This is a question that we are not often asked.
We are asked: Do you love your friends, your family? Do you love what you do? Do you love your country?
But rarely does anyone ever ask us the most important question of all:
Do YOU love YOU?
Most of us don’t even consider this question because we have handed over the power of validating ourselves to other people. We don’t recognize the importance of acknowledging ourselves. We think we have to do more, or be more, or that we are not ENOUGH. What if “not enough” was irrelevant when it comes to loving you?
More and more people are waking up to the awareness that loving themselves is the starting point for being happy in this life. When we are functioning from a place of loving ourselves, interestingly, it becomes much easier to love and appreciate other people. We become grateful for everyone and everything around us. Without this, one cannot find the peace and calm, the motivation, the kindness, and the support that is all-important to being truly happy in your life.
And it’s funny how we tend to treat others better than we treat ourselves. Usually, we are more kind, warm, helpful and patient with others than we are with ourselves. Many times, however, we hope that in doing this, they will acknowledge us and be kind to us in return. But with these expectations, in reality, we are giving to others the control and power over something that only we can truly have full claim to:
the ability to recognize and be kind to ourselves.
It is because we deserve it, just by being who we are and not because of something we have said or done.
Loving oneself is not essential to life, like eating or breathing, where if you abandon these activities, you cease to exist. However, it does make everything you do considerably better and more fun. If you love yourself, you breathe easier, eat better, sing and dance better, and lastly, love others with more ease. Finally, loving you allows you to love and appreciate other people regardless of what they say or do.
CONNECTING TO YOU
Now, all this begs the question: How do I reach that place where I love me, recognize me and am grateful for me?
Well, the first step to this (and with many things in your life) is to look inside yourself and find out who you are.
WHO AM I REALLY?
The best way to appreciate something is if you are willing to see the value of it. We would not ask a man from the stone age his opinion on which mobile phone is the best because he would have no idea what it is and therefore not see any value in it!!
We too have this tendency to discard or not recognize things we don’t know exist. If we don’t know it exists, we don’t see it as valuable. So, the first step in recognizing your value is:
KNOW and RECOGNIZE YOURSELF.
Familiarize yourself with who you are, connect with you, acknowledge you and you will begin to see the value in you.
However, if you are at a point where you don’t easily see what is valuable about you or you think NOTHING about you is valuable, then stop for a moment and acknowledge one thing:
As a human being on this planet, I can assure you that there is NO ONE on the planet that does YOU better than YOU. You are unique and the best version of YOU that exists.
This quality alone makes you SPECIAL and valuable and deserving of appreciation, gratitude, and care. If you are willing to acknowledge that about you, it will expand your reality and set your life on a different track. Are you willing?
How do you change tracks? All you need to do is open up your eyes. That’s right, simply open your eyes, look around you and acknowledge your current reality. (If you don’t like the reality you see, the possibility exists that you can CHANGE IT). Once you have acknowledged you and your reality, you can start to choose what brings you joy, inspires you and the things you love doing that vitalize you. So, what are the things that bring you joy?
What are the things that inspire you and you love doing? What are those unique qualities that you have?
You can find the answers to these questions by doing these three things: 1. Look inside 2. Observe 3. Step Into the acknowledgment
Look Inside – take a look at your life, Try to focus more on ‘what makes me happy’, as opposed to what makes other people happy. Granted, sometimes others being happy makes you happy, but the truth is, it all starts with you. Recognize what unique capacities you have that make you (and others) happy.
Observe – look at your actions and reactions When you are looking at what makes you happy, SEE and NOTE those happy moments and recognize what it is that you do (and usually they come so easily to you that you don’t even see it). When do enjoy yourself, enjoy interacting with others, what is it that brings you joy about those moments and what contribution are YOU BEING to them that makes them occur?
Then observe those moments when you are NOT so happy. Perhaps when you are feeling stressed, or under pressure. How do you act when there is a deadline to adhere to, for example? How do you react in a pressurized situation? How do you behave when you are on a stage, or in a position where you are receiving a lot of attention? Now, note them and thank them for the gift they are so you can learn something about you.
Step Into the acknowledgment – appreciate the qualities of those you love and acknowledge them for their brilliance. Being an individual, it is hard to view ourselves objectively. The best way to find out which qualities are pleasant and which ones are not is to observe and note the actions and reactions of others. Notice how they make you feel and recognize which qualities in others make you react favorably and imitate them (such as generosity). You notice these qualities in others that you are and many times you never acknowledge YOURSELF for doing them as they are usually the easiest thing for you to do so you place no value in them. Interesting, no?
Lastly, recognize which qualities in others that do not bring out the best in you, acknowledge and thank them for bringing you this awareness of things that do not contribute to your life.
So, figure yourself out, (look inside), and appreciate things that you like about yourself and others (observe) and acknowledging them. Now CHOOSE (step into this awareness) those qualities you’ve identified that bring you joy, make you happy and have you loving you.
Please don’t ignore this. Choose to use this to create a better life for yourself.
Many times, all the things that we become aware of can conjure up thoughts, feelings, emotions or judgments in us. But please remember, it is just an interesting point of view that you have. Is it real? Is it? It is about choice. Choice that is the key. We can choose possibilities that are nutrient to us and incorporate them into our lives. In this way, this knowledge expands beyond just us – it touches others too. When things benefit you, helps you love you, it benefits others as well, which makes us happy all around.
CHOOSE – to do things and invite people and behaviors into your life that encourage you to love you. Think of people you enjoy being around, things you love doing, activities you enjoy doing, songs you love singing. And don’t forget your body – move your body more and let it know that you love it too! A person who loves themselves exudes a special kind of energy and invites more love not only into their world but also into the world of everyone around them. And that is the true gift of this. Acknowledge yourself, love yourself and bring this love to others and the world around you!
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