Who Should Love You?
Let’s face it, no one ever really taught us how to love ourselves. Heck, we spent most of our lives believing that love is something you got, not something you could feel. But let me tell you, you absolutely can and should be the number one person in your life. Here are the five ways you break five self-love rules and don’t know it.
- You Are Expecting Others To Make You Happy
- You Do Things For Others Before You Do For Yourself
- You Say You Love Other, But Forget to Say it To Yourself
- You Encourage Other’s Dreams But Put Your Dreams Down
- You Forgive Others But Not Yourself
A Hard Lesson
As a Mom, it can be hard to ask for a break. You are the only one with a working boob, and you are the only one that the children are usually comfortable harassing for daily needs. So it’s no surprise to recall I would go days without a shower, let alone a break.
About eight years ago, I went through one of what was to be many breakdowns as a Mom. I was at the kitchen counter peeling a potato; suddenly, I felt emotional. It was pure exhaustion and dread that overcame me from out of nowhere.
Everything Poured Out
I put down my potato and hurried to the bathroom, locked the door, and promptly sat on the floor, bowling my eyes out. All the stress, exhaustion, dread, and despair poured out of me, like the faucet I had to turn on to muffle my sounds.
I felt shaken to my core. Sadness was not a new thing since I had a history of depression. This emotion was intense, not your typical breakdown; it was existential. Existential depression is the type of depression that can quickly claim your soul. I knew I had to do something. I refused to continue to feel that way.
I had a problem. Being a stay-at-home mom is a 24 hour a day, seven-day week job. It was a job that was killing me, but I could not, did not, want to quit. So how could I continue to give when I was empty?
The Importance of Self-Love
Because of that breakdown, I learned how important self-care and self-love were. It’s not only what can keep you sane; it’s what keeps you full of joy for life. It’s crucial to put yourself first, so you have more to give.
Now it was not an easy lesson to go through, and it took many more years of ups and downs to learn the balance of self-care. I am happy to say I now schedule frequent time for me. My priorities are essential, and by showing my children how to take of myself, I show them how to take care of them.
I am full of joy, energy, and inner peace. I easily give because I am whole. Self-care is a habit, and like any habit, it will take time to hone and make a routine. But you can do it and be better for it.
Let’s explore 5 Self-Love Rules You Are Probably Breaking.
Rule 1: You Are Expecting Others To Make You Happy
One, you are expecting others to make you happy. Happiness comes from within, and it is something you feel, not something you are given. Your partner can’t “Make You” happy. Stop asking others to meet that need. Lack of self-love can’t possibly fill up a void you refuse to fill yourself. The number one cause of low self-love is unhealed trauma.
Trauma resurfaces like an old friend in familiar situations. Basically, trauma is triggered by the same type of situation as the original trauma.
Keep An Eye Out For Triggers
For example, if you have children, a trigger might be your child doing something you remember doing as a kid. Trauma resurfaces, and you respond familiarly, with shame, anger, or even resentment.
Wait resentment? Yes, here is another example you see your partner kissing your child, you become jealous of the love. It reminds you that you were not loved or cared for like your child.
Although the attachment is natural and you understand, it triggers brief jealousy as you remember not getting that same love. You become resentful of the love your child is receiving.
Emotions Out Of Nowhere
Or let’s say you yell at your toddler, who just hit your face. You might feel shame because of the angry burst of words from you. You know you shouldn’t yell; where did that come from? Trauma will bring any past issue flying back if you haven’t dealt with it.
So it’s clear you will seek approval and require others to love you if you don’t learn how to meet your own love needs. Please take the time to heal; check out this post I made on how to Heal Unhealed Trauma.
Rule 2: You Do Things For Others Before You Do For Yourself
Are you putting everyone else before your own needs? Do you take care of your partner’s basket of laundry before you get to yours? How about you shower your child without showering yourself first?
As mundane and straightforward as those examples where they are incredibly important. Those examples tell a story of what you feel about yourself. You are not as important as those you love.
You are important; if you don’t begin to put yourself first, you will end up empty. Empty of love and energy. At some point, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will have nothing left to give, and you will find yourself in the bathroom crying your eyes out, wondering if “this is all there is.
Know When To Put You First
For the sake of your family, start putting yourself first. I mean, seriously, make yourself a snack, sit and eat it. If your toddler has eaten and they want you to get up to tend to them, and you know they are safe, tell them “after I eat” and eat. Yes, they might scream and go through something, but they will eventually learn that you are just as important.
When your partner says, “I want to go out with my friends,” If you have not had a break in days, say, “I understand you want to hang out with your friends, but I need half of the morning off this Saturday .”If they fight you on how they work so hard too, tell them you understand, and thats why you suggest they get a sitter if they want the same day you need off.
Household and children responsibilities are not all yours. Yes, society has to lead you to believe they are, but they genuinely are a communal responsibility.
The more things you do for you first, the happier you are. I used to go months without spending time by myself. It was not until I broke down (like that bathroom scene I described above) that I realized I had to change or I would need a body bag.
Self-care is an essential aspect of being a human, and if you have a lot of responsibilities, you can easily get lost in the responsibility mountain and lose a sense of who you are.
It’s time you look at those people around you that you feel are “selfish” and start doing more of that. You need time for yourself if you make time for those you love.
Rule 3: You Say You Love Other, But Forget to Say it To Yourself
Saying you love yourself is not about literally uttering those words verbatim; it doesn’t hurt to tell the mirror how much you love yourself. I am describing positive self-affirmations.
Say, “I love the way I keep my shoes clean,” “I am worthy,” “I matter,” “I am enough” when you acknowledge the good things you do, you can add a bit of gratefulness to your everyday. Make sure you add the feeling that comes with the words. Otherwise, it will sound like empty phrases.
Words of affirmation are needed to counter the effects of your inner voice from childhood. Don’t wait for your partner to say nice things to you; say them to yourself and say them often.
It will feel awkward and downright silly at times, but the more you do it, the easier it will be to accept your own inner guided love.
Rule 4: You Encourage Other’s Dreams But Put Your Dreams Down
Oh, I could go into great detail over this particular self-love rule. I have made more mistakes and have been the hardest on myself. I came from an orphanage, and building up self-esteem was not an option.
I had no adult to encourage me to do better, to guide me. I would break my own spirit on purpose. I needed to remind myself not to get excited over family, food, or dreams. Getting excited leads to disappointment. But life is not like that, and now I have to undo the damage to my self-esteem.
Remind yourself you can do big things. Celebrate the little wins and get excited often and as much as you can. Invite those dreams to grow. Start saying mantras in your head like “if they can do it, so can I,” “I can do big things a little at a time.” Be your own best cheerleader.
Rule 5: You Forgive Others But Not Yourself
This last rule is at the precipice of most self-hate. How can you love and cherish someone you constantly put down? Stop belittling yourself.
Focus on forgiving everything. I don’t just mean minor mistakes; forgive the most significant blunders you have. Practice after every mistake. Say, “I forgive myself. It was a learning opportunity, and I will do better next time.”
Being self-forgiving is being self-loving. The more you forgive, the more you learn to love that inner child. Loving yourself allows you to do more and try more.
Instead of second-guessing your potential, you allow yourself to make mistakes and grow. So go ahead, forgive and forget. I encourage you to learn from your mistakes but forgive as quickly as you forgive others.
A Generational Problem
We as a society have gotten so much wrong with the way we teach and deal with self-love. How can so many people have gotten self-love wrong? Look no further than your parents and the ones that brought you up: Yup, generational trauma.
We are just at the beginning of a mass awakening. A mass awakening to the reality of what lack of self-love has done to society. We have so many young people entering life with the notion that they are last, that everyone else’s happiness comes before theirs.
It is no longer acceptable to go on thinking we are last. It is time to put yourself first so that you have enough to do and be more. Because let’s face it, when you rest, eat and feel better, you can give and be more. So stop making those five Self-Love Rule mistakes.
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