The thought of loving yourself through each day can be a really tough one for some of us to process, because perhaps it’s a concept that has been introduced to us as adults and feels foreign to us at first. Learning a different way of being takes time, especially for someone like me who grew up believing it was way more important to put everybody else's needs before her own.
A lot of us have been taught that "love" is something that comes from outside of ourselves, that someone needs to tell us that they love us, for us to feel lovable.
For a long time growing up, this is indeed how I felt. I looked for love in all the wrong places and so it comes as no surprise that I didn't feel lovable. The ex-boyfriend's that I spent so much time longing for, long after they'd exited my life, I now realize, was my attempt to find love that I so longed to find for myself. I looked for love everywhere instead of where I needed to look for it and that was inside of myself.
Taking the time to start doing things for me because it made me feel good! This is where it started for me and where I still am today and the contentment I feel within myself is wonderful.
From time to time I feel sad for the younger version of myself, who didn't know any better, but, I also understand that this was my journey to be experienced then, so I could appreciate what authentic love really means.
So here’s a novel idea?
Why can’t we learn to love ourselves, instead, of our worth being tied up with the idea that we need wait for someone else to love us. That we need to receive the tick of approval from someone else and that someone else will never know us as well as we know ourselves right? That someone else does not spend 24 hours a day with us, inhabit our mind, body & soul, like we do, so why is it that we give so much power to others when it comes to LOVE!
I believe we are born into this world, feeling completely lovable, knowing what we want & when we want it - Just think about it, as a baby, we slept when we needed to, we loved being held and cooed over, we knew when we needed food and cried so that someone could attend to our needs. If we needed our nappy changed, we’d cry to alert attention to the fact that we needed help. We instinctively knew what to do. At some point in our life, this changed & somewhere along the line, we became the carers, attending to the needs of our own babies in the same way that we were cared for when we made our grand entrance into this world.
I often wondered why we I couldn't have both in my life, and then at some point I decided I could. I realized that I couldn't be the amazing carer for others that I wanted to be, if I didn't make sure I was in a good place myself, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
My own personal wellness journey has highlighted to me, that when I do in fact make the time to take care of myself, I bring a whole lot more energy and enthusiasm to caring for the people I love, to my work obligations and to everything else in my life. This in fact, is how I want to show up in my life, with a whole lot of energy, enthusiasm & love.
Growing up, I always felt that to look after others was more important than how I was feeling and so I’ve grown up to be great at caring for other people. My natural instinct is to make sure others feel good about themselves, my natural instinct is not to take great care of myself. In fact, it’s something that I’ve had to work hard at, I’m continually reminding myself that I’m loveable and that it’s ok to do things for myself, but it's not easy for me. I watched and continue to watch my parents help others in the community and I feel that being able to help others is necessary for our own personal well-being. It makes us feel good when we know we've added value to someone else's life. It is also important to know how to add value to our own lives by learning to love ourselves.
I think the reason I'm drawn to teaching about self love and the importance of prioritizing our personal well-being is because it’s probably what I need to learn most for myself.
They do say that you teach what you most need to learn.
"What does loving yourself even look like?"
Choosing activities which make you feel good on the inside is a great way to start and gives you the opportunity to start small and take the baby steps you need to find your way. If this is not your natural way of being, this may feel foreign and that's totally OK.
My favourite activities which are my way of loving myself through my day include -
Sleeping in if my body needs it or just because I can.
Checking in on my energy levels
Having a relaxing bath or long shower
Avoiding anyone who drains my energy levels
Hanging out with people who are uplifting
Taking the time to slow down
A morning body surf at my local beach
Meditating outside in nature
Sitting in the sun
Listening to the birds chirping in the trees
Sharing a meal with people I love
Investing time into my own personal well-being
Participating in activities which I love
Reading an amazing book
Expressing myself creatively
All these activities are the ways I love myself through the day and are vital for my well-being. I’d like to say that I do all of these everyday, but I don’t. What I do though, is set an intention that I will make time through my week to ensure that I’m doing things that I love for myself and sometimes when an opportunity comes up, like right now, I may find I have 30min - 1hr to myself where I can sit down and do something that I love.
Right now, my husband is dropping my daughter off at her school dance rehearsal and my eldest daughter has ridden her bike to the shops to buy herself some lunch, and I felt drawn to sitting down and writing this blog, so here I am.
What happens when you do things that fill up your cup, for me obviously, expressing myself in this way, is fulfilling and makes me feel so good and the more I do this, the more amazing I feel within myself.
For all us this will look different too!
I love to write and listen to inspiring podcasts, my eldest daughter loves to listen to music and hang out with her friends as much as she can. My husband loves to fish and watch documentaries and my youngest daughter loves to build lego and play with her friends. All these things are different, yet all these activities, fill our cups and help us feel happy.
"Finding what fills your cup is the key".
It’s important to identify what you need in your life to fill your cup up, and if you need to, write it down, so you can be prompted when you need reminding or you are presented with some spare time in your day and you’re at a loss as to what to do with your spare time. I’ve a list in my “notes” app on my phone and it lists all the activities I love to do which I know will fill my cup up.
The more activities you can include in your day, the more content you will feel and this is what I aim for.
So what does a list like this look like for me?
In actual fact, I’m going to share with you exactly what is written in my “Notes” section on my phone. It’s actually very simple and I have it strategically placed above my “To Do” list as a reminder that my personal well-being is my priority!
Spend QT with Charles, Gigi, Bronte & my friends
Listen to inspirational podcasts
Spend time in nature
Soak up the sun's rays.
Soak up the lunar energy
Walk our dogs
Listen to Music
Ground myself with mother earth
Soak in a Magnesium & Zeolite Bath
Above my “NOTES” section I list AFFIRMATIONS that I like to repeat to myself to remind myself to focus on my personal well-being.
Currently mine look like this -
“I CHOOSE ME”
“THE DOOR OPENS TO FREEDOM & NEW IDEAS”
“MY FLAWS ARE SOME OF MY GIFTS”
“I’M EXCITED INTO LOOKING INTO MY FEARS”
“I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT”
How would it feel for you, knowing, that you gifted your children,
the most beautiful gift ever?
The gift of your loving yourself!
I get so excited, when I think about the possibilities, through learning this for myself, I subconsciously give them permission to do the same in their own lives.
I believe, that this is what we are here to do in life, to learn to love ourselves, so we can in turn love others and in turn fill our cups to the brim and with the overflow keep others cups filled too.
What a world we will live in, when we can learn to do this!