Why You Must Love Yourself
When you become a happier human being as a result of letting go of certain people or things, that’s the Universe’s way of letting you know it was the right choice. ~ Unknown
We’re seeing lots of articles, posts and blogs about developing healthy habits, focusing on personal development and taking positive action in the new year. Personally, I’m loving all of this motivation and inspiration. A great quote can leave me feeling all pumped up, like I’m ready to conquer the world!
Each year, I like to shine a light for myself on something I know I need to work on. In the past, I chose to remind myself to not take things so personally. Though some days it’s still a struggle, I feel better about my ability let go of the thoughts, ideas and energy no longer serving me. As a matter of fact, anyone who has ever taken one of my yoga classes knows that I like to end my classes with that very reminder. What’s much harder for me to let go of is people. Because just like thoughts, ideas and energy, there are relationships that stop serving our highest good.
Sometimes we change and our interests and activities are no longer something we share with the friends around us. When I injured my back and was no longer able to run, the group of people I spent the most time with changed. My running buddies kept running but since I could not, I no longer fit in and had to find new ways to spend my leisure time. Instead of seeing each other a few times each week, we now see each other a few times each year. There was definitely a feeling of loss for me but it was simply one of life’s changes and I had to adapt to the situation.
For many people who choose to change their eating or drinking habits in an effort to improve their health, it also becomes necessary to find a new group to socialize with who shares these new habits. This is a terrific added benefit of group fitness classes. In addition to developing a relationship based upon moaning about mutually sore bodies, we can find a source of new friendships with people sharing the same health & fitness goals. When we are looking for camaraderie, it’s also a great idea to look to social media and find groups or people traveling the same kind of transformational journey. Although they’re sometimes a city, state or country away from us, it can be a tremendous source of encouragement to share the highs and lows along our path with others who’ve either been where we are or those who are there at the same time. Knowing we’re not alone can be a great comfort in times of change.
Which leads me to an important revelation – feeling all alone can be terrifying! Okay so maybe it doesn’t seem like a revelation to you but for me, acknowledging and truly understanding that helped me to understand why letting people go has always been so hard for me. Difficulty establishing boundaries has been a recurrent theme throughout my life and as a result, I’ve often given too many undeserving second chances. It’s healthy to forgive but it’s unhealthy to continue forgiving the same person for the same thing over and over again. When that type of pattern emerges, the forgiver has become an enabler of habitually bad behavior. So to break this pattern, a change is necessary. It’s scary to be the one to initiate the change because there’s always a risk that instead of changing the pattern and becoming a more healthy relationship – your new behavior can bring the relationship to an end. Forever. Since many of our friendships have lasted for many years, the idea of ending a friendship that may have had a longer life than our marriage, can be daunting. What if you lose your best friend? What then?
Then you look in the mirror and realize your best friend is still there and has been all along. When we lose the ability to love ourselves, we seek the approval and validation for our self-worth from those around us. Instead of tending to the most important person in our life, we let our emotional welfare lie in someone else’s hands. We teach others how to treat us by what we put up with and how respectfully we treat ourselves.
Right now, think of the closest friend you have or even your sibling, spouse – someone who you love dearly. Now ask yourself how you would feel if someone spoke to the person you love the way you speak to yourself. Would it make you angry? Would you be upset that someone said unkind, hurtful things to someone you love? Let that sink in for just a second.
This year, I’m pledging to give more love to myself. To remind myself every day that I’m filled with love, to spread love and to operate from a place of love. I hope you’ll join me in my #loveyourself❤ mission because the truth is – you ARE worth it and so am I!
* Originally Published in December 2017
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