Why the Relationship with Yourself is the Most Important
Only until you can truly love yourself can you truly love others. I mentioned last week that I have recently had work done in my house. I finally built my upstairs sanctuary. It is a project I have been dreaming about for years and now I finally get to live inside my dream. It is an amazing feeling. I bring up this remodeling project because I was reminded of something very important during the build. You see, even though I was constructing something upstairs in my attic space, what determined what we could and couldn’t do upstairs was how well the foundation had been built downstairs.
To me, this is so incredibly symbolic of how we build the relationships in our lives. Unless the relationship you have with yourself is strong, your other relationships may crumble.
The reality is, how you treat yourself is how you will treat others. Looking at it this way, the most selfless thing you can do is be self-centered. Which, by the way, has NOTHING to do with being selfish!
To love one’s self is the beginning
of a lifelong romance.
What Does Self-Love Really Mean?
If you were to do a search for self-love, chances are Google would return a bunch of articles that include self-care tips. While many of the suggestions, such as taking a hot bath, getting a massage, or relaxing with your favorite tea and music mean well, self-love goes far beyond pampering yourself every once in a while.
So then what is self-love really about?
Loving yourself is about showing yourself true kindness, respect and compassion. Imagine how you would treat a small child in need or a stray dog who came to you for help. Most people would instantly melt and treat these beings with great care, love and gentleness.
But how do you treat yourself when you are in need?
Do you chastise yourself for even having needs? Do you constantly put everyone else’s needs first and neglect your own? If your friend was going through your situation, would you talk to them the way you talk to yourself? Would you dismiss their problems like you’re dismissing your own?
How do you talk to yourself on a daily basis?
Do you give yourself praise for your accomplishments? Or do you only pay attention to your mistakes and shortcomings?
Are you constantly comparing yourself to others and, on most occasions (if not all), finding that you just don’t measure up?
At the end of the day, self-love is about loving ALL of you, even the darkest, ugliest parts that only YOU know exist. It’s not about thinking you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread; it’s recognizing that you aren’t and being 100% okay with that.
Why is Self-Love the Most Important Love There Is?
Simply put, how you view yourself is how you view your external world. People who think poorly of themselves often judge others harshly.
Also, we are responsible for teaching others how we should be treated. If you want to surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness, compassion and respect, then you’ll need to know you are worthy of kindness, compassion and respect.
Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Yourself
As we approach Valentine’s Day and take the time to celebrate the love we feel for others, I invite you to begin the journey toward loving yourself more. Here are some ways you can get started:
1. Get to Know Yourself
Most of us, from the time we are teenagers, become almost solely focused on the world outside of ourselves. All we know and care about is what others think of us. What do our parents, friends, and teachers think?
Do you really know who you are on a deep, spiritual level? If you did, you would only radiate love toward yourself, because you would KNOW you ARE love.
If you’ve read my blog for any time you know I am a huge believer in meditation. When we meditate, we are able to drown out the noise of the outside world so we can hear our inside world.
I encourage you to start a meditation practice so you can begin to truly know who you REALLY are! You won’t be able to do anything BUT fall in love with yourself!
2. Set Better Boundaries
Boundaries are healthy. They keep us from becoming enmeshed with toxic people who will suck the life and soul out of us! When we don’t love ourselves, we tend to be doormats for everyone and get stepped on continuously.
Try and be better with setting boundaries. What are your limits? What’s okay with you and not okay with you? How do you want to be spoken to? How do you want to be treated?
It may take some getting used to if you are someone that has never put an emphasis on boundary setting. But practice doing it more and more and setting healthy boundaries will become second nature.
3. Take Better Care of Yourself
If you are a parent, you most likely do everything in your power to ensure your child or children are always safe. You make sure they eat right and get enough sleep each night.
But how do you care for yourself? Do you burn the candle at both ends? Do you eat garbage at most meals? Do you exercise at all? Do you smoke? Do you drink?
You can’t try and love yourself while treating yourself like sh*t. It’s never going to work. To truly love yourself means treating yourself as you would a precious child, doing your best to never let any harm come your way. That means harm from others and self-harm.
Starting the journey toward loving yourself is the most important thing you can do in your life. And I really don’t say that lightly. You may, at times, feel uncomfortable. After all, if you’re like most people you’ve spent your entire life NOT loving yourself.
Just be patient with the process and yourself. We are all a work in progress. Take baby steps on your journey to better self-love and self-care and remember there is an 80/20 rule. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be 100% perfect at everything.
I am so excited for you to build the greatest relationship you can ever possibly have with YOU.