Loving yourself first. What do I mean by that? Well I don’t mean being selfish. I don’t mean constantly thinking about your own needs and what can benefit you all the time. I don’t mean being narcissistic and thinking you are God’s gift to the Earth. And I surely don’t mean forgetting about others and doing good for others.
Loving yourself first simply means just that. Love yourself. Respect yourself enough to meet your own needs. Don’t constantly push aside your needs so you can make others happy. Remember to take care of yourself. To be kind to yourself. To give yourself the kind of love you really deserve. And yes, that may mean putting yourself first from time to time, but it isn’t such a bad thing.
I know that society seems to think that when we do this we are being selfish or self-centered, but in reality, I think sometimes by pleasing others TOO much we are being rather cruel to ourselves, maybe even selfish in a way because we are looking for their affirmation to tell us that we are good enough and worthy enough, which is somewhat of a selfish ambition, wouldn’t you think? But it is also cruel because by pleasing others constantly we are pushing our own needs aside, which will eventually breed terrible things inside us such as anger, resentment and bitterness. And we really don’t want to be living with that junk in our system. It’s unhealthy for our minds, bodies, and souls.
So I want to talk about a few things that I feel are important to learning how to love yourself first.
One, we must learn to not compromise our needs. What I mean by this is not putting aside what we want for the sake of pleasing others. This includes our dreams, our values, our desires, what makes us happy, and anything in between. It is not selfish to do this. We are all born with specific needs to make us feel happy and functioning at a good, healthy level and when those needs are constantly unmet or pushed aside, we will begin to feel a deep sense of unhappiness, and sometimes even anger or resentment towards our lives or even other people.
Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are compromising our needs. Do you ever push yourself super hard at work and not take breaks? Do you ever say to yourself that you can keep going, that you don’t need to rest or take an hour to relax? Do you ever say, “it’s ok, we’ll do what you want,” constantly? This is called compromising your needs. Constantly pushing aside what you need to feel good is NOT GOOD! Sure, once in a while we can push ourselves a bit or sacrifice for the sake of doing something nice for someone else, but when we do it constantly, we are being cruel to ourselves. This is not an act of self love. And over time, it will wear us down. It will make us bitter. And life will seem very unhappy. So don’t be afraid to stand up for what you truly need, even if it means saying no to other people or obligations.
This brings me to my next point. It’s ok to say NO!
It’s not a bad word people, even though so many of us seem to think so. Saying no is something I’ve had to learn especially over the past year. I’m still learning how to say it. It’s such a simple two-letter word, and yet probably one of the hardest things to utter. Why? Because when we say no, I feel that part of us feelings like we are letting others down and when we do that, we equate this to our self worth a.k.a “if I say no, then they won’t like me as much.” This is why we are so afraid of saying it. So afraid of letting others down. Because we are SO afraid of rejection. We don’t want others to think less of us and therefore like us less. We want to constantly be on their good side so that we will feel loved in return.
But news flash! By saying yes constantly, it is only devalues ourselves in front of them. People will begin to take advantage of your good nature, as sad as that sounds, but they will! Even if they don’t mean to do so on purpose. It’s simply human nature. And then by saying yes constantly, we will begin to compromise our own needs, thereby starting the nasty cycle of feeling run down, which leads to bitterness, anger, and resentment. We will start to feel used by other people. We will start to feel like no matter what we do, no matter how many times we say yes, they still want more out of us. So this is why it’s important to learn to say no.
I don’t mean saying no to every single thing, because obviously that would be a selfish thing to do. Sometimes we need to say yes so we can help out others or what not. But often times, when we do say yes, our intention is usually not to help others, but rather to seek affirmation that we are indeed still loved by them because of doing whatever it is that we said yes to.
So let’s start saying yes when we actually mean it – when we truly want to help, rather than doing it simply because we feel obligated, or simply because we want to seek affirmation that we are still loved and worthy. Let’s also start saying no, when we feel like it’s really not appropriate for us to compromise our needs at that moment. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to love ourselves first. Remember that.
So here’s the challenges for today and the past two days.
The Self Love Daily Challenge #055 – Love yourself first.
The Self Love Daily Challenge #056 – Don’t compromise your needs.
The Self Love Daily Challenge #057 – Learn the difference of when it’s appropriate to say yes and no.