I never realized until I hit 50 how important self love is. Not in a selfish, narcissistic sort of way but in an inner strength sort of way. It’s a difficult thing to to master, so many of us were brought up in an environment where it was wrong to consider your own feelings over others and it was deeply frowned upon to “toot your own horn.” As a result we’re left with a belief that everyone and everything should come before ourselves. Over time that’s guaranteed to have a boomerang effect leaving us frustrated, angry and unfulfilled. Or at least that’s how it worked for me.
The more we deny ourselves our authentic true self – because we’re too worried about what other people would think or say, or we’re just too scared to go out and find it, the more unhappy and frankly useless we are to anyone else. Think how you feel when you’re around someone who has found their true calling and are living the life they dreamed of and built, they shine so brightly it’s a pleasure to bask in their glow. Now consider someone who is living life on the treadmill, denying themselves any glimmer of their true self, it’s a sad, dreary and depressing place to be – which one would you rather be around. I know there seem to be many valid excuses for not loving yourself and building the life you know you deserve. I know because I’ve rattled them off many times. Do these sound familiar?
I’m too old
I’m too young
I’m too fat
I’m too busy with my family
I’m not clever enough
That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me it’s not realistic
I’m not talented enough
I don’t have enough money to leave my job start my own business
I don’t know what I want anyway
My husband/wife would hate that
I don’t have time – I’m too busy with all the other dreary things I have to do
Dreams are dreams – not reality
I’m not a go-getter
I’ve failed at too many things I’m not taking the chance again
and on and on and on those pesky excuses go. But when you start to pay attention to yourself, when you start to meditate (for even a few minutes a day) when you dare to ask yourself what you really want and then even start to believe it can happen, when you look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love and accept yourself, that you believe in you (yes, it’s important) strange things start to happen. Like you take a yoga teaching training course – or you learn a new language and go and visit that country, or you leave your frightful job and start your new business. And here’s the kicker – you’re a better person, you’re a nicer person because you’re not dragging around a cloud of doom and gloom living someone else’s life, instead you’re inhabiting the one and only true you, living the life you were meant to live.
I know this isn’t a quick fix, it’s a journey – a long one with many ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns. But it’s essential to start loving yourself. Meditate, thank your body for all it does, eat well, get enough sleep, take Epsom salt baths, clean your house of dirt and clutter and try to clear your mind. Then you ask yourself over and over what it is you want – then take action.
Love and hugs oxoxo