“If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging”– Brené Brown
Self- Love – Is it a requirement in order to love others?
Often times, it appears so much easier for me to love another than it is for me to love myself. But is it a requirement for me to love myself in order to truly love another?
Now up until this recent phase of my life, answering from the perspective of “the old me”, I would have to say not necessarily. I feel like sometimes, I’ve loved others stronger, deeper and more passionately than I’ve ever loved myself… And that’s just me keepn’ it real!!! Now looking back, it’s almost as if my practice of loving others has shown me how I should have been loving myself all along.
When I love, I love hard! And now I see that it’s about time I start practicing self-love with the same effort and tenacity!
Now that I’m growing as a woman and gaining so much more wisdom and insight into who I Am and the type of person and role model I want to be for my daughter, I would say that Self- Love is indeed a requirement in order to love others.
I’m currently reading a great book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, and so far, she has opened my eyes to the importance of self-love and its impact on our ability to feel like we truly belong in this world; it impacts our ability to connect with others on a deeper, more compassionate level.
When we examine the word love, it can be difficult to define, especially for me. Brown does a great job I think of attempting to define it for us. She states:
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them—we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.”
Now try to apply this definition of love to yourself, and it can become difficult to do for some. It requires us to feel confident being our most vulnerable selves at all times, no matter what other people may think. It demands that we trust and respect ourselves and our bodies. It entails showing ourselves kindness and compassion rather than putting ourselves down.
Being someone you’re not in order to “fit in” is not practicing self love. Calling yourself stupid, or telling yourself that you have a disgusting body, or that you’re ugly is not practicing self-love. Allowing men to disrespect you or your body so that you feel validated, in essence, is not practicing self-love. Attention or affection of another should not be what completes you. God’s love and self-love should be what completes you. Everything else should be icing on the cake.
I admit it; practicing self-love is a difficult task. Brown states in her book that those who find it difficult to practice self-love find it hard to do so because they don’t believe that they are worthyof that love. And I would have to say that I do agree with that notion.
Shame and doubt can sometimes get in the way of our believing that we deserve and are in fact worthy of love and belonging. Sometimes, we may allow past mistakes, self-imposed flaws, our current situation or status in life, or even the views of others to negatively impact our ability to love ourselves. This is not a healthy way of living, and speaking for myself, I know that I deserve so much more. I AM in fact WORTHY of love.
Since the birth of my daughter, I am for the first time learning what it REALLY means to love myself. When I practice patience with her, when I am kind to her, when I speak positive words into her life, when I am affectionate towards her, unconditionally, I am displaying acts of love that in turn should be nurtured and expressed towards the girl that lives within me. I am just as worthy as my daughter of receiving love and respect. Right now, in this moment, AS I AM, I am worthy of love!!!
You too are worthy of love! You just have to believe it in your heart and begin to put it into practice. Respect yourselves ladies. Be kind to yourselves. Be purposeful and decide today that loving yourself is a priority, not an option! You are a Queen and deserve the very best that life has to offer. You are worthy of love, just as you are.
Until Next Time