I grew up believing that loving yourself was selfish and made you a snob, stuck-up and someone who looked down on others and not a very nice person. I was lead to believe that love was about self sacrifice and putting other people first, BOY WAS I WRONG! The truth is this unconscious belief pattern has meant I have made some really bad choices when it comes to men and relationships, it had me stay in abusive relationships, be used, manipulated, lied to and cheated on. I have lent out large amounts of money and never got it back. Yes I have been betrayed and disappointed in my intimate relationships in just about every sense of the word. I found myself in a number of very one-sided relationships with men where I gave everything and sacrificed myself and my own values only to walk away with a broken heart and debt and overweight cause I was putting soo much energy into the other person and the relationship I neglected myself in the process. I always found that my best times were when I was single because I could do what I wanted, when I wanted to. No wonder I felt that way! When these relationships ended I was so confused as to why it had ended because in my mind I gave it everything and loved as much as I could love for very little in return, and considered myself to be a good catch and a good girlfriend. Until finally I realised where I was going wrong. My belief about love was what had had me screwed over and broken hearted soo many times. I finally actually got that “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself first”.
Love starts with you and ends with you
I know I know you are probably thinking I have heard this all before, I know I need to love myself first and I do love myself. Can I just say that knowing this makes no difference until you DEFINITELY GET THIS ,AND YOU ARE ACTUALLY LOVING YOURSELF FIRST. Honestly lets face it their are a whole lot of people out there who are not doing this and if you are reading this chances are you are one of the many who are not loving yourself first in one way or another. Whether it be showing up in your relationships, your finances, your health, your career it is one and the same. Even if you are married and in a relationship right now this blog post is for you because I guarantee at some level maybe not to the degree I wasn’t loving myself first you are doing the same thing and your denying yourself of the happiness that comes from loving yourself first, and your relationships are suffering as a result. Don’t worry most of us deny it and trick ourselves and find excuses to neglect the relationship with ourselves and choose to believe things like I’m single because “most men out there are selfish assholes” or ” I just have bad luck in relationships” or “women are just tramps and like to be treated like shit” or “when you are married and have a mortgage and kids you have to make sacrifices”. These are all lies. You are lying to yourself because all of your relationships and every area of your life are a reflection of how you are relating to yourself and your own self worth. All relationships start with YOU and end with YOU so why not LOVE YOU FIRST so that you can then truly LOVE others!
So my belief about love and sacrificing myself and putting others first is obviously what lead me to a career in nursing which I loved at the beginning and enjoyed for a long time but in recent years lead to burn out. I learnt the hard way that this wasn’t an easy career and meant self sacrificing and functioning at levels of stress day in and day out that most people would consider completely insane for lets face it, in the scheme of things, little financial reward and at the expense of personal health and relationships. A couple of years ago I was forced by my own health to look at changing my career direction and changed from the busy emergency department environment to a slower pace nursing environment. Recently I have decided to throw myself completely in the deep end and learn to love myself at a whole new level. I have resigned from my nursing job to pursue what I love and my true passions full time. Already I have had to overcome my fears and own limitations and self worth barriers in how I relate to myself through my nursing career.
Loving yourself first isn’t always easy
The thing is that loving yourself first isn’t easy and in many ways takes more courage then being a selfless giver cause you open yourself up to being judged by others. Some people will see you as selfish for putting yourself first. You will sometimes feel horrible because it will mean you will have to break someone else’s heart to love yourself first and make yourself happy and walk in your own direction. It takes great courage to be true to your own heart in the face of no agreement and to admit you were wrong. and made a mistake or a wrong choice that did hurt another. You will need to learn to forgive yourself and others to truly love yourself. Loving yourself is not punishing yourself for your mistakes just learning from them and owning them and the consequences. Sometimes its not the easy road that is the right road to take, and sometimes you have to walk the road alone in order to love yourself first.
In the end though it will be the times you neglected to love yourself first that you will most regret.
I hope that after reading this blog post you are ready to take loving yourself to a whole new level and to truly love yourself first. I hope that you can relate to this blog like it’s a mirror and you are seeing your own reflection because thats what all your relationships are….. A reflection of yourself and an opportunity to learn how to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST and then only then you will experience TRUE LOVE in your relationships.