A Beginners Guide To Loving Yourself
I bet you’ve tried every website to find an instruction manual or even a gist of how to start loving and prioritizing yourself.
Oh honey, so did I.
I mean, it’s not your fault; we were raised in a society and possibly in a family that didn’t exactly teach us about self-love. I mean, it wasn’t even taught at school.
So how would we know, right?
All throughout our lives, we were only taught how to read, write, something related to math, understand and apply theories, build, study, analyze life, common decency, manners, and anything related to what is needed to survive.
It just gets you wondering, why on earth were we taught to focus on pleasing and loving others instead of prioritizing, respecting, loving, and accepting ourselves for who we are. Although even as kids, we were focused on not getting our parents angry or disappointed, I don’t believe we’ve never been taught the value of self-love, setting healthy boundaries, taking care of ourselves even at the expense of others, the right time to say “yes” and “no” and forgiving ourselves for things we lacked.
We only ever start searching about self-love when we’ve gone through something traumatic or possibly deciding that we’re finally done with how people are treating us like a doormat.
Now I’m not saying that I am the ever-knowing writer, nor does this article have the answers to all your questions but what I am going to do is to share the techniques, tips, lessons, and resources that I’ve had to experiment.
So, sit back, grab your popcorn, and from my heart to yours, let’s dive into it!
Why don’t we start with really understanding what self-love really means?
Self-love starts with you (obviously).
It also means that you are in a state of appreciation and acceptance for yourself, mainly focusing on taking care of your needs, and not sacrificing your well-being and health (physical and mental) to please others.
With that being said, self-love comes with more benefits than what you know or have already searched for. This means - no more self-deprecating or self-sabotaging thoughts, the ability to not criticize yourself for the flaws and weaknesses that you have, always being able to find the good in everything, and although some people think when you start loving yourself you become “selfish” but this actually makes you prioritize yourself, making healthy decisions, and knowing your own worth.
Now, that’s not all. There are possibly around a million benefits that we could talk about, but this isn’t the article for it, oooh maybe we could make another one that focuses mainly on those.
Now since we know what self-love is, what does it look like?
I mean obviously, that’s difficult to explain, but in action, self-love looks like when you’re finally meeting your own needs, prioritizing your health and wellbeing, forgiving yourself when you mess up instead of condemning or blaming yourself, when you start saying positive things to yourself, despite it being so difficult - you start asking for help, you start forgiving the people who hurt you, accountability, being able to notice where you were to where you are now (✨progress✨).
Sounds easy right? No, not really.
So, why is it annoyingly difficult to love ourselves?
Obviously, because we were never taught.
No matter how many times we rely on google for the answers, often, techniques, tips, and tools don’t always work.
It does however make you wonder that no matter how many times you “try” to start loving yourself, that sometimes things don’t end well and we’re back to the beginning.
We’ve been raised focusing on how we prioritize and please other people, to get the things we want, that raise and promotion, to be in a certain clique or group. So we deny ourselves and sacrifice our wants and needs because we want everyone to “like” us, to be labeled as “reliable, kind, caring, worthy” but instead we are taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, even if you were a juicy red apple to the eyes of many, not everyone will like nor appreciate you. And no matter how many times you’ve tried, you can’t just expect results or miraculously love yourself overnight.
On a side note, no matter how much you try to take care of other people when you can’t take care of yourself, you’re bound to burn yourself out and possibly might isolate and blame yourself. Hence, the cycle goes on.
Now with reading all of these, and understanding that self-love starts with you, some people ask if loving yourself is selfish.
I mean if you look at it and read, it does sound a little selfish.
Come on honey.
Give yourself a break.
Take a deep breath and relax.
Self-love isn’t selfish.
Are you being told that you’re being selfish just because you just started prioritizing yourself?
I get it, I was told that multiple times too, but the thing is if we can’t take care of ourselves, then who would?
Do we really expect someone who might possibly be also focusing on themselves to carry the responsibility in taking care of us too?
Self-love actually not only benefits you but those around you. When you have come to terms and love yourself genuinely, you are able to love the people around you instead of focusing on their lapses, and their flaws.
Now, with all, that’s been said. Remember, loving yourself does not happen overnight, it doesn’t come from someone else, hence the word love YOURSELF, and it doesn’t only happen once.
With multitudes of challenges that we face, there are tons of opportunities to discover and keep loving yourself for the newly discovered flaws, achievements, and even our lapses, because we are growing, and learning.
Do not deprive yourself of going back to square one, because no one in this world has a generalized format, manual, or script to self-love.
After reading all of this, you know what you have to do. Take out a pen and paper, and start writing the things you wish to do for yourself and your growth.
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