All love starts with YOU. The truth is, the most important relationship you will ever have in your life is with yourself. I have some questions for you that will help illuminate the way you’re feeling about yourself:
- Do you believe that you are worthy of your own time, your own love and your own money?
- Do you ever dress up for no reason? Just for you?
- Do you treat yourself with love, with care, and with respect?
- Do you treat yourself as well as you treat other people?
I want to encourage you to really sit with these questions, because your first reaction might be, “Of course I love myself!”, but part of this process is to bring new awareness to your inner voice, your inner dialogue. So with that in mind, here are a few more things to think about:
- What kind of language does your inner voice use?
- What kind of things does your inner voice say when you make a mistake?
- Is the tone kind or caustic?
- Are the things your inner voice says to you things you would ever say to people you love?
Real self-love is the only path to any other kind of healthy love. When we lack self-respect or don’t hold ourselves in high esteem, we inevitably find people who don’t either.
I want to challenge you to start thinking about your relationship with yourself as setting the bar for how everyone else is going to treat you. Can you see how that one shift in perspective could really make a difference?
So if you work yourself to death, if you don’t rest when you’re tired, if you overcommit and overgive…you will attract people who expect you to do those things.
If you’re seeking a higher level love, and what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked in the past, I want you to open your mind and open your heart and just decide that doing something different (and maybe a little out of the box) is exactly what you need to do.
Attracting Lasting Love
The very first step is to straighten out your relationship with yourself.
How are you treating yourself on a daily basis? I want to give you permission to treat yourself mindfully and compassionately each and every day.
Some ideas: take yourself out to dinner, run yourself a gorgeous bath, or buy a ticket to see some theatre or a great movie by yourself. Check in with yourself throughout the day about how you feel and about what you need. Even things that are as simple as getting a drink when you’re thirsty or using the bathroom when you need to are things that readily fall by the wayside when we overfunction in our lives. How many times have you pushed yourself past normal hunger to where you feel like you might pass out?
It’s time to tune back into your basic needs and take care of yourself first. Feed yourself something nourishing and delicious, and take a moment to stop and think about how you feel. Practice asking yourself, “What do I need right now? What would make me feel good right now?” throughout your day.
Who’s in Your Front Row?
Do you have people in your life who are toxic and treat you badly? When we have crappy people in our lives it can be very easy to blame them for their bad behavior (and yeah, of course, they’re responsible for it BUT…) it’s YOUR life and you get to decide who’s sitting in that front row. Think about why you might be allowing them to stay in that position of power if they’re not treating you well.
I want to encourage you to proactively sow these seeds of self-love with a little self-love challenge. Think about little things you can do for yourself every day for seven days. What are some actions you can take that would uplevel the self-love you experience daily?
I want you to choose things that you don’t normally do and that actually make you feel loved, considered and happy. It might all be a little bit peculiar to you, but I’ve created a self-love cheat sheet with more ideas and room for you to journal about what kind of things would make you feel the most loved. You can download it here now.
More self-love actions:
- Journaling is an act of self-love. Take a moment to write down how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. Five minutes a day makes a difference.
- Treat yourself to something nice. Treat yourself the same way you would treat someone that you love.
- Draw a boundary with someone you know you need to or have a difficult conversation you’ve been putting off. You’ll feel lighter and better, I promise.
- Spend time with people who lift you up!
- Give yourself permission to do nothing. (People magazine moment, anyone?)
I have found that so many of my clients and the women in my courses have endless love and compassion for other people, but not a lot of love, compassion or consideration for themselves. It’s so important to take a look at your history and how that might have impacted the kind of relationship that you have with yourself today.
I’ve got some questions for you to help you decode the past:
- Who were your role models growing up and what did they show you about self-care?
- Did your mother or your primary caregiver take time out for herself or himself?
- Did you witness them doing things simply because they wanted to?
- Did you see them doing things just to feel good?
- Were there any limiting beliefs around self-care such as it being selfish, indulgent or self-obsessed
I never witnessed my mother get a manicure or a massage and rarely did she buy anything just for her. Self-care was something I learned on my own, but I felt bad and guilty about it in the beginning. So if you’re having any of those kinds of feelings around this, I really want to let you know that, first, that’s normal, and second, I want you to commit to self-care anyway, because you deserve your own consideration in this way. If you didn’t have a great role model around self-care, that’s OK (now you got me!)
Get inspired, because it’s never too late to change an ingrained behavioral pattern. If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it’s this:
Self-love isn’t selfish. It’s really the foundation for ALL other lasting love.
If you’re looking for love, the first place to look is to yourself, always. Why? Because when we’re expecting other people to fill the space that only self-love can fill for us, they will fail as it’s an impossible assignment. No matter how much another person loves us, it’s not the same as loving ourselves.
The better that you get at treating yourself with kindness and love, the more you will attract others in your life, romantic and otherwise, who will do the same.
What if you’re already in a relationship? How can you UP the love? Once again, the first thing is to up the quality of your self-love, because then you’re not really looking to your partner, at least not initially, to change anything. You’re basically looking to yourself to fill up your love cup first even if you are in a relationship, and listen, you can do it. And you are SO worth it.
You can download your self-love cheat sheet right here, and then I invite you to leave me a comment and tell me what you did to love on you this week for the challenge so that I can witness you in all your self-loving glory.
Be sure to stay connected with me here or in our Real Love Revolution Facebook Group,and to watch my video on this topic HERE.
If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media platforms and with anyone you think could benefit.
I hope you have an amazing week and I cannot wait to see what you do for yourself and as always, take care of you.
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.