Love yourself first. Something that I have been trying to wrap my brains around for a few months now.
You’d think we would already know how to love ourselves first but in reality, most of us fail at it and we fail miserably.
You see, it’s human nature to be selfish, to think of their own self first before everyone else. So, when you think about it, loving yourself first seemed like a selfish act but really, it’s not.
To fully grasp this lingering thought inside my head, I confided to a few of my closest friends and here are what they have to say:
From one of my best friends —
You will not relate to this now but please keep in mind that once you have your own family, you have look out for yourself. You have to take care of yourself. Have some alone time, pamper yourself and keep earning money for yourself. Don’t expect that you can just give and give and still have anything left. You are not bottomless.
You are only human and you have limitations. So take time to recharge and do things that will take care of your mind, heart and soul.
From my travel buddy —
I once asked her this question – what makes you wake up in the morning? And she tells me, “myself”.
I don’t need to wake up early but I do because I like getting up early and getting things done in the morning plus it gives me the chance to join my husband in breakfast. I cook and clean the house not for my husband but because it makes me feel good.
I may not have a full-time job but I have ways to earn money, side hustles that keep me busy because I know that I am self-sufficient and I don’t have to rely on my husband for financial support for my needs and wants.
While taking care of myself, I know that I am also taking care of my husband and our family.
From one of the supermoms I know —
She takes care of her husband, 2 kids and several businesses. She can do that and still have the time to do the things that make her happy — to keep her sane first and foremost.
She once told me that no matter how much happiness your family can give you, you still need to do things for your own self. Because at the end of the day, after you’ve taken care of your family, you will realize and say to yourself, “what about me? what about my needs?”. In reality, you need to find that balance of making your family and yourself happy. You just have to.
From my favorite sister —
Her soon-to-be boyfriend actually asked her to come with him to Vietnam and start a life there. She had to say no because she just couldn’t give up her job and life here. She knows that she has her own dreams and ambitions to fulfill and she’s not ready to give that up.
I haven’t told her this but I admire her for it. Most people will automatically drop their lives just to be with the one they love, thinking that THAT is LOVE. But think again, is giving up your life for the man you love worth it? What about your own life? Isn’t that worth something to YOU at the very least?
My Story and How I Finally Understood What “Loving Yourself First” Meant
During my first relationship, I was so into myself. I was too independent and self-sufficient that at one point, my then boyfriend, actually asked me if I still need him in my life because I obviously can manage on my own. Apparently, my independence (and my capability to earn more money) threatened his manhood and so we broke up.
My second relationship was an entirely different story, literally on the other end of the spectrum. I lost myself in that relationship, I think we both did. We both neglected our responsibilities because we were too much into each other. We failed to take care of the more important and urgent matters (i.e. our finances) that led to our break up.
After that 2nd relationship ended, I tried to grasp what loving yourself first really meant. I needed to take a step back and look at myself from an outside perspective.
I hit a breakthrough just recently when I realized that I am still capable of doing amazing things for myself, of bouncing back and creating the life that I want for myself, and of serving my life purpose. I realized that I don’t need to sacrifice the love for myself for the love of another.
And more than anything, loving yourself first is more than just doing what you love. It’s finding wholeness and happiness within because no one can and will ever complete you but yourself.
To be able to love others, you must love yourself first. It’s really a no-brainer — you cannot give what you don’t have in the first place. Think about this — what love can you give if you don’t have that love for yourself? How can you love someone, if you fail to love yourself first? Or how can you expect someone to love you when you don’t love yourself?
It is such a simple lesson but it took me a lifetime to learn. So bear in mind that loving yourself first is never a selfish act. In fact, when you learn to love yourself first, you are doing humanity a favor.
“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” ― Steve Maraboli,