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Personal Musings

Can Self-Love Be Taught? Or Is It Too Late?

I’ve had my fair share of failed relationships and heartaches. Most of the time it always ends the same. Everything runs smoothly and then it ends up me getting broken over, and over. Because I keep on going to a path of self-destruction“seek and destroy”.  I’m 30 years old. Most of my friends and family are in stable marriages with their happily ever afters. Is this a rant? Probably not. More like an existential internal crisis. They say to love someone else, you need to learn to love yourself. Is the reason of my consistent failure giving too much, or lack of it?

Most of the time I devote so much of my energy trying to make the relationship work that I start neglecting my own needs. I lose appetite, focus, drive, motivation to work, and life. I resort to temporary distractions like binge-watching on Netflix, scrolling through social media, etc. just to get by. I rely on having another half to feel complete.  I was miserable. Exhausted.

I’m was in love and I still am. I loved, lost, and loved again. But I also lose myself in the process.

Can self-love be taught? Or is it too late for me.

What is Self-Love?

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love)

7 Tips on How to Practice Self-Love

I got this from psychologytoday.com in hopes of internalizing and practicing these 7 tips.

  1. Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
  2. Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
  3. Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
  4. Set boundaries. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
  5. Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies that I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.
  6. Forgive yourself. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsiblity for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
  7. Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.

Until now the idea of him, gone for good; aches me. Today I feel grateful for our second chance, and going to make the most of it. He’s here now and I am so afraid. Starting over again.  Writing this post not only to share tips but also serve as my reminder that life goes on. Everyone comes and go and the only one who’ll love you truly, besides God, is yourself. So try. (me, talking to myself)

I do hope everything works out in the end. Life. Love. Better to learn late than never.

“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.” -Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things #NoteToSelf