In the past, I always felt guilty for wanting to love myself.
I had an old school Baptist grandmother who taught me to treat others how I wanted to be treated, to not be selfish, to give. In addition to the unspoken lessons of enabling in my family. I didn't know it was ok to treat myself how I wanted to be treated and I didn’t have to only treat others that way and hope they returned the kindness. I don’t wasn’t taught to love myself too.
When I realized I was lacking self-love, I was faced with fear. I wondered if my pursuit of self-love would turn into arrogance, vanity or conceit. I encountered people who were conceited and arrogant, and although I didn't like being a doormat, I didn't want to be "them." My Life Coach helped me tremendously by telling me, my fear of becoming “them” was my evidence I will not." Arrogance, vanity and conceit are not self-love, they are actually a different response to fear. Self-love is not vanity or conceit. It is not selfish or arrogant. People who are arrogant and vain are so afraid they are not enough they try really, really hard to prove to themselves and others they are better than. It is fueled by a deep feeling of not measuring up, not a desire to sincerely love themselves.
True self-love is not about anyone else, it is about loving yourself enough to be the best version of yourself for you. True love of self is taking full responsibility and great care of the gift that is your life. It is a very personal assignment.
Self-love is the foundation of love. We love others the way we love ourselves. The way you treat others the way you want to be treated is by treating yourself the way you want to be treated first. Then, genuine love for others can flow naturally. Being “nice”, not saying no, and over giving us not love, it’s fear. It’s the fear of not being enough or liked if you say no causing over compensation. You will be able to genuinely love yourself when you accept you are enough, just as you are. There is no need to add or subtract anything from who you are to be ENOUGH.
Go ahead and give yourself permission to love you
Adapted from my book. Happiness in spite of….