Love Yourself first.

As we go into this Hallmark made holiday week, I find myself reflecting about the first love of my life.
Well, not the first romantic love of my life, but Michael is a good story if you ever want to ask me about him.
This first love is self- love.
This is the love that I am cultivating finally, in mid- life. The love that I realize has to be present in order to truly love another person.
Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite author’s says, “We can only love someone else to the degree that we love ourselves.”
Seriously.
She says that some will argue that they love their children or their partners more than they love themselves.
They say that it is possible.
She says, no it is not.
I agree.
I can only love you to the degree that I love me.
Here are some of the things that get in the way of loving ourselves (that get in the way of me loving me):
~negative self- talk
~people pleasing
~hiding who we really are for fear of rejection
~comparison
~judgement
What I have found is that when we are doing any or all of these behaviors we are not cultivating love, rather we are creating large areas of shame, guilt, and blame within us.
We are pushing away instead of pulling in.
We are building walls instead of opening doors.
We are creating fear instead of allowing love.

I decided that this was a good week to start speaking up. To start “outing myself” so that you might feel like you could “out yourself”, and together we might feel brave enough to take on the self hatred and self- loathing that is at epidemic proportions in our lives. Empathy allows us to do that with one another.  I know that I am not alone. I know you understand. I know you have been there or are there.

It is not easy to love ourselves in a culture that is constantly telling us to be more, do more, have more, and that we are not good enough until we have made it – whatever that mean to us. It is not easy to love ourselves when we came from families that gave us similar messages.

It is not easy, but it is essential. It is important. It matters to our evolution- inside and out.

It will change the world.

Seriously.

 

 

 

 

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