We have often heard it said that we must love ourselves first before we can truly love others. I’m sure you’ve heard all the mantras about self-love.
Not so easy when life hands us stuff we would prefer not to have – be that a shabby start in life; a less than perfect relationship; a physical challenge – the list is endless, it’s easy to lose sight of the person we are, and who we are becoming.
I get it! I had made some very bad decisions in my younger life, which led to heartbreak, lack of confidence in myself and my abilities to make a good life for myself. I punished myself harshly for those decisions – telling myself that I deserved to suffer the consequences. It took a long time before I ‘woke up’ and realised just how amazing I was to have survived. A new appreciation for who I was emerged and I started to love, forgive and accept myself.
But how easy is it to still experience self-love when things go radically wrong?
Well – here’s the thing….what if we just get on with loving others anyway – even before we get around to ‘fixing’ ourselves?
By doing unto others the things we should do for ourselves, isn’t that also giving to us as we connect with others? It’s most often through other connections that we learn more about ourselves and able to see that we ARE worthy of love through the interaction of those we love first. Food for thought.
I must tell you about a lovely client who had been gifted a Personal Branding program with me by her company. She was unsure about why they offered this to her, and immediately wanted to back out, thinking that she had been singled out because of something she lacked. I assured her that a company doesn’t invest in people unless they are worth investing in, saying “ … you must be doing something right for them to offer this to you. By the way, many organisations offer consultations like this to those they value….. so, congratulations!” Her self-doubt seemed to diminish as she smiled and relaxed to engage in the program I’d planned for her.
A small part of that plan was a shopping excursion to have her purchase 2-3 business appropriate clothing. She had a voluptuous frame and had been wearing clothes that were unflattering and way too big for her. I asked her about this and said told me that she wanted to cover up her hips. She was focussing on areas of her body she didn’t like at all, yet by doing so – she was covering up the best parts of her too. Isn’t that what we do when we are into self-loathing – focussing on negatives while forgetting the positives?
I knew immediately that I was going to have her see herself in a totally different way by the time we completed the session. That involved showing her best features, curves and all.
The first time she saw herself in something that fitted properly, revealing her Figure8 shape with the tapered hemline giving her a wonderful silhouette – she explained “Oh – I look amazing, I didn’t know I could look like this. I look beautiful.”. She was so happy with herself, her face said it all. I have followed her career path over the last year and I was delighted to find that she had taken up a senior position and had started a business degree. She had regained her confidence and taken up her rightful place in the world again.
Sometimes we also need to stop and take stock of who we are in times of self-doubt. To reflect on our achievements, what we have learned along the way, what we wouldn’t do again, and acknowledge what we have in our hearts. It’s like seeing ourselves with a new set of eyes.
How about taking some time to just sit, let your mind just slow and get reacquainted with who you really are. We all have the chance to start anew every day. It’s completely in your hands to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
Love is everywhere!
Warmly Evelyn ☺