The term “love yourself” seems pretty self-explanatory, right?
We love our families, we love our friends, our pets, so, loving ourselves wouldn’t be any different?
The thing is, most often than not, we solely prescribe the emotion of love to ourselves but not the action.
Sure the average person would agree with the statement, “yes, I love myself”. They don’t want to die, they try to be safe, and they may occasionally splurge for the benefit of their health (stress, anxiety, etc.) but that’s normally where it ends.
However, just like it isn’t enough for another to tell us they love us and without proving it with their actions, it is not enough for us to say we love ourselves and not prove it with our actions.
I get it, though, it’s easy to let the actions of love towards ourselves fall by the wayside because who’s going to hold us accountable? No one. (Unless you have amazing friends that are on you about these things).
If you’ll hear me out for a minute (or the rest of this post) I want to share with you some truths about loving yourself that will show just how important it can be:
1. Loving ourselves is beneficial to our well-being.
No matter how amazing it might sound to think that someone else can love us enough to mend us, no one can mend us like ourselves. Yes, outside love might put a little balm on our aching souls, but it is the hard earned love from ourselves that will completely heal us and make us strong enough to conquer this thing called life.
2. Loving ourselves involves intentionality.
Like I mentioned before, it is not enough to simply say we love ourselves and not prove it with our actions. In order for us to see the benefits of loving ourselves in our lives, we need to be intentional about taking care of our mind, body, and spirit. This means we need to sit down, create an action plan with a timeline and get it done because it’s important to us and we want to flourish and be at our best capacity.
3. Loving ourselves does not equate to selfishness.
Loving ourselves can sometimes bring about the misconception that we’re being selfish. Truthfully, I think this only manifests itself in one of two ways. One, it comes from us because we are so used to being kind and not wanting to disappoint people, that we feel guilty and therefore selfish that we’re no longer saying yes all the time. Two, it comes from another person who either a) doesn’t know you and confuses your assertiveness for selfishness or b) does know you, and in their disappointment prescribes selfishness to your new lifestyle choice rather than assertiveness. Regardless, you are not selfish for making decisions that benefit your well-being, even if it doesn’t sit well with other people.
4. Loving ourselves well, allows us to love others better.
This is what those who call you selfish don’t understand. Sure, you may deny some of yourself for the sake of your well-being, but that’s just it, it’s for your well-being. In the long run, you’ll be more present in the things you are involved in, and you’ll be better able to understand how to love other people.
5. Loving ourselves teaches us about who we are.
It’s funny because all of our lives, we spend trying to figure out who we are, what we want in life, and what we should do. We exert energy putting ourselves down when we don’t measure up to other people, when we haven’t gotten to the point we wanted to yet and have this screaming fear that maybe what we’re doing isn’t going to make us happy for 75 to 100 years. But if we took the time to love ourselves intentionally, we would realize, first of all, that everything’s going to be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it, it is. And that we are capable beyond what we ever would have imagined to do things and feel things that make life so much worth living for us.
Loving yourself is a lifestyle. It is something that requires intentionality and sacrifice but that will have amazing benefits on your life if you allow it to. (For some ideas on how to begin loving yourself check out this post 🙂 )
You’re going to be living with yourself for a really long time you might as well learn to love yourself now and focus on making the best of your time with the one who will always be there.
Good luck on your journey!