Hello lovely you. I am sipping my tea and looking through some photos of my recent trip to the Sedona and Utah.
It was funny. On the flight home, as I listened to the flight attendant announce the safety procedures, I remembered how puzzled I was as a youngster flying with my mum and hearing the flight attendant tell us that the adults should put the oxygen masks on themselves first, THEN on us kids. I was always kind of annoyed at that bit and thought the KIDS should come first! Typical kid thinking.
As an adult, I obviously understand why it needs to be done this way. If the parent doesn’t start getting oxygen, they will black out, and then WHO will take care of the kids? No, the parents need to make sure they are okay SPECIFICALLY so they can take care of the young people who are depending on them.
This got me to thinking about how similar this scenario is to loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves. I think so many people think putting their own needs first is a selfish act. But making sure that we are loved and taken care of is important so we can be good for others. Our health and our well-being is our personal responsibility. If we don’t make sure we are getting everything we need to be okay, then the people who depend on us won’t be okay.
Love is kind of like oxygen. Are you getting enough? You’re not if you’re not loving yourself.
How to Tell You’re Not Loving Yourself Enough
If you’re like most people, you are in complete denial about your lack of self-love. You think to yourself, “Well, of course I love myself. I mean, duh, why wouldn‘t I?”
Here are some signs you’re not actually loving yourself, even though you think you are:
- You put your needs second to everyone else’s constantly.
- You are very hard on yourself. Your inner critic has a vicious tongue.
- Your self-worth is linked to your body image.
- You constantly compare yourself to others and usually never stack up.
- You don’t allow yourself to feel your emotions.
- You refuse to forgive yourself for past mistakes.
- You don’t take care of your health.
- You never feel worthy of praise or positive attention.
- You don’t listen to your own intuition.
- You make decisions based on other people’s opinions and needs.
- You don’t make time for yourself.
- You’re not comfortable sharing your opinions with others.
Well, how did you do? Do one or more of these signs ring true for you? Are you sitting there in a bit of shock recognizing that maybe, just maybe you don’t love yourself nearly half as much as you assume you do?
It’s not your fault. No one really teaches the importance of loving yourself when you’re young. From day one the message seems to be respect adults and be nice to other kids. There is little mention, or even example, of how to love yourself.
Well there’s no time like right now to commit to loving yourself more.
5 Ways to Start Loving Yourself
Please don’t just read this list and then forget all about it. You are worth loving yourself. Now let’s get started!
- Look at Your Baby Photos
You’ll never be able to even begin to love yourself if you don’t see yourself as lovable. That’s the problem. People who don’t love themselves don’t see themselves as worthy of love. You must recognize that YOU ARE worthy of love.
The best way to do that is to view yourself as a small child – literally. Spend a Saturday afternoon looking through your childhood photos. When you see yourself as that precious baby and that innocent, joyful toddler, it’s hard not to fall in love with the image in front of you. You will actually fall in love with YOU.
No matter what has happened in your life, what failures you’ve endured or mistakes you’ve made, you are and always will be that perfect, sweet, innocent child. That is your true essence. Remember that. Look at your own baby photo every day to remind yourself of how lovely you are and how deserving of love you are.
- Clean Up Your Diet
If you don’t eat healthy or nutritious foods, you must start. I cannot stress enough how important eating an inflammatory diet is for your health. Would you let the toddler version of you eat some of the garbage you allow yourself to eat? Probably not.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
Would you let 3-year-old you play with nasty children? No, you wouldn’t. You would make sure adorable 3-year-old you was only around other children that could play nice, not hit, and share their toys and Cheerios.Why should adult you settle for anything less? Break away from toxic, negative people in your life and surround yourself with people who appreciate you and share their kindness and joy with you.
4. Play More
“Play is the exultation of the possible.”
How do we go from being little children who see every moment as an opportunity for play, to being adults who are far too serious and don’t have anytime for play? Playing is not just about having fun, though it certainly is fun to play. Playing is about exploring your inner world and your imagination. It’s about feeling excited and awed by life. Playing more is one of the GREATEST ways you can begin to love yourself.
5. Make Time for Rest & Relaxation
As a toddler you needed a lot of rest. When sleep was needed, you would have found the nearest flat surface to drop down on and instantly fall asleep. But now as an adult, you think you are a superhero and just keep going and going and doing and doing? It’s not healthy.
You MUST make time each week to rest, relax and meditate. Start saying no more often to others when asked to help out with something. Spend time just for you to heal and recover from your week.
I very much hope you will follow this advice for yourself and your loved ones. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t possibly love others they way you want.
Sending much love…
Prue’s quote of the day: “You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Not really.”