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Why You Need Self-Love
Self-love is something we all need right now, more than ever.
I believe that social media, while bringing connections, has inadvertently created more feelings of self-loathing, shame, and feelings of inadequacy than we’ve ever experienced at any point in human history.
However, I want you to know that even if your house is a disaster (and while I’m writing this, you can bet mine is), and your kids aren’t perfect, and your life isn’t instagram worthy, you are enough.
You are more than enough. You are wonderful and perfect exactly as you are.
When You Don’t Have Self-Love
To describe why we need self-love, let’s first talk about what happens if you don’t have self love.
Let’s paint a picture of mom who doesn’t have self love.
A Day In the Life
She starts her day waking up too early. She’s exhausted. But she forces herself out of bed and gets dressed. She’s wearing clothes she’s had forever, but they’re good enough and she’s too busy to really care.
Next, she gets her kids ready for school. Her kids’ clothes are really nice and look so cute on them. It makes her smile seeing how adorable they look.
After their usual hectic morning, they get into her car, which is a total disaster. Trash is everywhere. She drops her kids off at school and then goes to her busy job.
At work, she gives 100%. She knocks out assignments and attends high-level meetings. She offers suggestions that move projects forwards. She works so hard that she doesn’t even take a lunch break since there’s so much to do. After all, unlike most of her coworkers, she can’t stay late since she has to pick up her kids after school.
At the end of the exhausting day, she picks her kids up from school, makes dinner, cleans up from dinner, and helps the kids with homework, and talks to her husband for about 5 minutes in between all this. It’s a good day and today she has a little extra energy so she even cleans the house a little bit, but she’s really too tired to do more.
The kids go to bed and she finally relaxes for a little on her phone or TV.
And then she’s off to bed late, and the next day starts this cycle all over again.
This mom really sounds like me. She may sound like you, too.
This is a mom who doesn’t have a lot of self-love.
What Gave it Away?
I want to point out that it’s very possible that some of the symptoms she’s showing are related to something else that’s not self-love, but for the sake of this example, let’s not worry about that for now.
There are always other factors at play, but keep your mind open since it’s possible that a lack of self-love may be at the core.
Here are a few things that showed a lack of self-love
– She wasn’t delegating. She was doing everything for the kids, while also working, making dinner, etc. No one was helping, even though she had a partner
– She didn’t do anything healthy for herself the whole day. She didn’t take a walk, chat with a friend, or even take a lunch break!
– She put everyone first. Her kids had adorable clothes, yet she was wearing clothes she didn’t like.
What Does Self-Love Mean?
I found a great quote from Kerri-Anne Brown that helps to describe what self-love means. She writes:
“When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising or having healthy relationships.”
What this quote means to me is that when you have self-love, you’re going to take care of yourself. You’re going to do things that nourish yourself. And you’re going to treat yourself with respect.
It’s possible that there are other factors at play if you live the life I described above. Perhaps your spouse is disabled and can’t help. Maybe your boss requires that you work through lunch.
But can you consider the possibility that it’s also possible that you don’t have an abundance of self-love?
When It Hit Me
I personally have a life-long struggle with keeping my house clean. Other people may struggle with exercising and eating healthy, but I struggle with my house. We all have our own things that are hard for us.
But I remember one day realizing the reason why my house was messy was that I don’t love myself enough.
You see, I’m really good at putting everyone else first.
I have a friend who takes beautiful care of her house. She spends time cleaning it. And it always sparkles and shines. There’s no clutter.
And one day after visiting her home, I realized that when love yourself, you treat yourself well.
You buy clothes that you love, you exercise.
You have friends that support you, not friend to tear you down.
You set up boundaries and say no when somebody wants you to do something that you disagree with.
And you keep your house clean because it honors you.
I feel that our Society has made Moms feel that we have to Martyr ourselves.
It’s no wonder that so many of us don’t have self-love.
As Mom’s, we’re supposed to be giving to everyone. Our children. Our spouses. Our work. We think that we’re doing the right thing when we martyr our self.
But a lack of self-love isn’t helping anyone.
It’s not helping you be more balanced.
It’s not helping you be healthier.
It’s not helping you be a better Mom.
It’s getting in your way.
When you dont have self-love and instead put everyone first except for you, you’re going to have a hard time
- Setting boundaries
- Asking for help
- Setting a positive example for your kids
- Staying healthy
- Or like me, maintaining a clean house
How Do We Develop Self-Love?
Since a lack-of self-love manifests itself differently for everyone, to create self-love I recommend starting with one way that you can demonstrate to yourself that you matter.
You don’t need to start with something big. Perhaps it could be
- making your car a little neater.
- Taking your lunch break
- Eating 1 fruit every day.
It can be small. Actually small is better. The smaller the action, the more likely you are to actually do it.
And when you do that small little action, remind yourself that you’re doing it out of self-love.
You’re taking care of yourself because you love yourself.
From “Have To” to “Want To”
That thing that you used to not be able to do since it felt like something you “had” to do will now transform into something you “want to” do.
Now when I clean, instead of feeling like I’m doing disgusting work, I feel like I’m honoring myself.
Let me tell you, this makes cleaning so much better.
It’s an act of self-love. An act of self-care.
It’s not something I’m forced to do because no one else will do it and the house is looking like a tornado hit.
Instead, I remind myself I’m cleaning because I’m important and I deserve a beautifully clean house because I matter.
Wouldn’t that totally change the energy of whatever it is that you’re struggle with?
How you Talk to Yourself Matters
I have one more suggestion for you on how to develop self-love.
How you Talk to Yourself Matters.
You could be changing everything in your life. You could be taking care of your health, setting boundaries, delegating, doing all the things, but still not have self-love.
This is because your internal dialog may not be loving.
If you’re like most people, unless you’ve consciously worked to change this, the way you talk to yourself is probably not pretty.
You wouldn’t talk to your worst enemy the way you talk to yourself.
To develop self-love, try and talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a close friend.
If you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself, think about what a close friend might say.
You’d never tell someone who made an honest mistake that they were stupid. Or that no one loves them. Or they’re ugly. Or whatever it is you beat yourself up with.
Next time you catch yourself saying this to yourself, think to yourself, “What would say to a good friend who just made this mistake?”
And then go ahead and talk nicely and compassionately to yourself.
If you need more help on this, please listen to my episode on self-compassion.