You owe yourself

You Owe Yourself

(*awkward silence*)

Once upon a time there was a girl, a girl who was sick and tired of being taken advantage of, of doing everything for everyone, of being used.  One day the girl woke up angry and miserable and decided that today was the day she would tell everyone to go take a hike…she had decided that she was no longer going to be taken advantage of…in fact, she was going to turn the tables on a few people…she was nobody’s doormat!

We’ve all felt like this at some stage, right?!  It’s not just me?  I have learnt over the years, though, that my doormat status was my own fault, I had let this happen!  How?  By not valuing myself.  It seems we have been programmed, somewhere along the way, to attach our worth, our value, to what others think and feel about us and this makes us slaves to thinking that we have to do everything we can to please those around us, thereby neglecting our own needs.

This creates a negative cycle though.  Our moods and internal dialogue all hinge on how we are feeling on a given day and these are all inextricably linked to our daily experiences, whether good or bad.  Think about it:  when someone randomly smiles at you (perhaps they just had wind, but hey!) you get this feel-good-feeling and by the same token, when someone has been rude to you, this too gets internalised…either way, your perception of these experiences all gets projected back into your circle of influence (Read about The Law of the Garbage Truck).  This not only has an affect on our relationships with other but, more importantly, it affects our relationship with our self.

The good news is, the way we feel about ourselves determines how much of an impact these outside influences have on our responses to them.  If we don’t take care of our own needs and wants, if we continually neglect ourselves, we reduce our ability to deal with these influences in a healthy manner which could, in turn, affect our internal dialogue with ourselves.

By investing in ourselves, by taking the time to take care of our own needs and, dare I say it, by taking the time to love ourselves, we can better nurture our relationships with others and the world around us.  We will be coming from a place of gratitude, well-being and positivity.

Why is it that we deny ourselves the one thing that we give so freely to others?  The next time you feel some resentment at ‘having’ to do something for someone else, take that as a sign that you  have been neglecting yourself.  Those harsh feelings towards others can be a good indicator of your relationship with yourself.

How can you show yourself love?

  • Take time for yourself:  rediscover an old hobby, read a book, go for a walk.  These solitary activities give you time to reflect and put things into perspective;
  • Count your blessings by taking the time to appreciate the people and things around you:  this could be your family, friends, co-workers, taking stock of all the things you have, as opposed to all the things you don’t have;
  • Disconnect from social media:  social media is an amazing way to keep in touch with those near and far but, let’s face it, it’s also filled with a lot of ‘noise’.  Disconnecting from the virtual world gives us an opportunity to reconnect with the physical world;
  • Eat well and be active:  that’s probably stating the obvious and I was in two minds about adding these two to the list but it’s true.  To love ourselves we have to be prepared to start taking care of the two things we tend to neglect the most – our bodies and our minds.
  • Become your own best friend:  The relationship you have with yourself will set the tone for other relationships in your life.

 

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