Most people put their partner’s feelings and needs way before they put those of their own. We have been taught that self-love is selfish or egotistical. In reality it is the only way to ever fully love another.
When you take care of your needs and your dreams anything you do will overflow with more love. We are magnets in what we put out into the world, reflects how we feel about ourselves.
Here are 5 ways to love yourself as much as you love your partner:
1. Honor your feelings.
We are so busy occupying space with others that we forget to check in with our emotions. We ask our partners, “How are you feeling? Is there anything I can help you with?” But, when was the last time you sat yourself down, made a sacred space in your life, and asked the same questions?
When you ask yourself, “How am I feeling? What do I need right now?” something magnificent happens. We are answered with the of truth of our needs.
Give yourself compassion, love, support, and understanding. The moment you begin to honor yourself everything and everyone around you will begin to honor those feelings as well. “The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” ~Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
2. Connect with the spiritual part of your soul.
It is said that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Your soul guides you to fulfill your dreams. Being authentic to what you desire is important. We tend to give ourselves completely to our partners and others in our lives. We dive into a relationship and the depth of all that is asked of us. There is a part of your essence that needs complete acknowledgment. If you cannot reach the sacredness of your truth then you cannot know what it is to take care of another.
Do you make time for yourself through yoga, exercise, meditation, prayer or just sitting outside? Do you journal? How do you communicate with your higher self? There is a need to truly embrace all facets of our humanity: mind, body, and spiritual connections.
Best selling author and relationship expert, Dr. Margaret Paul says, “Love is not a feeling we generate from our mind. It comes from the heart when our heart is open to our source of love. When you open to learning with your higher power about loving yourself and others, love flows into your heart and you feel loved.”
3. Take time to play.
How do you entertain yourself? Do you ever go to a movie or a park alone? When was the last time you had a date with just yourself?
Those things you do with your partner are also things you can do alone with yourself. Part of loving yourself is also nurturing the inner child. Laughter and play time is important for the soul. Stuart Brown, psychiatrist and founder of the National Institute for Play in California says that play is a timeless state of being which is essential to humans. “Play is what builds complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and flexible brains, which in turn build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and flexible people and societies.”
The simple act of just taking a coloring book, sitting outside on the grass, and enjoying a half hour is enough to bring you joy. The same way you enjoy playing with others, it is imperative to do that for yourself. Your inner child will feel loved.
4. Take care of your needs.
Taking care of your body and health gives you a feeling of self-love and appreciation. Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting adequate sleep gives your emotional mind the clues that you are worth loving. It is also important to take care of your finances and home. When you live in a disarray of chaos you feel depleted. Think of the last time you cleaned out your closets, your room, and your garage. How did you feel?
Sometimes it feels like a giant load has been removed. When you respect your own space you are letting yourself acknowledge your importance. We forget to take care of ourselves and place children, family and partners above and beyond what we should be doing for the self.
“Your body is the temporary temple of your Spirit. What you keep around you in the extended temple of your home needs to change as you change and grow, so that it reflects who you are. Particularly if you are engaged in any kind of self-improvement work, you need to update your environment regularly. So get into the habit of leaving a trail of discarded clutter in your wake, and start to think of it as a sign of your progression!” ~ Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
5. Follow your bliss and create balance.
Work takes up a large part of our lives, so finding a career that fulfills us is important. Staying in a job that is not conducive to your soul’s yearning causes an imbalance of mind and body. Would you tell your partner to go look for another job if he/she was miserable? Would you help him/her find out what would be a good position?
Creating a work life that is fulfilling and uplifting brings harmony in all other aspects of your life. Placing your needs and abilities before anyone is one of the most rewarding ways to love yourself.
All work and no play manifest anxiety and depression. Put yourself first and foremost by honoring your passion. We are born with innate gifts that require time to polish. You like to make things? Check out different forums to sell them. You enjoy writing? Start a blog. You don’t have to do it all at once, but start by taking baby steps.
You should not expect others to make you feel loved while filling a space that only you can fulfill in yourself. Learning to take responsibility for your emotional, spiritual, financial and physical needs will fill your heart with love. And, this love will overflow into other relationships. Owning your stories, being faithful in self-care and living authentically will inspire others around you to do the same.