I’m gonna put it straight out there: If you find you’ve been looking for love and validation in all the wrong places – cease and desist! At the end of the day, you’ll never derive it from external sources. It’s not going to come from the approval of others, a relationship of the romantic variety or accolades for your work performance or physical appearance. You can bend over backwards all day and night trying to gain the love/approval or respect of others, but it yields absolutely nothing if you haven’t done the same for yourself. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with this notion of self-love. So many of us are raised to show respect for others by being polite and considerate. From my observation, what was missing from those early lessons was the insistence of developing a positive intrapersonal connection by unconditionally loving who we are – as we are.
So how easy is it to develop bona fide self-love after a lifetime of seeking a sense of well-being and acceptance from external sources? I imagine it depends on the individual. The concept of loving thyself sounds simple and all, but it’s more than a mantra, it’s a way of life. It starts by being patient & having compassion for ourselves; letting go of regrets and practicing forgiving oneself. It involves embracing our authentic selves, damn the Joneses. Attaining self respect requires creating boundaries with others to prevent being taken advantage of or being disrespected. We can strive to be our own nurturing best friend and indulge in doing things that please us – harboring thoughts designed to uplift and stop defining ourselves based on material things or other elements completely out of your control. Why should we give a good got dang about what others think about us? We are the masters of your fates and captains of your souls.
In that vein I challenge you to list all of the things you adore about yourself. Illustrate that which makes you so wonderful and uniquely you, including all of your positive deeds, intentions and so forth. You may wanna share your thoughts in the form of a comment, but I urge you to take it a step further. Perhaps you can make a journal celebrating your fabulousness, a poster even, and hang it on your wall. Whatever it takes to form, or strengthen, a lasting positive relationship with your Self because at the end of the day, the purest, most unwavering form of love, respect and validation lies within.