A TO Z CHALLENGE - L FOR LOVE YOURSELF

#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and L for Love Yourself

MY A-Z CHALLENGE - L FOR LOVE YOURSELF

The next letter of my A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama) is L for Love Yourself. This has always been a sticky one for me. I've been taught since the year dot that loving yourself equated to being selfish and self-centred. That people who loved themselves were self absorbed and intolerant of others.

ME FIRST

The concept of it being a good thing to put myself first, to honour my needs, to say "No" sometimes when it's going to be in my best interest to walk away from a situation, to stop putting myself second to everyone else - just seemed completely unreal. It would be selfish and not how I was brought up to behave.

LEARNING A DIFFERENT STORY

The old saying "With age comes wisdom" is proving to be true as I roll into Midlife. After I turned 50, I finally came up for air again, after all those decades of parenting, working, establishing friendships, and putting the needs of everyone else first. I started blogging and met dozens of other Midlife women who were all re-claiming themselves. I started to see that it was okay to want my time in the sun, to care about myself and to prioritize things that were important to me.

It's so freeing when you start to care about yourself, when you honour the person God created you to be. It is empowering to accept yourself, to own your good points and your faults, to acknowledge that you are a worthy person who deserves their place in the world.

Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself. Never doubt who you are.

BEING KIND TO "ME"

I now see that the idea of loving myself for who I am and for what I have to offer isn't something to be ashamed of, it's not a selfish whim or a proud and high and mighty attitude. It's a kindness to the person I am, it takes the pressure off because I don't have to please everyone, I don't have to say "Yes" to everything, I don't have to be perfect. I can just be myself and the more I come to know "Me" the more I like who I'm becoming.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you like yourself? Do you take some time to honour the person you're becoming? Do you have the courage to own your good points and your faults and to work on being the best version of "You" that you can be? I hope so - it's a joy to discover yourself again isn't it?


#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and L for Love Yourself

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#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and I'm tackling the A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama)

25 comments

  1. Hari OM
    It is... I had the good fortune to alter this 'script of selfishness' we are given at a comparatively young stage due to a combination of spiritual pursuit and very poor health. Giving out to others can only happen successfully if one is fully integrated within oneself. Probably the thing that took longest to learn how to do without it coming across as anything other than simply that I was unable to contribute, was to say "NO". Then, too, to have it heard! Once achieved, it seems easy, but it really is not. Here's to the Love which sets us free! YAM xx

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  2. Oh this is such a hard lesson to learn. You're right, too many of us were raised to think it was bad to think of ourselves first. Yet, if we don't, we run the risk of losing ourselves in the pursuit of keeping everyone else happy. Great post!

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  3. It is getting easier to love myself now in midlife, but I struggled with this for years. I still sometimes don't take care of myself as much as I should. I think I always need to be busy or accomplish something. I am not very good at just being.

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  4. I must admit this is not something I struggle with. Somehow it's just always made sense to look after myself and the rest will follow - I don't think it's that I'm selfish, I just know my limits.

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  5. I can say that at 60 I'm pretty happy with who I am and myself in general. Of course, there has been a lot of hardwork mentally and physically getting to this stage Leanne but I am inspired by so many midlife women who are getting the message earlier. xx

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  6. It's taken me years Leanne - like you I was raised to think about other people's needs first and, as I wore myself out with parenting and all the other responsibilities I was introduced to the concept of taking care of myself. It is still a bit of a struggle and I think that as we grow older we see the effect on our health if we aren't loving to ourselves. I'm lucky that I have daughters who remind me to love myself.

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  7. This is a fabulous post Leanne. Such good advice. It really is a pity that our generation mostly didn't learn to love ourselves until later in life, it would have lesser much of the angst. I've said it before but I'm loving your A-Z.

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  8. I like myself fine, and I learned that I need to recharge my batteries on a regular basis if I don't want to end up at the nut house, so coffee and blogging it is!

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  9. I had a similar upbringing, Leanne. and am only just now - at 58, almost 59 - trying to change the record that plays incessantly in my brain.
    Thanks for the excellent and well-written post. It's exactly what I needed to read.

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  10. I joke about this a lot but in fact it’s no joke at all. I put myself first. Before friends before family before my child before anybody. When I’m OK the rest of my world is OK

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  11. There truly is a difference between ‘loving’ yourself and being ‘selfish’. I am so much more comfortable with myself now than as a younger woman. It is a balance -doing what is right for you but also being there in the world, available for what the world needs of you. My best days are a balance of those two things.

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  12. I do..I do! I love myself! I think I may marry myself...it took a while but I finally do...

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  13. I like myself...but I like myself especially when I don't rub up against people. Solitary me is pretty great. Social me and parenting me and wife me is pretty insecure! This is important thought, and I'm working on it.
    https://melaniecrousesblog.blogspot.com/2018/04/l-is-for-more-or-less.html

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  14. I'm always working on being the best version of myself. Some days I succeed and some days not so much but I keep moving forward. I do agree that it all starts with loving yourself which sounds simple but can often be challenging. Weekends In Maine

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  15. I think too many of us make the mistake that loving ourselves means not loving others. WE just need a healthy balance. We can do both!

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  16. Hi Leanne, As a caregiver advocate I see so many people who forget to love themselves because they are caring for their loved ones. Unfortunately, this can lead to burn-out. That's the automotive equivalent of blowing an engine. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves so that we are there for our loved ones. Great post!

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  17. This is such an issue for many of my weight loss clients. You can't hate yourself thin. If we don't deserve our own love, how can we expect others to love us? Nice piece.

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  18. I was sure I'd left you a comment this morning but now I see I didn't! It couldn't have posted. I love your theme for this year and this post is so true. We weren't taught to love ourselves, were we?

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  19. That is really wonderful advice, though harder to take than it sounds. It's worth aspiring toward, though.

    @IsaLeeWolf
    A Bit to Read

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  20. indeed leanne well put.
    it is funny how it has come to us in latter life the notion of being kind to ourselves .
    be kind be loving be present . each moment is a gift to know ourselves better.

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  21. As women we're socialized to be "selfless" which can be noble, but not always healthy. Thanks for this reminder.

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  22. Interesting comment reading here today. I especially like the midlife finding self ones after parenting, working, etc. I've pretty much always liked myself, and with age, enjoy my time and sharing the things I make as a result of 'My Time.'

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  23. I think I love myself more now than I did when I was younger. I think to some I might appear to be selfish but I know life is short and if I don't look out and take care of me who will?

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  24. I love how you articulate this. I'm often felt (feel) selfish when I put my needs first. Even now, if there are too many days where I feel it's "all about me", I hear the inner voice telling me I'm being too self-centered. Loving myself, taking care of myself, being OK with not being perfect or meeting others/societal expectations...all work in progress. Thanks for the reminder I'm not alone on the learning curve.

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