SELF LOVE & THE IMPORTANCE OF PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
This is a hard one. Self-love is something that needs constant work. It won’t all suddenly click and then miraculously you will never have any issues again. You need to work at it because life happens, the media happens, experiences that will make you feel like it’s all been for nothing. And maybe that thought makes you shrug and say, ‘well, what’s the point then?” The point is you. You owe it to you. You owe it yourself to know how beautiful your mind and heart is. To trust that you are worth it and deserve it all.
Every part of you is perfect and as it should be right in this moment. Not happy with something? That’s okay. Acknowledge what you aren’t happy with and possibly build a plan to help but appreciate what you have now too. Appreciate that those legs that you think are too fat, too skinny, too hairy, short, or lumpy allow you to move, help you stand tall and take you forward. Maybe you cry more than you would like and it irritates you. Don’t see a weakness, see the strength to show vulnerability. Acknowledge and embrace that this means you know how you feel, you can recognise what doesn’t flow for you and that’s a beautiful thing.
Self-love is about looking inward. Our lives are filled with constant stimuli. “Buy this!” “Watch this.” “Be like this!” “Look like her/him/them.”
We scroll and scroll through snapshots of people’s lives and it’s not news to anyone that this has a negative impact on how we view ourselves. So I ask you, look inside. The words and feelings you feel toward yourself, would you say them to someone you love? Would it make you angry to hear someone say those words to someone you love? If so, why would you say them to the most important person in your life: you?
The negative, judgemental voices are hard to shake, I know. It’s taken me years to not silence them, but turn them down. It’s about making a choice. Choose yourself. Choose love and kindness.
Take a step back and ask yourself if such and such is what you want. Take small steps. If someone asks you to get a drink, take a second, or as long as you want and truly ask yourself if that what you want, and not just what you think you should do. Learn to say no. Learn to put yourself first.
To fresh ears it seems all so very selfish but sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationships is to be selfish. You wouldn’t expect anyone to come to your aid if they themselves were needing it, so don’t expect yourself to.
You are allowed to say no.
You are allowed to leave.
You are allowed to change your mind.
You are allowed and actively encouraged to put yourself first.
We all want to be the best version of ourselves, especially when it comes to relationships. And let me tell you, the best version of you is the one that knows itself. So listen to what you want. Taking time to figure out what you want, to get to know yourself may seem like it would create a barrier in your relationship(s) but it won’t. When you can bring your full and true self to your partner(s) that’s where the magic happens (and it’s so important to give them the space to allow them to do the same.) Once we create these strong powerful relationships with ourselves it gives us the clarity and confidence to do the same with our other relationships. After all, you have to fill up your cup first so it can overflow and serve others.
Here are some ideas of things you can do that might help:
1.Take some time every day for you to do something you love. Maybe just half an hour of yoga, or a work out, you could dedicate time to read, bake, write. Just time that solely for you with no other motive.
2.If you catch yourself thinking negatively of yourself, it’s okay. Acknowledge it, don’t try to ignore it, push it away or beat yourself up about it. It is okay to have these thoughts, but much like in meditation and you find yourself being distracted, you acknowledge it, accept it try to refocus. The same thing applies here.
- Affirmations. Little reminders that you’re fucking amazing.Some examples:
“I love my body and all it does for me.”
“I am growing and learning each day.”
“I send love to my fears and feel confident in my ability”
Remember, the practice of self-love is about compassion. It will give you empathy for others because it’s not about only putting yourself first, but helping yourself, so that you have the tools to help those around you.
(Founder of S A M A)