3 ways to start loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved

November 4, 2017

1.Care as much about yourself as you do for others. 

    It sounds simple, but many of us simply don’t do this because we                think we are being selfish or that our own needs are not important. 

    They are. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for                  yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as

    for others. Treat yourself the way you would treat your children or              your best friend—with gentleness, concern and caring.

 

2. Maintain your boundaries.

    Write a list of the things that you need emotionally, things that are              important to you and that upset you or hurt your feelings when they          are ignored or violated. They could include being listened to; getting          sympathy when you’re hurt; being celebrated when you succeed;                receiving love and tenderness without asking for it; being cared for;            and knowing you can rely on someone. Whatever is important                      to you is important. And when someone ignores what’s important to          you or crosses your boundary, you’ll know—because it hurts. Don’t              ignore that. Your feelings are there to tell you what’s right and what’s          wrong. Let people know what your boundaries are and what you will          and will not tolerate. If they apologize, you can forgive them. If they do      not, or continue to ignore your boundaries and needs, you need to            create consequences. For example, if you tell your partner that you            need him to listen to you and to acknowledge your feelings when you        talk about something, but he continuously ignores you or tells you to          get over it, you should respond with appropriate action, such as finding      someone else to confide in. You may also need to reconsider the                relationship. Relationships are meant to be a two-way street and you          should be getting your needs for love, acceptance and respect met as        much as the other person's. Being assertive and taking action to get            your own needs met will build your self-esteem because it will                      reinforce the belief, in yourself and others, that you deserve to be                loved and cherished.

 

3. Do what you need to do to be you.

    First, figure out what makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter what it is,        but become aware of how you feel when you do things. Do you feel            exhausted at work, but exhilarated when you’re in the garden? Do you        feel joyful reading to your children? Fulfilled when you are writing                poetry or volunteering? Find out what makes you feel good and do it,          as often as you can. Feeling good is all the permission you need to do        what you love to do. And the more you do those things, the happier            you will be. If it means you have to give up something else, so be it.            Perhaps you need to spend more time on your own or schedule an            hour every weekend to visit an art gallery to recharge. Maybe you need      to save up some money to buy paints and brushes, or ask your family        to look after themselves for a few hours while you take a stress-                  relieving walk. Perhaps you need to join a club to meet like-minded            people who inspire you. Do what you need to do to be you and don’t          let anyone blame you, criticize you or talk you out of it because they            think you are being selfish, silly, or delusional. Ignore them. You will            feel better, you will be better able to really be there for others—and            you will like yourself more. You may even love yourself.

 

 

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