I had a conversation yesterday that really opened my eyes to the way I look at myself and my life. I've heard commonly the cliche that (and I'm using quotations very loosely) "If you don't love yourself first, others can't love you and you can't love others." and I knew this was true. But until yesterday I never really took it in completely.
Here's an example for you (that may sound familiar, because it's not uncommon). For the sake of ease, let's call this woman Rachel. Rachel doesn't feel love toward herself. So she's constantly trying to find love from others outside herself. She gives to others, trying to be a selfless person, but it never seems like what she does is really appreciated. She wants to love other people. She tries to do services for others, but it never makes her happy because it never seems like other people return her services. It doesn't even seem like what she does is appreciated. She then tells herself she must just be unlovable. Rachel goes through life feeling like she can't be loved. She looks in the mirror and thinks she could be pretty but she can't think that about herself because it would be selfish. She won't take compliments because there is no way any of the compliments could be true. People are just saying those things to make her feel better.
Sound familiar? Maybe Rachel is like someone you know. Or maybe Rachel is like you.
I really feel bad for Rachel. I pity her because she is trying so hard! But she never can REALLY love others and she never can REALLY be loved by others. She can't. Because she doesn't love herself.
Yesterday, I was getting ready for the day after this conversation I had, and I looked at myself and thought, It's OK to like myself! It's OK to LOVE myself! I CAN think I am beautiful, and I can be proud of the way I look and who I am! In fact, doing this is BETTER! Feeling this way about me won't make other people think I'm cocky or mean. Feeling love for myself doesn't bring others down, but it will lift others up! It will actually help others to love me! It will help me to love others!
It felt so freeing to look at myself and think this way. It feels so good to say "I love me!" and mean it. Really loving myself, feeling that glow inside for myself, helps me feel that glow inside for others. It helps me to want to just give to others and love them, no matter what they do in return. No matter how others feel, I can be happy! Because I love me!