Somewhere along the road of your life someone has uttered these words to you: “Be good to yourself“. “Take care of yourself”. “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. And you probably nodded and kept right on going the same way you were. So what exactly are people trying to tell you? Well, they’re not talking about going to the spa or to a baseball game with your best buddies or any other fun activity. They’re talking about something deeper and much more meaningful, something long lasting that can impact the rest of your life.
You might think that self-love is narcissistic or self-centered. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s really about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about a consciousness of who you really are—warts and all—and beginning a dynamic journey to accept your weaknesses and strengths. It’s not about being apologetic about who you are, or feeling inadequate about fulfilling someone else’s expectations, it’s about fulfilling your own. It’s about compassion for yourself and living a life more centered on your purpose and values.
Okay, so give me a big dose of that you say. Here’s how you can start:
1. Be mindful of how you act and respond to your environment. The more reflective you are, the better you will find a more harmonious way to deal with the world and the less conflict you’ll experience.
2. Don’t live in a knee jerk world. We’re all conditioned to respond to certain stimuli without thinking. Don’t be stuck with your past behavior, create new and more positive ones.Yes, when your kid or your spouse or whoever pushes those well used buttons, dial it down and you’ll have better results you won’t regret or have to apologize for later. Remember number 1.
3. Take care of yourself. Yes, there’s that advice again, but here we mean be healthful: Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, smell the flowers and just generally nourish your body.Okay, here’s where the spa treatment comes in.
4. Just say no to people that drag you down or situations that rob you of your time, your values and even your self-respect. You’ll be amazed how freeing that is and so good for you.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Hey, you’re going to mess up. So? Everyone does. Remember that accepting part is at work here and you’ll do better next time, after all this is a journey.
Ultimately, the more self-love you have the better you can recognize what genuine love and friendship really is because it’s a part of you. Remember that old phrase, “It takes one to know one”? That applies here because you’ll find you attract the people and situations that reflect who you really are and that’s a risk worth taking. So get started.
(Image from sarahsueno.wordpress.com)