I recently got to really understand the importance of unconditional self-love.
As life goes on and you’re faced with challenging situations, It’s so easy to accumulate guilt inside you for the way you handle some of these situations. At the end of the day we’re all human, therefore not perfect. We are learning all the time and the way we deal with things comes down to what we believe is the right course of action at the time for all concerned.
It’s only later when we witness the fallout of our not-so-perfect actions that we can develop regrets. But there is no value in holding on to regret. I know in my case, I never set out to intentionally hurt anyone, but sometimes the way I handled some situations was a survival mechanism for me which caused other people pain.
These types of actions are motivated by the need to honour ourselves, but then you begin to feel selfish for making yourself feel better at the expense of someone else, even if you think it was warranted at the time. This then stops you from feeling as though you can give time to yourself because you’re trying to compensate for your mistakes by giving, giving, giving to everyone else.
I believe that guilt is anger turned inwards on ourselves and it is so destructive. You don’t even realise but it stores itself deep inside and you become unaware that you’re even holding onto it. It causes you to stop enjoying life and with time you can’t even really pinpoint where it all started. You just know that you’ve developed some level of self-hate without really understanding why.
Hanging on to guilt and regret depletes your levels of happiness, which in turn also hurts others, particularly those who are closest to you, those who just want you to be happy.
If you really want to stop hurting others, you need to heal yourself. This is not selfish. It is actually the only way to become the person that other people want to love and spend time with. It is impossible to love someone else fully if you can’t first love yourself. No amount of kindness, care or generosity has value if you can’t offer yourself the same thing.
So start with self-nurture. It may seem like a good idea to put everyone else ahead of your own needs but it doesn’t work. It is not selfish to look after yourself first. You can’t help anyone else if you’re broken.
It could be as simple as giving yourself alone time to do whatever feels good. What would this look like to you? It could be taking a long bath, reading a book that stimulates your brain, listening to soothing music, taking a long walk in nature – anything that energises you and fills you up.
When you feel good inside and start to love and appreciate yourself for the incredible human being that you are, and know that you have so much to offer, only then can you move on to supporting others.