Do You Nurture Yourself?

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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.

 

Love Yourself First

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As humans it is easy for us to blame others when things go wrong. This is because it’s hard to admit we’ve made an error of judgement and face the consequences of what people might think or say. But remember, nobody is perfect and making mistakes is actually a valuable part of life.

What I have come to realise is even if we do blame others, we are actually angrier with ourselves, we just aren’t ready to own it yet. Blame is just delaying the inevitable realisation that we are not perfect. Although we may like to think we are doing the right thing all the time, the reality is that instead of understanding that it’s OK to make a mistake, our confidence takes a hit and we privately beat ourselves up. To me this shows that our natural state is actually to respect and even love who we are, but over time (and more mistakes and criticism from others), people can sometimes start to doubt themselves, which leads to a lack of self love. 

Most people I meet have issues with self esteem. When I was growing up in my all-girls school environment, those who were most criticised were usually described as someone “who loves herself”. If you think about it, that should not be a bad thing, although in that context it usually meant they were self-centred, only caring about themselves and not about anyone else. But that language started to tell people that it was inappropriate to show the world that you valued yourself as a person.

We are all connected and all part of the human family. When you hurt someone else, it comes back to you as well. So it makes sense that if more people loved themselves, they would be able to spread more love into the world and make others feel good about themselves. Loving and appreciating yourself for who you are is the easiest way to change the world. 

It’s hard to love other people unless you can learn to love yourself first, so if you’re frustrated because you haven’t met your ideal partner or found friends that you resonate with, take a look at the relationship you have with yourself. Your outer world is definitely a reflection of your inner world.

I don’t believe anyone is born “bad”. The way we turn out is a reflection of our environment and beliefs. Those beliefs come from early childhood and it is possible to change them. The simplest comment from a parent or teacher can create an unconscious belief that can potentially destroy a person’s self esteem later in life. We need to stop this cycle of feeling like we don’t deserve to be happy, successful or be who we really want to be.

The only thing you need to do is love yourself for who you are. Look for the good points, recognise the mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve learned from them or done something to turn them around. There is good in everyone, we all have a unique gift to share, so you owe it to yourself to recognise and embrace your magnificence.