Why should we love ourselves? Isn’t that egotistical? Weren’t we taught to put others first?
Firstly, you must first be able to love yourself in order to truly be able to love other people. If you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, you can never be truly comfortable with others. If you don’t believe you deserve to be treated well, you will start to attract people who match that energy and who don’t treat you well. And as for ego, the more you feel good about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off or act in any ego-led way.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Secondly, when you love yourself you know you deserve good things in life as much as anyone else. So you become a better energetic match to having the things you want. When you don’t love yourself you only see failings and under-achievement. You fail to notice the things you’ve done well – thereby putting more emphasis on what you are not instead of valuing what you are. If you always feel unworthy and undeserving you won’t be able to attract positive experiences into your life – you will only ever attract what you feel you deserve.
“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.” – Maxwell Maltz
Why is it important to take care of ourselves first?
We may feel empathy for others, but might not be open to receiving it ourselves or feeling it for ourselves. Rather than feeling empathy and compassion for our thoughts and feelings, we often tend to dismiss them as weaknesses.
Self-care is never selfish because it’s only when you are energetically in a good place that you can radiate positive energy to the others around you. It’s a bit like they say on aeroplanes – put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping someone else.
However self-care does not mean self-indulgence. It doesn’t mean you should indulge your emotions with treats, such as over-eating, because you feel you deserve it or should have it to compensate for some uncomfortable emotion. You should rather attempt to empathise with and understand the feelings that are creating those emotions. Look at where those feelings originated and consider how you can let them go rather than keep repeating the negative commentary in your head.
So how can we develop more self-love?
By spending time cultivating friendship and kindness towards yourself, you start to dissolve the negative pull of fear and guilt in your self-talk, which in turn leads to greater happiness, as well as greater compassion and empathy for others.
Don’t look to others to define who you are, but take steps to fully know and appreciate yourself. Don’t see yourself through other’s eyes – your assumptions of what they think of you might be completely wrong anyway. Moreover, why should you give more value to the opinions of others than your own opinions?
Appreciate yourself and notice and celebrate your own achievements, however small, rather than looking to others for validation. Focus on your successes rather than beating yourself up over perceived failures. The key is to first accept yourself completely and then make any changes you feel appropriate. But do it because it feels right to you, not because you think someone else wants you to change. The more you accept and appreciate yourself, the more others will feel drawn to accepting and appreciating you.
Exercise in self appreciation
The moments before sleeping are particularly powerful for manifesting what you want in life as you are starting to flow with your subconscious mind. This is a key time to strengthen emotions and beliefs that you want to develop and expand. So each night as you are falling asleep, think of 5 things that you have done that day that you are happy about. You might only be able to think of small things at first, but the more you practise, the easier it will become. This is a simple tool for you to learn to appreciate yourself more, as it changes your core vibration to one of consistent happiness where you will attract more experiences that will make you happy.
“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment…
The key is to develop inner peace.” – Dalai Lama
When you have become practised at this you will notice that you are feeling happier and more content within yourself. Your mood will less often be swayed into negativity by thoughts of your perceived failings and concerns about what others might think of you. It usually takes daily practice for more than a month to change the negative thinking patterns of a lifetime, so be patient.
Find your inner peace
Another excellent way to develop greater inner stability and peace is to strengthen your connection to your Inner Being. This is your inner core - your spiritual self that is your life force and the source of your joy. And the simplest way to do this is to start to meditate. There are many ways to do this. You don’t have to sit in a lotus position and chant ‘Om’. See my YouTube Channel for links to free guided meditations.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
Christina Cherry © 9 Nov 2017