Loving yourself is the most important relationship in your life. It is the very foundation of all of our relationships. It literally defines who you are; a friend, mother, sister, wife, husband, dad, or a grandmother. It not only defines it for us, but is our center, and our source of strength to those we love and cherish in our lives. However, we don’t perceive it in this way. Many of us routinely put ourselves on the back burner in our daily lives. If we truly are the source of strength to those we love why don’t we do what is necessary to empower ourselves so that we can be the best we can be to those we love?
Jen Louden says in her book*, “Self-nurturing is more than pampering. It is about becoming powerful.” Wow! Have you ever thought of it this way? I know I haven’t. How does that statement make you feel? This is how we need to view loving ourselves. If you look at it this way, it’s not selfish to love yourself and take care of yourself. It’s not selfish to take some time out of your busy daily schedule of nurturing others to take a nice hot bubble bath before bed, or to read a chapter in that book you’ve been trying to finish for the last few months now. Forget what you’ve always thought it meant. In fact, you could change your perception of this notion in this very moment by viewing it as being “self-centered” as in more balanced in mind, body, and spirit; nourishing the center of your very being which is your source of strength.
Why do you think the airlines instruct those on board with children to put their oxygen masks on first in case of an emergency? It doesn’t imply the “me first” mentality. It simply means don’t ignore yourself in the process. It’s so you can better serve and protect those you love. If you can’t breathe you’ll be of no use to those who need your help. The oxygen will help you to take care of the others who depend on you. It’s that way in our lives, too. We need to realize this concept and internalize it.
Loving yourself in this way means paying attention and being aware of how you feel in the moment. If you are feeling particularly tired, or sleepy, you are loving yourself by allowing your body the time it needs to sleep, rest, and rejuvenate - not trying to get a couple more things done off of your To Do List. Loving yourself means going to the doctor as needed rather than self medicating, and hoping it will go away so you can continue to function.
Loving yourself should not be about always finding and setting aside a big “chunk of time” for a massage, or a mani-pedi, or 9 holes of golf with your friends, but rather about finding those little bits and pieces of time throughout your day when you can just be you. If that means sitting out on the porch with a refreshing glass of lemonade before you run to pick up the kids and head off to the soccer game, or a glass of wine at the end of the day, then so be it. Wouldn’t this help you to feel more refreshed or relaxed, and breathe a little easier to finish your day? How about trying your best to drink your 8 glasses of water, and not giving in to the donuts in the break room? Or maybe doing some yoga instead of your usual run to help your body relax because you are simply too exhausted. How about taking some time to read your book instead of paying the bills tonight? You know you won’t let those bills sit on your desk much longer. It doesn’t always have to be a luxury. It’s about giving yourself permission to do something for yourself. It’s about not worrying about trying to be perfect. Cut yourself some slack. Keep it simple and steady throughout the day, and the week. This will help you to charge your battery, and power yourself.
So, isn’t it nice to know that we can change our perception of loving ourselves by always asking ourselves “How can I nurture myself to empower myself?” How would this make you feel? Think about what helps you to feel powerful. Do you feel more positive thoughts when you ask yourself that? That is exactly what we want. We want to feel strong, confident, energetic, and maybe even a little sexy, too.
Thanks for stopping by!
*Comfort Secrets for Busy Women: Finding Your Way When Your Life is Overflowing by Jen Louden