Love is a powerful word and has very personal meaning to each of us. As we mature and grow, I believe our definition of “love” changes from decade to decade.
Here’s what I mean:
As a baby we bask in the love of our parents,
As a teen we bask in the love of others,
As an adult we learn to give the gift of love,
As we grow into our twilight years, we bask in the love of knowing we left our mark on the world by giving and receiving unconditional love.
As I’ve matured, mellowed and grown, I’ve come to realize that before we can love others and accept their love, we must first love ourselves.
So many of us spend time looking outside ourselves for validation, belonging and “love” that we fail to look inside – inside our own heart and mind.
I’m not talking about being conceited or narcissistic.
• I’m talking about valuing your worth and respecting your gifts and talents.
• I’m talking about not allowing others to steal your dreams.
• I’m talking about speaking to yourself with respect and dignity.
• I’m talking about striving for excellence and not perfection.
• I’m talking about working daily to enhance your self-esteem and the self-esteem of others.
• I’m talking about not settling for less, but striving for the best.
• I’m talking about giving yourself permission to live the life of your dreams.
• I’m talking about believing, without a doubt, you deserve to love and be loved unconditionally.
Loving yourself allows you to be open to what is best for you personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. With self-love comes the ability to trust – especially the ability to trust yourself.
I believe self-love and healthy self-esteem go hand-in-hand. With healthy self-esteem comes the ability to confidently make wise decisions and good choices. When you love and respect yourself, decisions are made from an internal place of empowerment and confidence and not from fear or need.
I can’t even tell you how many years it took me to figure out that love for others and love for life comes from finding self-love – the self-love and respect you have for yourself as a competent, worthy and deserving person.
Here’s how I decided to work on loving myself unconditionally and maybe you’ll find this helpful too:
1. I consciously decided to say only positive things about myself to myself. I would catch myself saying something negative about my looks, my abilities, etc. and I’d immediately say something empowering to myself.
2. When someone gives me a compliment, I say a simple “thank you.” I don’t try to justify the compliment, I accept the compliment graciously.
3. I eliminated toxic and negative people from my life. If I was related to some of the negative people, I would find ways to counteract the negativity. For example: I say a positive affirmation to myself as the negative person is talking about me or “at” me.
4. I surround myself with empowering books, people and opportunities.
5. I refuse to be drawn into the drama and negativity of others.
I’m not saying this is easy. It took me several years before I felt I could confidently face any situation, no matter how negative, and still love myself as a worthy and deserving person. I’ll say it again, I’ve come to realize that before we can love others or accept their love, we must first love ourselves unconditionally.
Are you ready to…
- Always talk to yourself with love and respect – no matter the circumstances?
- Not allow others to chip away at your self-confidence and self-esteem?
- Affirm daily, “I love myself just the way I am”?
P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – email@example.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
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