Do you want to fall in love and be in a relationship where you have the capacity to give your very best? Do you want to stand on an unshakeable ground of love that no one can ever move you from? Do you want to have the ability within yourself to feel amazing no matter what? Then you need to love you first and always. There’s a secret that’s not really a secret but a misunderstood and overlooked truth that a lot of us have twisted into a belief that love comes from conditions. We look outside of ourselves to people and things to create conditions that make us feel loved and what happens when these people and things fall short? We feel unworthy and we blame others for something that is our own fault! Well here’s the secret…the truth. Love starts within. You have to start within yourself and build a love that grows and grows to reach the world outside of you. Then and only then can you truly be with someone else and really fall in love.
Here’s another secret that you probably realize more than you thought. When you fall “in love” with someone, you’re actually in love with yourself and you’ve found someone that inspires that truth within you. That’s why it feels so amazing! A lot of us still live in the conditional illusion of love but we can find someone sometimes that will give us a glimpse of that real love and we fell on top of the world. But it’s still conditional because as soon as they go away, so does that amazing feeling and we’re left with absolute despair or what we call heartbreak. But what if you could feel that amazing at your control? What if you could feel in love all the time?
I used to be stuck in the self destructive trap of looking for love outside of myself. I would look to boyfriends, friends and life conditions to feel loved and as soon as any of these fell short of giving me what I needed to feel loved, I would feel horrible, scared and alone. But what I didn’t realize at the time is that I had all the love I would ever need inside of me. I just had to turn my focus within. I had to stop putting others first and start putting myself first. I had to start caring more about what I thought than what others thought. I had to give to myself before others. I had to love myself first. You’ve probably been focusing outside of yourself to find love but now it’s time to turn that focus inward.
Decide that you come first. You are the only one who can make the decision that you come first. No one else can do it for you. Yes, I know it’s hard to put yourself first when you’ve grown up in a world that believes a mother is supposed to sacrifice time and time again for her children. And I know it’s hard to put yourself first when there’s so many people demanding things from you but when you decide to put yourself first, not only do you do what’s best for you but you do what’s best for others. When you are at your best, you can give your best. Win win situation! So declare right now that “I matter. I am first.” According to Buddhism, “I am…” is one of the most powerful phrases and just saying it can shift how you feel.
What do you desire? You’ve probably spent a lot of time focusing on your kid’s desires but what do you desire? What do you want? The whole solar system revolves around the sun in such a delicate way that our existence is possible so there is absolutely nothing too big that this universe (God) can’t make a reality for you. You deserve to have anything you desire so sit down and start thinking about what you really want. What makes you excited, passionate and inspired? What do you daydream about? Not only that but what are the details of your desires? What will the waves sound like as they crash against the shore of the beautiful beach that you spend your dream vacation at? What color hair will the man you decide to spend the rest of your life with have? Give your desires details because the more you detail it, the more real it seems. Not to mention, it’s so much fun!
How do you feel? So often when we’re interacting with others, we’re so worried about how they feel and we adjust our words and actions to cater to their feelings. People pleasers! I used to be one. So how do you feel? Start paying attention to how you feel when interacting with others. Just mentally check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, why? Are you talking about something you don’t want to talk about? Are you feeling inspired but nervous to share your own thoughts on something? Adjust your words and actions to cater to how you feel. When you start putting your feelings first you’ll radiate confidence and honesty and people will just gravitate to you because we naturally admire people like this. You’ll be yourself and not a people pleaser.
Take care of your body. Your physical well being is just as important as your mental well being. You’ve been given this body as a gift and even if it’s not your idea of a perfect body, it’s the one you will have for the rest of your life so learn to love it.
You don’t have to start hitting the gym every day and trying every miracle crash diet in the social media trends. I believe that taking care of your body means really listening to it and being aware of your own unique needs. I do yoga every morning because movement keeps me energized and inspires me to live more. I am a vegetarian because the thought of putting a dead animal in my body makes me feel sick (Nothing against you meat eaters but it’s just not for everyone). I practice martial arts because it makes my body feel powerful. And when I’m tired, all else is put aside for a 15 minute cat nap. Seriously! The world could be ending and if I’m tired I’ll spend the last 15 minutes I have here sleeping because it’s what my body needs.
Listen to your body. Don’t eat things that make you feel sick, exercise in a way that inspires you, wear what you feel good in, sleep when you need to (when you can) and appreciate your body no matter what state it’s in. Whatever state it’s in, that state can be changed by appreciating it and giving it what it needs. Each of our bodies is unique and we are our best doctor.
How do you have fun? Do you know what you need to get really serious about? Having fun! Life is supposed to be fun and carefree but a lot of us work first and play last. While working and making money is important if you do too much working and being serious all you’re going to do is dig an early grave. But having fun will keep you young and feeling alive well into your years. I get told all the time that I don’t look my age (I’m 37) and I truly believe it’s because I’m always finding ways to have fun in life. From kicking boys butts in Muay Thai to spontaneous road trips with no pre-determined destination, having fun makes me smile, laugh and feel young! Whatever is fun to you, make this a priority.
These are just a few examples of ways you can start loving yourself. While there are so many unique ways for you to love yourself, the concept is the same for us all…To love yourself is to look within, not without.