Do you love yourself first?
This is the first time, I will take a media based "holiday" and write something on its theme. I've fought doing that, because to me every day is worth the same, in terms of how I behave and feel. So when we talk about love - I love the people in my life the same everyday and I express it on a constant basis. I don't need Valentine's Day to express it more! However, I didn't want to write about the love I have for others.
I wanted us to think about the love we have for ourselves. We are our biggest supporters and also biggest detractors. We are the ones that compare ourselves to what we see in the media, online social networks and even in real life. Each of us has our journeys, our own trials and tribulations and so does everyone else we see. So why do we compare and why don't we love ourselves for who we are?
It was about 9 years ago that I went through my second divorce. I made a decision that moving forward I was going to focus on me. Ironically, because I had time to think about me, I focused on work. Work was exhilarating and took a turn for the better. However, I wasn't really focusing on me. I went from having a husband and work to just work and socializing. I swapped the husband for making friends. I worked hard and socialized even harder.
During this time, I started meeting people who have now become my life family (friends who are family.) I started to slow down as some of them became fixtures in my life. Note: I moved every 2 or 3 years of my life. I wasn't used to long term, day to day friendships. I had a few very long term relationships but none that really crossed the boundary of hanging out on a regular basis. My conversations with "friends" till then were very intense about a particular life subject and never really about the day to day. I started opening up to these folks and talking about daily life situations. It opened a door for me that showed me how human we all are. How it was important to share what we are going through in life and the insights we could get from each other was part of the journey of life. I also learned to stop being so hard on myself on what was required to be accomplished or how I wanted others to see me.
I started the second part of my journey going inwards. (The first part is for another day / another post). I started to realize that I needed to focus on who I was, what I wanted from my journey, what made me really tick based on my inner core, what did I want to do with my life? These are the questions I started to answer for myself. I gave myself, the permission, to truly focus on me and love myself for who I was as I peeled away the layers of me. I started putting the seeds of emotional wealth in my heart bank. The individuals who came into my life and had already been in my life turned into what I call today my life family. They even helped me go on the journey to have an even more incredible relationship with my parents.
Today, I am grateful for all the emotional wealth and love I have in my life. I can honestly say that part of this was built because I loved myself first. I started opening the door, to go on the scary ride, of figuring out who I was and how to articulate myself to others. It brought amazing people into my life that also loved me and accepted me for who I was. I'm sure we all have expectations of others but I never felt that I had to change. If anything I felt even more compelled to just be me and give back in love.
I can happily and openly say I love myself first everyday. I take care of what my emotional and mental state need on a day to day basis. I have an amazing partner who supports me in taking my me time every day. I do that because when I keep myself sane, happy, in a good space - I am able to love and provide more to others. In addition, I have the capacity to receive so much more from others too.
I am not one to tell people what to do! But I will say this on Valentines Day 2020 - Love yourself. It's one of the most awesome gifts in the world that you will ever receive and it comes from you!
How will you take time to love yourself for the rest of your life journey?
Originally published on Linkedin on February 14, 2020.
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