If you are searching for more happiness in your life, then you might be looking in the wrong places. The best thing you can do is to start prioritising your well-being and learn to love yourself more.
You do spend all day with YOU so it makes sense to have a great relationship with yourself? You can live a totally different life, simply by being on your own side and by being your own cheerleader.
Does that sound conceited, or perhaps a little bit selfish? Perhaps it would change your mind if I told you that focusing on self-love can be truly transformational.
Once you can believe that it is not at all conceited to love oneself, but rather the path to setting yourself free, the process of lasting change can finally begin.
What is self-love?
Self-love is all about self-care, self-nurture and self-praise. If this still sounds too selfish, think about the oxygen mask that you must put on yourself before you can save loved ones from an emergency.
Before you can love, or be loved to the degree that you want and deserve, self-love is essential. If you want to improve the quality and happiness you experience in your life, the best possible way is to love yourself more.
Learning to love yourself
The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to already have everything you want. Self-love is simply about the acceptance of yourself, flaws and all. It’s about loving yourself just the way you are, focusing on all the unique gifts and talents that make you, YOU.
You may have noticed that we are all so good at criticising ourselves, listing parts of ourselves to hate. But when we feel like this, it is much harder to like, let alone love, who we are.
You cannot give to others what you do not have. You can only love another person to the degree that you love yourself, and another person can only love you to the degree that they love themselves.
Sadly, this fact often results in unhappy and unhealthy relationships between two insecure people, or constant worrying that your ‘perfect’ partner will one day leave you because of your flaws.
Finding the love within yourself
As we try to move away from the pain of feeling empty to the pleasure of feeling full, we often focus on people and things outside of ourselves to be
happy. We act like pleasure-seeking missiles, desperate to feel constant joy and happiness.
We buy new ‘toys’, we have plastic surgery, we get a promotion, or we choose a new partner. Yet after the initial exhilaration dies down, we feel empty again.
In this state of emptiness, some people fill themselves up on food or shopping, or they chase the highs of sex and drugs. Others numb their feelings with alcohol, drugs or computer games. Sometimes, we simply try to blame the unhappiness we feel on others. Other people are letting us down, or things just aren’t going our way.
Whatever those feelings you are trying to escape or mask, your need cannot be satisfied while you look outside of yourself. Yes, you can get a temporary ‘fix’, but that’s all, and your ‘fix’ may even end in a life-threatening addiction.
Time for change
When you stop believing that it is your partner, or your job title, or your house that makes you happy, then as if by magic, you will find the fear of them being taken away has disappeared!
Remember, not feeling lovable is just a story that you tell yourself. It is learned behaviour, part of some old programming that you are still running on auto-pilot.
Happily, you can un-learn this negative behaviour with practice, if you want to. Change happens from the moment you take responsibility for loving yourself unconditionally, accepting without question what is.
When you know that you are good enough and worthy of love, you will not settle for a relationship that makes you feel bad, or even just “fine”.
When you feel worthy of being loved for who you are, you will not tolerate bad behaviour. You don’t have to prove yourself, or wear a mask for protection. You can simply believe that love is available to you, and because you feel safe, you will attract even more love.
So it’s time to stop looking for others to give you the love and care you crave. Loving yourself really is the first key to happiness and joy. Demonstrate love by giving it unconditionally to yourself, and as you do, you will attract others into your life, who love you without conditions.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.