Love yourself. It seems like a simple task, right? I mean you are here in this body and you have all these wonderful things about you, it should be easy to love your whole unique self. But, oh man it can be a struggle.
Loving yourself can be hard. We are in a world where our self-esteem is constantly challenged, our self-perception is being taken on at every corner. Whether you are a perfectionist who struggles with always trying to be perfect or someone who struggles with negative self-talk, there are obstacles to be tackled daily.
Before you can truly love another
Loving yourself is important. Before you can truly love another, before you can connect in a deep and powerful way you need to respect yourself. So how do you do it? How do you love yourself? It is something you need to work on every day. You will need to revisit your self-perception over and over again. You will not always be proud of what you have done, an action you have taken, an outfit you decided to wear. You will make mistakes.
You need to forgive yourself. You need to accept that no one is perfect and learn. Move forward positively. Learn from mistakes and grow as a person. Allow yourself to let go. Let go of disabling regret. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice if time machines existed but they don’t.
End the negative self-talk
Put a cap on the negative self-talk. After a while of talking to yourself negatively, you start to believe it. Stop telling yourself you “can’t do it,” “you aren’t pretty enough,” “you are fat,” “you have no friends,” “you are not smart,” just stop. Even if you don’t believe what you are saying start by looking in the mirror each morning (or leave yourself some post-it notes on your closet door) telling yourself you are strong, you are capable, you are beautiful. Eventually, you will start to believe it.
Allow yourself to be proud. Relish in your achievements, however big or small. Maybe you went to bed early last night, give yourself a pat on the back. Maybe you achieved a goal at work, got up early, finished a book, helped your child with a project, maybe you spent a day without saying anything bad about yourself. Celebrate you.
When you really truly start to love yourself, to appreciate all the special parts of you, then you will see that you deserve respect and care from others in your life. You will have better relationships with those around you because you will stand up for you. You won’t take disrespect. You won’t settle.
People who first love themselves, are able to connect deeply with their significant others because they aren’t held back by feeling “undeserving” or “not pretty enough.” By first loving yourself, you will enter into healthier relationships. You will be treated with the love, appreciation, respect that your unique beautiful self deserves.
So with all of that being said, take some time during this month of love to focus on the most important relationship you have in your life — the one you have with you.
How are you going to take care of you today?
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.