And if I asked you to name all the things that you love,
how long would it take for you to name yourself?
Pause and read it aloud!
IT MAKES SENSE.
Our behaviors and beliefs have prevented us from loving ourselves. As humans we are built to think that there are thousands of reasons for not loving ourselves. Every person has one, or one hundred, it seems. We’re too fat or too thin. We cry too easily or not at all. We’re not good enough, pretty enough, tall enough, powerful enough, brave enough or interesting enough – the many ways we sabotage our own goodness. We convince ourselves that we don’t deserve the lives we desire. We do not feel validated to express what we need in life and tend to be unhappy. I think for many of us, it’s difficult to realize how easy it is to fall into a spiral of self-hate.
That was me – few years back, wondering all the time what the hell was wrong with me and why I can’t seem to get off this “cycle”. I considered self-love as a selfish act. But then my dad told me “Treating yourself well is not something you should feel guilty for, it should be the way you live your life.” (Ding!!) Something so simple, yet it eludes many of us.
Often we go outside looking for love instead of going within and loving one’s self which is where the joy of life can begin. I believe the key idea is “Take care of yourself first, before taking care of others” and I do mean the whole sentence as the definition of self love.
Ironically most people seek to be loved by another without ever trying to love themselves. Many relationships are about feeling valuable because someone else, also imperfect, loves you but without them you are nothing.
The hardest path to love is that when it is ourself…being the love of your own life. Learning to accept and value ‘self’ is one of the hardest things we will ever do. I don’t think that we can ever fully eliminate self-criticism. I also think that self love is one of the most important things to develop – rather than being ego based or self indulgent it is an act of survival. After all, the way we treat ourself sets the standard for the way others will treat us.
It made me realize I didn’t have to be a perfect person to love myself, and the best part of loving ourselves is that it teaches us to accept ourselves as to what we are. We all hold the key to enjoying each day with sunshine streaming out of every pore of our body.
Sometimes the advice we seek is the common sense we already have, yet we are always ‘just’ seeking someone else’s validation.
Let’s begin a journey to self love…something that is foreign to most of us.