How to Love Yourself
Believe it or not, the relationship you have with yourself plays a key role in the type of relationship you have with others.
When you have a healthy, loving relationship with yourself, your capacity to have healthy, loving relationships with others is expanded.
Otherwise what happens is you get in the way. Because if you have a hard time being kind to yourself, and if you are quick to find fault and judge yourself you will carry that behavior over to your relationships. You will find yourself being critical and judgmental with others.
How you feel about yourself either limits you or expands you in your relationships.
We were never taught self love in school or church and a lot of us didn’t see it modeled in our homes growing up.
So self love in a way, feels very foreign to us. It feels clunky and kinda wrong.
There is a lot of misunderstanding around loving one self.
I hear this a lot, women tend to believe that self love is selfish. To set aside time to do something for yourself, to have your own desires and interests and actually do them is “selfish.” Lots of Mom’s won’t spend money on themselves even if it’s a need, but will easily spend it on their kids. They think it’s “selfish.” To say No when Yes is a lie, “selfish,” we should do all the things for everyone else.
When trying to take self love actions, when it is viewed as selfish, then we feel guilt.
Oh my word! Please, let’s not get sucked into this misconception.
Let’s expose selfish shall we?
Definition: Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure or well being without regard for others.
There you have it, without regard for others. Selfish takes and takes from others without regard for the other person, their time and any inconvenience to them.
Self love definition… defined as “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness” and is a basic human need. Nowhere does it say that self love takes from others or doesn’t care about them. Actually, we are going to add ourselves into the mix. We are going to practice self regard.
We hear about the importance of loving ourself and part of us kinda knows we need it, but we can find it hard to give ourselves permission to take action for ourselves.
Loving yourself is like fuel is to your car. If your tank is full you can go a long way and do a lot of things in your car. But if the tank runs out of gas, there is nothing left in there for your car to take you where you need to go.
This is true for self love. It energizes us. Give us fuel and expands our capacity to do and give to others. But when we don’t practice self love we get cranky, resentful, bitter. You might find yourself yelling or snapping at others. Your energy will be low, you’ll feel exhausted.
Loving yourself doesn’t come with a certificate or a finish line.
It’s a life-long process.
With any relationship, how you feel about yourself can go up and down depending on what your circumstance is and how you interpret it.
And just like Jody likes to say we wake up every morning with bad breath so we need to brush our teeth every day. It’s part of our hygiene regime.
I say the same goes with your life long pursuit in loving yourself.
For your emotional well being taking loving actions for yourself needs to be part of your daily routine.
Remember…there is no finish line. It’s a life long process.
It is through other things or relationships with others we learn how to love ourselves.
Think about some things you love: do you like a particular blouse? Your car? Your dog?
How do you treat these things?
If its a favorite blouse, maybe you always hang it up, it never goes on the floor. You wash it on delicate cycle, line dry it.
Your pup, you talk to it, love it, take it for walks, pet her and cuddle with her.
It is through other things or relationships with others we learn how to love ourselves. We already know how to do it, we just need to do for ourselves as well.
You have needs…
You are not a robot.
You are not Wonder Woman.
You are human.
As adults we are responsible for meeting our own needs. And as we get older our brain becomes more developed. Our needs become more complicated. As women we don’t give ourselves what we need.
Self care matters even more because the more you take care of your needs, the more you have to give – a lot more to give. The healthier you are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – you are able to access more of who you are and increase your capabilities, talents and gifts.
The actions of self care will lead to self love.
Notice the way to acquiring self love comes in the Action line of the Model. It’s self care. Actions you take that are specific to what you need.
We are all wired differently, we need different things.
Let’s use the Model to see what it looks like. (Note: if you are not familiar with The Model click here to watch a brief explanation of it.)
C: Your name
T: I am becoming a person that loves myself
(Note: I am going to list a bunch of possibilities because many of us have forgotten because we don’t do it for ourselves. We can have a hard time identifying what self care looks like. This should get your brain going so you can figure out what things you like/need for self care.)
Sleep, slow, quiet mornings/morning routine, massage, yoga, exercise, my own coach, saying No, saying Yes, affirmations, music, hot tub, reading, classes, workshops, Slumber App, eating healthy, chocolate, drinking water, Inklings, podcasts, watching movies w/husband, sports, power naps, going for a walk outside, journaling, meal plan, nature/using my 5 senses, night time routine, cuddling with my pup, laying down under my blanket when my nervous system is in a trauma response, 3 Wins for the day, gratitude practice
R: Self Love – the relationship I have with myself improves
Does any of this sound selfish? I think not!
The moment we start loving ourselves, we experience shifts—positive shifts. Life begins to move forward with more ease and things begin to magically (not really, it all happens in the Action line) fall into place.
Your outlook improves.
Sex life improves
And life begins to feel really good.
And so do you!