Self-Love comes first
"How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you."
Self-Love is the #1 priority in my life. Let me clarify what I don't mean. I do not mean selfishly tending to my own needs 100% of the time. Narcissism feels unsexy to me. 😬 Nor do I mean self-pleasure seeking, although there are tons of benefits to that! 😁 I am referring to giving ourselves the Love we deserve so we can properly tend to our daily commitments to ourselves and our loved ones.
Self-Love comes first. This is a non-negotiable rule for me. I learned this virtue the hard way. I got to a point in my mid-20's where I did not love myself or my life. In fact, I despised many of the traits I acquired over the years. After a trip to rock-bottom I realized the self-hatred and 'woe is me' routine was not the life or identity I wanted anymore. I would not have wanted to be friends with the old me who gave up on himself through self-loathing. Of course, the new me has much higher standards. 😁
Through self-awareness, and I mean A LOT of it, I was able to see how any Love I was seeking outside of myself would never truly be found without cultivating that Love inside of me and directing it inward first. Time in silence helped me to understand this. It's as simple as reminding myself often: "I love me! I thrive on becoming a better version of myself every day!" By doing this I am able to more effectively and effortlessly run my own life while also helping people level up in theirs. The key for me is balance, but I must love all of me first before I can spread Love around to everyone else. This strict vow I made to myself has vastly improved my quality of life!
The holiday season is a time to express love to the people we hold closest to our hearts. I feel it's important we remind each other often. The holidays can also remind us to keep loving ourselves every day, especially the "work in progress" parts that help us strive to be our best. By being our biggest cheerleader or adoring fan, we encourage ourselves to continue leveling up in life, which helps benefit all of humanity. That's why I feel Self-Love comes first. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
The Happiness Planner: 12 Exercises to Deepen Your Sense of Self-Love