It took me a long time to learn to love myself. I grew up in an Asian culture where I was taught to be selfless, and to always put the needs and desires of other people before my own. The expectation was to never think of myself first, as that was selfish. My parents’, siblings’, relatives’, and friends’ needs and wants, all took priority over mine. It was ingrained in me to put my own needs and desires last. Pleasing others was more important than pleasing myself. Self-sacrifice was honorable.
That attitude of self-sacrifice was so instilled in me that it got embedded in my adult life and my relationships. In particular, with my relationships with men, I found myself so eager to be pleasing them, that I would neglect myself in every way—mind, body, and spirit. In one of my more serious relationships, it got to the point where I lost all sense of my own identity and self-esteem. I didn’t know who I was and had no self-confidence. I didn’t respect myself and he didn’t either. I certainly did not love myself and eventually, neither did he. After I ended this toxic relationship, I began my journey of self-discovery and learned for the first time that it was not only okay to love myself, but absolutely necessary for my well-being.
Before we can expect others to love us, we must love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we expect others to love us? We must learn who we are, and what our values and beliefs are. We must know and believe in our own self-worth. We are all God’s precious creations. God loves all of us. Each and every one of us is unique. There is no other person in the world that is like you. Accept who you are and love who you are. You are special. You are valuable. You are worthy of love!
Learn to accept love freely. Giving love to others has always been easy for me. Receiving love is another story. However, once I finally believed that I deserve love, that I am lovable, and that I am worthy of love, my life changed. I understood it is okay for me to take care of myself first. In fact, not only is it okay, but it’s mandatory to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of someone else.
Don’t be pleasing others at the expense of your own well-being. Learn to say “no” to people and activities when you know you should. Listen to your inner voice to find that balance in your life. Take time for yourself. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Accept and embrace the wonderful individual that you are.
Look in the mirror and smile. The person looking back is amazing, loveable, and is loved!
Love & Light,
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