If we want to fully and effectively love others well, we need to love ourselves well. We must learn to love ourselves in a way that enables us to love others beautifully, that is the critical journey of self-love. Our lives revolve around relationships, and our relationships are the key to our success, significance and purpose. It is relationships that develop us, shape us, grow us and transform us into the people we need and want to be. Without relationships, we will not experience life at the level we deeply desire.The quality of your relationships will determine the quality of your life, and it all starts with thequality of your relationship with yourself.
Here are some of my reflections on loving yourself well:
1/ get to know yourself: it’s takes courage to get to know yourself and create awareness around behaviours, beliefs and attitudes. This is critical to the self-love journey. You can’t change, strengthen and create, if you don’t have awareness. It can feel safer to live in the dark, but the reality is, bringing light to who you are is empowering and beautiful. (Suggested reading: Rising Strong by Brene Brown)
2/ don’t compare: we all fall into the comparison trap at times but it is also, as Mark Twain says, “the greatest thief of joy”. Maybe easier said than done at times, yet a journey we must commit to on the road of self-love. We need to take 100% responsibility for our behaviours, choices and attitudes, and follow our own path. (Suggested reading: Growing Yourself Up by Jenny Brown)
3/ have realistic expectations: we all carry invalid expectations of ourselves, and others. We need to look at the expectations we have on ourselves. Are they clear, realistic, fair and have we agreed internally to live by them. Invalid expectations are one the greatest causes of frustration and disappointment, both those we have on ourselves and on others. (Suggested reading: Shift Happens by Brett White)
4/ accept and believe in yourself: self-belief is extraordinarily powerful in anyone’s journey. This is not self-absorbed preoccupation, it is a simple acceptance of who we are, and a belief that we are capable of becoming the best ‘me’ we can be. It is acknowledging that we are beautifully and wonderfully made, with a unique and powerful purpose in life. (Suggested reading: Healing your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel)
5/ be careful who you listen to: not everyone should be able to speak into your life, only those you trust to empower you, not control, manipulate or shame you. Be careful who you let onto your inner circle, but make sure you let people in. We all need people who speak truth in love, because we all need feedback and accountability in the journey of self-love. (Suggested Reading: I thought it was just me by Brene Brown)
I trust this is challenging for you, and although a very brief insight I do believe we can all take steps towards a greater self-love, and therefore grow in our capacity to love others well.
Have a brilliant day friends, Brett.