For a long time, I found it difficult to love myself. Partly because I was never taught to love myself and partly because the concept of love for me was always about being a relationship. It was about being accepted by someone else. Being wanted by someone else! Society never taught me the true meaning of love. I was one who saw love as something to give way rather than something to keep close to my breast.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Its day of love, affection, gifts, candlelit dinners, passion, romance and all that good stuff that we were told were true expressions of love. It’s this concept that keeps toxic relationships together, binds many unions of marriages and feeds our pride. Carelessly we were taught that love had to be given away to mean anything. It has to be shared before it reached its full potential
It took many years for me to covet love and learn to guard my happiness jealously. I love being alone just as much as I love being with my significant other and I thank God I don’t have to fight him for my space because he understands that ‘Me’ is more important than ‘We’. Learning to be comfortable with me was painful, it was hard but it was necessary. Embracing myself, learning to love myself, burying all of my insecurities was a battle I had to fight alone. Someone can say to you “I Love You” a hundred times, it will mean nothing until you first learn to Love You!
But how many people can honestly say that they love themself? Falling in love with yourself is scary but necessary. Necessary because you need that foundation. You need to fall in love with yourself to discover who you are. You need to fall in love with yourself mostly because it’s the only way to open the door to true happiness. The kind of happiness that will be there long after your relationship has ended.
If you’re still struggling with the image staring back at you, here 4 changes that can you help learn to love yourself
Learn to make yourself happy
Learn to enjoy being in your own company. stealing days off for yourself is never a bad thing. Leaving the children with grandparents or the babysitters doesn’t make you a bad parent. Don’t guilt-trip yourself for having a bit of ‘ME’ time. It’s always good to have a few days set by for yourself. Self-Care is the Best Care!
You know what’s best for you, trust your instincts, your gut, your intuition or whatever you want to call it. You are the only person who knows what’s best for you. Trust is a lot like love, you can’t truly trust someone unless you’ve built a trust relationship with yourself. Trusting yourself will always bring clarity to every situation.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Travel, travel, travel! I love exploring on my own. You don’t have to travel to another continent to get the experience of being away from it all. Your trip could be as near or far away as you choose. I find that I’m more adventurous when I’m alone than when I’m with someone else. Stepping outside your comfort zone also opens you up to self-awareness and help break up the regular programming that keeps you stuck in a rut.
By challenging yourself, you will build the self-confidence to do all the things you’ve been afraid to do. Keep setting new goals for yourself, keep pushing yourself to be better. Take up a new hobby, try something new!
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©Etta D. Richards