right thing to say? It’s right whenever you sense that saying yes will harm you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

Asking for help is the one form of self love I have the hardest time with.  Why? I think it’s because for the longest time I thought asking for help meant I was a failure.  I equated asking for help with the idea that I was not as capable as I should be.  However, little by little I’m learning that asking for and accepting help doesn’t mean I’m weak, it means that I have the power to recognize I can’t do it all myself. By letting others help and showing me their love, I can show them how I trust and love them too.

Self love is the best gift you give to yourself.  It will allow you to live a life filled with opportunities to improve yourself.  Self love will give you the power to walk away from situations that may harm you, because you will find this new awareness of where your boundaries are.  Self love will let you recognize when you are at your weakest and will push you to get the help you need to move forward.  Surprisingly self love will teach you how to love those around you better.  Loving yourself will keep you attuned with what you need in order to become the best version of yourself.  

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