The Link Between Loving Yourself and Loving Others.
We've all heard the saying "You must love yourself before you can really love someone else." For the longest time I looked at this overused, cliche saying with resentment because the majority of my life I had struggled with accepting and loving myself. On top of my own self doubt, I got into some rocky relationships that ended with never ending heartbreak that made me question my worth even more. Honestly there were days I thought loving myself was an impossible task, which of course made me doubt my ability to ever find love or love others. But like a lot of things that you think when you're trying to figure out who you are in this world, this sentiment and program in my mind was very far off.
Caroline Douglass said it best: "Before you start questioning your whole life and relationship, though, a word of caution: learning to love yourself is a process, and just because you haven't fully learned self-love doesn't mean you can't have a meaningful, loving relationship with another person. But self-love deepens your relationships with everyone, not just your romantic ones, it drastically changes your relationship with yourself." - The Odyssey
I was like a lot of people my age when I thought those things - low self-esteem, anxious, and trying to figure out life. I had to go down the wrong path a few times to figure out what I wanted, and even with yoga and self-development I'm still trying to figure it out...but that's the process Caroline talks about! Everything you go through will give you more clarity making it easier to define what you want and go for just that.
Today I have a new perception of that quote. To me it means to love yourself genuinely without expectations or needing something in return. For the longest time I thought if I loved myself or said a positive affirmation that the most amazing partner and friends would show up in my life! When that didn't happen I'd be disappointed and say things like "screw this self-love thing. I tried. I give up." What I didn't realize at the time is that Self-love has to come from a genuine place if you want genuine results. You have to let go of the expected outcome and let whatever love and abundance God sends your way flow in. If you want a lasting relationship you're going to have to create a self-love routine that lasts! If you want lasting results you're going to have to create a daily practice. You have to feed yourself positive thoughts without the results of feeling full. Do you get what I'm saying? Do it for you with no expectation of the outcome, just the never ending faith that abundance will flow in! When you break down the expectation barrier you'll be amazed how quickly abundance manifests.
Long story-short. The link is faith, enjoying the process, and being compassionate towards everyone on their own journey. There are days my confidence waivers and there are days my confidence soars. But through all of that, at my core, I know I love myself fully. Since I started practicing self-love I have manifested the most amazing and genuine friendships - none of that fake friend BS! As an introvert who sometimes looks like an extrovert, I have learned to love alone time...especially if it requires a mat and meditation! I also have the best romantic relationship with my boyfriend who has also shown me that when we love ourselves more, our relationships naturally become stronger. I didn't expect any of these results when I started, but they came, and they keep coming because I've found what makes me feel really good and I never stop doing those things! Like-attracts-like! Choosing what fuels me, not what society says fuels me has helped me mature and grow up. For me going into self-love for myself bettered my relationships and many other areas of my life. For you it may be different, just know abundance will follow. No expectations needed, just have faith in the process.
If you are a go-getter and want tips on creating a self-care routine check out my other blog post "Reframing Self-Care." or email me from the Home Page! You don't have to start your journey alone! :)