Why Self-Love Creates Better Relationships
Since Wanda Petunia came into my life years ago to teach me self-love, I've noticed how ideas toward self-love have changed. When I first began sharing ideas around the importance of loving one's self, there was often pushback. After a talk I offered to healthcare workers several years ago, half of the reviews responded that what I said was selfish and self-centered.
I understood why some people would think that. If you were raised to always put other people first and yourself last, then ideas around loving yourself would at first appear selfish.
Thankfully now, I hear many more people talk about the value of self-love. First of all, loving yourself matters just because you are worth it. You don't need to love yourself so you can love others. You can love yourself just because you are a unique creation who is meant to love you.
And, we don't live in a vacuum. Much of our growth and healing comes in relationship. Life here on Earth could be considered relationship school - you are learning about relationship with yourself and others.
It's easier to love yourself when you are around others who love themselves and role model what healthy relationship with self and others looks like. And when you practice loving yourself, you will experience more positive relationships. This will definitely help you and the planet!
Here are 5 ideas that explain why loving yourself improves your life and your relationships:
1) You value yourself. A person who values themselves more expects more. This doesn't have to go to the extreme cases of self-centeredness or narcissism. This is an honest feeling worthy to expect good treatment, respect, and constructive communication. When you value yourself, you respect yourself and have a standard that you expect others to meet in how they treat you. You won't (likely) put up with someone's bad behavior, when you truly value yourself.
2) You have good boundaries. When you love yourself, you understand the difference between you and another person. This helps you learn to care about and for others, while also practicing #1. You don't have to continually sacrifice yourself for someone else and "over function" because you understand that every person is responsible for themselves, and you are not responsible for them. Likewise, loving yourself helps you be responsible for yourself and not needing to be rescued.
3) You choose relationships based on values. When you get in touch with your own basic values, you can choose relationships with others who embody those values. Do you like honesty, integrity, trust, good problem ownership, healthy boundaries? If so, you will be practicing these yourself. And, you will choose relationships accordingly - not just romantic ones. If however, you don't value yourself and you put up with things that you don't value, you will get a lot of drama. When you are in drama, you're missing out on a lot of fun in life because you are always (or too often) distracted. It's hard to shine brightly and be your true self when you are in relationship drama.
4) You have a life. This means that you care about your partner and/or close relationships, but they don't define you. When you don't value yourself or have good boundaries, it's easy to get lost in another person and their priorities. But you are meant to have a life that's your own. This can take courage. But the more you tune into what uniquely brings you joy, what are your gifts, how do you enjoy spending your time? > the more independent you will be. This independence contributes to healthier relationships. Otherwise, you become "enmeshed" and too closely immersed in someone else's path, emotions, preferences. Truly, no one will even know who you are because you don't even know who you are.
5) You are an example! This is so important. So many people, maybe including you, were not brought up as children with great role modeling of self-love. Even if you were brought up in an emotionally healthy household, you were subject to adults and may have needed to adapt to their beliefs. But when you do the work to heal your own past wounds, rethink beliefs you were taught, and commit to loving yourself > you are an ambassador on the planet. So many people are very deep into self-loathing, not valuing themselves and even involved in codependent and abusive relationships. As you love yourself, and practice all that involves, you will be a shining light of hope for others.
I hope these ideas might inspire the practice of loving yourself. I was thinking how we often say catch-phrases, but don't dive deeper. While saying things like "Self-Love saves the Planet!" (a thought Wanda and I often share) is certainly true > it may not be an idea someone can really comprehend and learn to practice easily. This is especially true if you've been very brainwashed to think you don't matter.
I love getting new perspectives and offering new perspectives to others. Let me know what I've shared that you most connect with. And remember it actually is true:
Self-Loves saves the Planet! Now you know more about why!! :)