I am a true believer of the idea in popular psychology that in order for one to love, they must first love themselves. In order to receive love, the proper way and the way one deserves, they must understand their worth. Self-worth and self-esteem are primary factors in helping us to receive love.
Whether we are in a relationship, on a search for love or during the aftermath of a break-up, our emotional challenges can be counteracted with self-love. The thing is, as simple as this concept is, we seem to struggle in this area. A good way to view the importance of self-love is to consider the way airline pilots always instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anybody else. #MeFirst
The challenge is that if we don’t have a healthy level of self-esteem and self-love we end up giving love in order to receive love and operating from this depleted, somewhat needy state is a recipe for emotional disaster or at least deep discontentment. If we are dependent on getting our love from someone else it makes our happiness contingent on receiving something from an external source we have no control of; which is when people start to behave in controlling ways.
Unfortunately, when two people with low levels of self-love come together it can be like two thirsty people in the desert; they act in desperation to squeeze as much love out of the other person because they feel so deplenished. This can lead to relationship addiction or cause an otherwise aligned partnership to go downhill very quickly.
The key, therefore, to almost all our relationship challenges is to nurture and nourish ourselves with self-love. That said, the notion of self-love doesn’t have to be as tangible as taking supplements - it can be as simple as following the path of your purpose and living a life of value to yourself and others.
There’s an idea that energy flows where attention goes and if you’re putting all your focus into the problem, it’s going to create more of the problem… which is where shifting your focus toward self-acceptance, self-love and building your self-worth comes in.
When we lack self-love, we can end up chasing people that don’t always treat us with value, in an almost addictive need to get their love, like a car running low on fuel, desperate to have gas put in the tank.
The truth is that nobody can truly love another until they first love themselves, and nobody can fill your empty tank - it has to come from within.
Self-love, in many ways, could be rephrased as self-acceptance; because when you accept yourself despite your flaws, failures, and past poor decisions… love takes on a different meaning.
Louise Hay, one of the world’s leading experts in the area of self-love states: “Love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves — our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.”
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