Within the past few months, I was asked a profound question and I didn't know how to respond. The question was, "What do YOU want out of life?"
While that may be an easy question for some, I teared up because the truth was, I didn't really know. For the past 10 years or so, I thought I did, but in thinking about that question, I realized my wants were not "MY" wants.
The goals I accomplished, the house I lived in, the car I drove, etc. were mostly things I said I wanted because it was best for my children, my spouse, my family, etc., but things I wouldn't have chosen for me if it were not for them.
That's when I realized that I needed to be a little more selfish, practice some self-love, and live for ME for once!
So how do you practice self love?
In order to be fulfilled, we must put ourselves first and pursue our goals, wants and needs first before anyone else can fill our cup. We must create authenticity in everything we do so that we can be happy with ourselves and with others around us.
After all, if you are not happy with you and you don't love you, how can anyone else do that for you? I recently read a quote and it was, "The truth is that if we are going to be happy, it is not by fulfilling the desires of others." -Lao Tzu
Do you know how many times you went along putting the desires of others before your own? It likely started when you were younger, fulfilling the wishes of your parents. It then just becomes a subconscious act that we continue to inflict upon ourselves until we end up like I did ... making decisions for years that you know don't make you happy, but you could "live with." Basically, settling.
In order to stop settling, you will need to spend a little time with yourself to find out who we really are. In a journal you can dig deep and answer questions like:
- What do I really want out of life?
- If I didn't have any limits, what would I be doing?
- What really lights my soul on fire and why am I not doing that?
- Who is the person that has ever made me feel the most loved and why?
- Who is the person who makes me feel the least love and why am I still giving them the time of day?
- What is the biggest struggle I have with loving myself?
In additional to self-love journaling prompts, be sure to do things for YOU and as often as you can and I'm not just talking about manicures and bubble baths. Those are great, but don't overlook key things like:
- cutting out negative self-talk and only speaking affirming words to yourself
- ditching comparison to other people and appreciating your own gifts
- nipping others' opinions about your life in the bud and following your own heart
- letting go of people who rob your energy and replace them with better relationships
All of these are self-love too and the more you practice it, the more you will feel worthy, deserving and valuable and you'll no longer give in to pleasing others before you please yourself.
The Love Me Some Me Self-Love Journal is a great self-love journal with self-love journal prompts that will boost your self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. With the tools and resources available to you, will you now be your needs before the needs of others?
Because at the end of the day, while those relationships matter, none of them matter more than the relationship you have with YOU!