What is self love? I’m sure if you asked 100 people, you would probably get 100 different responses. Acceptance and unconditional are two words that come into my head when I think about it …
I have a very long history of not loving myself. Of believing that other people are more important and ultimately somehow
“better” and more deserving than I. Encouragement of others and assisting them to better themselves has been my primary aim for more years than I can count. Often to the detriment of myself. No big surprises there.
Instead of loving and taking care of myself I treated myself with neglect and abandon. Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food, and few accomplishments. Self sabotage whenever the opportunity for something better arose. And in addition, I allowed other people to use me and my generosity to the point where I had nothing left to give. As I type this, I am wondering whether, had I put boundaries in place years ago, I would have ever gotten to the point I am now, needing to turn away people I love from my home, in order to get ME back. Or, more accurately, to FIND me in the first place!
In fact I am now questioning whether I really was able to feel love for real. I am realising that it is only in more recent years, as I begin to value myself and appreciate the support network I have and the gifts I possess, that I REALLY begin to love myself. And as I do that, I genuinely love those around me.
Self love means really appreciating my own unique gifts and talents, allowing them to shine. It means valuing myself enough to respect my need for self care, which means being aware of my needs and placing boundaries when other people attempt to cross them. It means putting myself FIRST, before the needs of others.
As I type that paragraph I get teary, because this is something that has been sorely lacking in my life. And I know I need to do it if I am to flourish. In all areas of my life.
So, the next step …. to take action 🙂