In case you missed the original blog, here’s an excerpt:
When do you love yourself the most? I asked this question to several women all around the world over the last week. I was interested to hear what situations or circumstances inspired them to love themselves. Sometimes I was met with silence, other times with baffled looks…The answers I received to my questions can be categorized into three main groups. These are: I love myself most when I look great, when I am successful, or when I receive love from others. Read more…
After the blog published, I received answers from another category, which is, “I love myself most when I stay true to myself.” This is a great answer, and I think many people will agree that sticking to our own path despite attractive offers to join someone else’s journey is a great way to cultivate love for ourselves. I added this category to my list and we’ll talk more about it later this week.
Today we’re talking about gaining confidence and self-esteem from those around us.
I love myself most when other people love me
You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when someone compliments you? Don’t you just feel great? You just nailed a job interview. They loved you! Or when your spouse or your kids say, “I love you.” Or when a friend sends a note thanking you for being there for them. Or a stranger compliments you on your outfit. I know I feel great when I have helped someone through my blog or through direct coaching and they stop to tell me how much they appreciate what I do. These gestures are fantastic! They are signs that we are accepted, and loved, by others and are important for our well-being.
Throughout history, we have evolved to be members of a group. We are pack animals. We rely, to a certain extent, on others for items necessary for our survival and well-being. Think about your own life in modern society. Someone generates your electricity and someone else maintains the lines so the electricity gets to your house where you can turn on your computer, that someone else made, and read this blog which I wrote. Someone grows your food, someone makes your clothes, someone else is your doctor when you’re sick. It is important, from an evolutionary point of view to get along and to be accepted into the tribe.
Our ancestors were much closer to the people who helped them. They grouped together to share resources and protect each other. You had to be nice to your neighbor because your survival depended on it. This day and age we are far removed from the people who generate our power, grow our food, and make our clothes. This often has the affect of making us less kind to others. People are becoming progressively ruder or oblivious to those around them. Is this why more people are depressed now than ever before? Or are people depressed so they act rudely to others?
It’s when people are rude or don’t notice you that a strong inner game is important. Unfortunately, love from the outside is unreliable and fleeting. Just yesterday I answered a question from a young lady who was feeling low about comments someone else made to her at the gym. Another lady asked if she was pregnant and then advised her to concentrate on abdominal exercises. Wow. So this girl, who had largely gotten over her body image issues, was right back in the throes of self-doubt.
This is an all too familiar scenario for many of us. The truth is, if this happens to you, it isn’t a problem with you. It’s a problem with whoever was saying these things. Honestly, taking into account the environment where this conversation occurred, I’m guessing the mean-lady thought she was helping this poor girl out with her advice. If not, the lady had some baggage that she needed to work through. Either way, it had nothing to do with this poor girl who happened to be in the line of fire.
You attract what you practice every day. So practice love and gratitude, but don’t forget to love yourself. If you are feeling under-appreciated or ignored, build yourself up from within by taking a little time for self-care. Appreciate yourself, revel in your qualities, have the kind of moral constitution that you find admirable, contribute to the betterment of society. Do these things because you think they are good and important, not because you are seeking praise. If you feel you are worthy of love, others will pick up on that and they will respond in kind. Also, if you love yourself you are more likely to pay it forward by building others up as well.
If you think self-love is a waste of time or are worried about getting a big head, my question for you is, “Why should someone love you if you don’t love yourself?” If this question strikes a chord with you, spend some time with your journal or in meditation and unpack those feelings.
Remember, you are still awesome, even when no one is saying so. Often people are thinking great things about you, they just don’t tell you about it. People have their own things going on. Maybe they’re embarrassed to say anything, maybe they are too wrapped up in their own stuff to notice what you’re doing, or they’re noticing but not reaching out. It has happened to me more than once that I don’t hear anything about my blogs for weeks, then out of the blue, someone will share how one of my articles helped them.
That is why I think the self-love game is so important. What if I gave up writing because no one complimented me? What I have to say wouldn’t reach those people who really benefit from it and my purpose would be left unfulfilled. All because I needed validation from others. When put that way, it sounds selfish not to love yourself doesn’t it?
Check back tomorrow for the final installment in the self-love series, I Love Myself Most When…I Am True To Myself.
If you find this useful, there’s a good chance your friends will, too. Share this with your friends right away while you are thinking of it. Thanks for reading!