Do you provide yourself with care and compassion or do you rely on someone else for that?
I am not referring to bubble baths or spa days. I am referring to a deeper self-love that requires an intentional act that provides a higher regard for your well-being.
While it is perfectly normal to lean on others that have your best interest at heart, there is an unhealthy intention when we lean on others and EXPECT them to fix our troubles and provide us happiness. Loved ones and friends that bring us peace are needed at times. Please do not misunderstand my message as loved ones are precious and needed from time to time to boost our spirits – just not ALL of the time.
Self-love is hard to learn. To this day, I still battle the inner guilt when I hesitantly say “no” to someone in order to care for my deadlines, projects and peace.
I recall many times growing up when my mom (who I know meant well) reminded me that it is selfish behavior to put myself first. The opposite action of self-care was ingrained into me as I also attended a private Catholic school that stressed the importance of resisting the need to put yourself first. These were classic unhealthy lessons of the 1970s that I experienced and I do believe we have learned healthier lessons from every passing generation.
One toxic feeling guilt will provide is resentment. You will be a better mother, friend, partner & neighbor when not exhausted from riding the endless crazy train.
It doesn’t mean you run from your obligations.
These days we are learning the importance of mental health. Being a good mother doesn’t mean surrendering your happiness for your child/children but balancing your genuine happiness. I think most of us have been there when we are exhausted from volunteering, being there for your kids, your spouse. There is a better way.
Here are a few reasons you should start (if you are not already) discovering your own happiness.
It is a reality that struggles are a part of life but these past few years have supplied an abundance of unprecedented struggles. The pandemic changed our way our life through remote learning, business closures, political divisions over vaccines and many more challenges reared their ugly heads.
Have you ever heard that old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”
Your resilience will shine through when you practice self-love and forgive yourself, accepting what you cannot control and continue to push forward to better days.
Learn to take the advice you would rain upon your loved one or dear friend – with kindness and a peaceful soft tone. Studies have proven that people who struggle with hardships recover more efficiently and quickly when they practice self-love.
Are you indecisive or confident with your decisions?
Self-love enhances your confidence as you give yourself permission to be exactly you; the person you are meant to be. Self-love allows you to accept your flaws. Self-love celebrates being human and not being perfect. Laugh at yourself from time to time and stop taking life so seriously.
We can be our worst critic. Embrace the mistakes. Learn. Grow. Self-love.
I am in competition with no one.
Do you compare yourself to others? I’ll use social media as an example. Many, not all, people will show themselves in their best light while posting vacations, material things, “perfect family”….you get the idea. There is no such thing. It’s time to stop comparing ourselves to others; especially when we truly do not know what goes on behind closed doors.
We all have our struggles.
Comparison will steal your joy like a thief in the night. Be the best YOU that you can be.
True to your Values
What values do you hold close to your heart? Family, volunteer work, success…?
Often times when we lack self-love, our values fall to the way side as our attention is pulled in directions that drain our energy, filling our minds with toxicity and fatigue. When we are frustrated and running on empty, kindness is hard to find. Go easy on yourself and find your peace without static distractions.
Enhance Healthy Relationships
When we do not practice self-respect and self-love for ourselves, we are actually teaching others how to disrespect us.
In earlier days, I would constantly put myself down and I started to believe the lies I was telling myself. I realize now that I allowed others to treat me poorly. Set those boundaries now.
When you love yourself, you have zero tolerance for people who disrespect and devalue you.
Removing guilt from our lives can be a tedious process but well worth the steps you put into creating a healthier you. Holding on to guilt often results in depression. You have one life. Understand your self-worth and boost your overall happiness.
Just know you are not alone. We all face struggles and it is never too late to make life changes. You owe it to yourself.
Loving yourself is the first step to living a healthier and happier life.