‘Self comes last’, we are often taught, but the only way to really move forward, is by loving yourself first. With Valentine’s Day round the corner, a frenzy of ‘love’, and ‘being in love’ and ‘expressing your love’ takes over. Some hearts will soar, some will come fluttering down. Amidst all this, there’s many of us feeling somewhat deprived, ignored, isolated and lonely. ‘Where is the love?’
We want partners who will understand us, pull us out of our misery, make us feel loved and wanted. We bank on the ‘outside’ world instead of the ‘inside’ to fulfil our expectations. Unfortunately, we forget that ‘love attracts love’ – you need to have love within, to be able to attract love coming to you from outside. It has to start with Self-Love! Often, we overlook our own well-being in trying to please loved ones. Your efforts on Valentine’s Day will bring a smile to your special person, but when will you start treating yourself as special first?
It is important to celebrate ‘you’ as a person – your qualities and strengths, all that you are proud of. Often we do not give enough credit to ourselves. We try to dilute it by giving credit to others or just keeping it small, afraid we will slacken. How many actually say, ‘Yes, I deserve this!”
Those secure within, respect themselves, accept themselves the way they are, and above all, they love themselves first. Such people are never lonely and are happy in their own company. They look after themselves emotionally, mentally and physically. People who love themselves are not just happier people, they have better immunity, making them healthier and more likely to recover from stresses faster.
However, do not misconstrue self-love with indulgence. Indulgences are sought when we need to make ourselves feel pampered, to get away or escape from something, as a coping mechanism. Those who believe in self-love need no reason or season to reward themselves – they do the things they truly enjoy and love. They are sure of themselves and believe they deserve the best. They take time finding the right partner and do not get swayed by loneliness, insecurity or fear. Their sense of self-worth, which is again a product of self-love, helps them distinguish between infatuation and the real thing.
When you are strong within and live with love, you can share that with others as well. The weak-minded, the insecure, the angry and the envious will only attract their own ilk. The strong will find partners equally determined and compassionate. It all begins with self. Start inculcating a feeling of self-worth. Telling people to love themselves is the most difficult advice to follow. Putting yourself first in a good space is not being selfish. Wearing what you like, doing what you wish, standing up for what you believe in the face of adversity is absolutely called for. Build the life you love, chase your dreams and make them come true, take time out for your loved ones and do what you enjoy doing – these signify self-love. If you haven’t been doing this, NOW is the perfect time to start! Start by:
- Take stock of where you are in life today, and think of where you wish to be, and how you wish to go ahead.
- Every day, do one thing that brings you joy.
- Sign up for a hobby/ activity you’ve always wanted to pursue but haven’t.
- Pat your back unabashedly every time something goes well, and tell yourself, ‘I deserve it!’
- Plan your goals and start moving towards them – even baby steps will do as long as you’re headed in the right direction.