“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” William James
One of the lessons I quickly learned in my formative years was that life can be unfair. As a little girl, I’d been told that I must be gracious, soft and empathetic to all. To always offer a welcoming smile. To be a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. And I did just that. I became a sort of expert who had perfected the art of loving others. People began to be drawn to my positivity. Don’t get me wrong, it was as pure and real as they come. I wasn’t faking my concern for people. And it was truly fulfilling being a beacon of light and support for others.
But after a while, I began to experience an undesirable side effect. I became drained and discouraged, almost to a depressing degree. I needed love too! Looking back, I realize that feeling was inevitable. I’d learned how to love others but had no idea how to extend same to myself.
Nowadays, I’ve learned to strike a balance between how much of my energies I dedicate to others and how much I reserve for myself.
I’m happier with myself now and…
I don’t feel drained so often.
But this happened when I began to learn to take care of, and most important, love myself. In our overly narcissistic and self-centered world, such can appear an unseemly venture. But like everything in life, a healthy balance is all I endorse. I needed that phase. And I’m pleased to share a few cool things that I discovered on my journey to self-love:
- It begins with a deliberate effort – if you’re like I was and prone to caring for others to the detriment of yourself, you’re going to need a deliberate plan to cut that off. Decide that you will love others, but also purposefully love yourself.
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”. Buddha
- You must respect and value yourself first – did you ever have nice and expensive plates and cutlery? Or perhaps something else that meant a lot to you? If you did, I’m guessing you took great care of them. Why? Because things of value are worth giving the utmost care and attention. You are valuable, my friend. More than any of your possessions. You should love yourself.
Eat like you love yourself.
Move like you love yourself.
Speak like you love yourself.
Act like you love yourself…
and LIVE like you love yourself.
- It helps boost your self-confidence – deliberately loving yourself helps you feel great about yourself. You begin to take on your daily tasks with an air of assuredness and positivity. And very soon, others can notice this new lease of life as well. You tend to laugh more, glow more and feel healthier.
To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait – you die now. If you love – you live now. Alan Cohen
- It helps you become a more mature person – when you embrace self-love, your outlook on life changes, and you become a better and more mature individual. The opinions of others become less significant to you and you become more conscious of the things you spend your time and energy on.
And at the end… guess what?
To love yourself helps you love others better!
This was my most shocking discovery on my journey to self-love. The more I loved others, the more I had the largeness of heart to care for others. I was happy and fulfilled inside, so it easier to get others partake of the same. After all, it’s said that you can’t give what you don’t have…
Next post – Facelift-In-A-Bowl Soup (recipe)