There is many ways we can show we love someone – we can say 'I love you', buy presents, do something to make them happy, help them out during difficult times or simply help with everyday chores. But when it comes to loving ourselves, well, we very rarely do anything that makes us feel loved… The truth is nobody else can love you enough, if you don’t love yourself first. So maybe today is a good day to start?
Imagine you are in a relationship and your partner criticizes you almost every day, saying things like ’Oh, you’re so stupid', ’You’re useless, you should have known that!'. You get the picture? Any woman with a bit of self-respect would have at least spoken back to this or at most left the guy/girl. There is something wrong when someone else treats us like this but, I’m sorry to tell you, very often you are not treating yourself better either. And when it comes to you & your relationship with yourself, you don’t have much choice. You can’t leave.
We all are our own harshest critics, often calling ourselves names, judging our performance and always expecting ourselves to be more, to do better. Yes, maybe it keeps us going and keeps us motivated to learn and develop but the real question is how does it make us feel deep down inside? I think the word is 'not loved'.
And we need this love. This kind of love that only we can give to ourselves. We are responsible for loving ourselves. Nobody else can do that for us. Even with the most loving partner or environment, this feeling of self-love can’t be replaced.
So where to start? How to learn to love yourself? How to show to you that you love yourself? I believe that the best place to start is being kind to yourself & taking loving action. In simple terms it means:
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
- You are beautiful – notice the good things about your look. Don’t criticize how you look.
- You are doing great – be understanding & loving when you learn new things – don’t give yourself had time, when you make a mistake.
- You are enough – enjoy that you are unique – don’t compare yourself to others.
SHOW THE LOVE
- Don’t push yourself too hard – if you are tired, give yourself some time to rest, if you are hungry eat, when you are sleepy, just sleep. You are already doing great – thank your body & show it some love by giving it what it needs.
- Listen to yourself – Ask yourself 'What I would like to do' & do it. Don’t focus on what I should do, what is expected of me. Focus on 'What do I feel like doing?'. Trust yourself, you know what’s best for you.
- Speak to yourself nicely – language matters. You wouldn’t like if someone called you names, so don’t do it to yourself. Use loving language towards yourself, start using words you’d use to talk to someone you love – like honey, lovely, my dear, sunshine… It almost sounds weird… but why not?!
Choose one of the above suggestions and start today. Tomorrow start again and the next day try it again. Everyday treat yourself kindly and show yourself a little bit of love. Then observe how you feel. Loving yourself is the best feeling ever, once you feel it, you’ll want more. Much more!
[Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon]