Self-Love Is At The Heart Of A Glorious Life
Having been around for 48 years, you pick up a thing or two from your many experiences. Some are obviously good & happy experiences, thank God for those! While the others simply aren’t which should be no surprise since life, by definition, is full of ups and downs. It wouldn’t be as interesting if life didn’t have contrast; there wouldn’t be any texture or color to it. It would be dull, flat, predictable and somewhat boring. But of course, we don’t want too much drama because that involves volatility which can be tiring….. Over time, I am proud to say that I’ve learned immensely from a lot of my mistakes. Sometimes, you have to hit the same wall a few times to figure out and accept that it just ain’t happening. That you have to move on elsewhere instead of banging your head on that same wall, with no positive results. Stubbornness is a trait found in most of us; it might take a few tries to get it and change behaviors accordingly.
You First, Before Others
Many women were raised with this notion of putting others first and putting yourself last, once you have served others and made them happy. I have always had a fundamental disagreement with this idea because I think it’s completely counterproductive. Others would think my idea is sacrilege. But it is not, it is practical. I have been guilty in the distant past of making decisions where I put others before me. Afterwards, I was left with a feeling that I was the one who was shortchanged and it didn’t feel good. My giving wasn’t coming from an overflow in my heart but more like a “forced” obligation to fulfill a role and to meet the expectations of others. That was the time that I realized that it is much better to put yourself first, make sure you are well taken care of even before you even think about doing anything else. After that, you can help and serve others with so much more gusto! There is a world of difference with the feeling of I am doing this because I have to versus I am doing this because I want to! Would I enjoy getting a gift from someone who I know felt obliged to give me a gift? I would rather get it from someone who really wanted to give me a gift, out of the generosity of their hearts.
Self-Love (I Love ME!)
What is self-love? It’s recognizing your innate value as a human being and honoring your true, highest self. That means listening to your needs and being the first to fulfill them, without hesitation. It doesn’t mean conceit, ego, arrogance or entitlement….. Those are different! When your needs are met, it becomes so much easier for you to do the same for others without being resentful or feeling worn-out. These are my tips on how to practice self-love. After all, my favorite, the always irreverent Oscar Wilde summed it up beautifully in this quote:
“To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
- Take care of yourself. Eat, exercise and sleep well. Include meditation in that routine.
- Drink the vitamins & supplements that help your body stay in tip-top shape.
- Carve out some time during the day for you quiet time. This is “ME TIME”. You can do whatever you want during this time. Some people read, some people knit, some people watch videos and some people take a walk. This time is just for you, to refresh your spirit.
- When you are feeling run down, rest. Sometimes, a longer sleep already does the trick. Especially as I get older, I noticed that it takes me longer to recover from a particularly tough workout, from a late night or even from a few drinks.
- Religiously get your annual or bi-annual medical check-ups. Prevention and early detection save lives. I was accompanying my Mom to her eye doctor when she convinced me to have my eyes checked. I told her I was fine and didn’t need an eye check-up. She insisted that I see the doctor anyway. Well, what do you know? I had to get a preventive surgery on my eyes a few weeks after that doctor’s visit. The preventive surgery was something that needed to be done as soon as possible and couldn’t be delayed.
- Treat yourself with gentleness, kindness and understanding. You deserve it and you are worthy!
- Regularly edit unnecessary things and toxic people out of your life. You don’t need more things and more people. What you need is fewer, but higher quality things. Same with friendships. What you need is fewer, but deeper friendships. Those relationships take time and effort to nurture. Family, romantic partners and friends should inspire you to become a better version of yourself, instead of bringing out the worst qualities in you. Or instead of making you feel bad about yourself. Stay away from those kinds of people as much as you can.
- Decide based on what you need and want, not what others need and want for you. You are the only person who will have to deal with the consequences of your actions. You always have a choice. Choose wisely!
- Buy yourself gifts on special occasions. Or even when you just feel like it! You are the person who spends the most time with yourself. You deserve to be pampered. Whether it’s make-up, clothes, a concert, a massage, a trip – go right ahead! Budget and plan for it.
- When you make mistakes, forgive yourself. You will do better next time. More often than not, we are our own harshest critics. Learn the lesson and move on. You’ll get over it, they’ll get over it, as well.
- Stop comparing yourself to images you see in the glossy magazines. Those are not real people; they are images manipulated on a computer to perfection. You are not perfect, nobody is! When you see those models and Hollywood actresses up close and personal, you will discover that they are absolutely beautiful. But they are not perfect. They still, as naturally stunning as they are, look different pre and post-Photoshop. Wrinkles and cellulite, yes they have those, too! Just like you and me.
Love yourself, be your best self and the rest of it happens much more easily…..
Make it natural, make it easy,