February is the month of L-O-V-E, so I thought it appropriate that my first post for the month encompass the topic of love. If you follow me on Instagram (@maya.h.inspired) you know most of my posts this month shine light on the importance of self-love. I believe how much we love ourselves correlates to how much we love our lives, and our ability to recognize and receive genuine love.
It took me more years than I’d like to admit to love myself authentically. When I was living without love for me, I was looking for it in all the wrong places. It didn’t matter that I had parents who loved me and friends who supported me, or that in many other areas of my life I enjoyed successes, not loving myself resulted in relationships that weren’t loving either. Existing in relationships without real love only perpetuated my desire for it more, which ignited desperation, and that desperation fueled more unhealthy relationships. It was a vicious cycle of internal and external loveless living.
Now, this next statement may seem bold and have you scratching your head, but I believe people who lack self-love make great lovers. Yes, you read it right. When I couldn’t love me, I spent my time pouring the love I should’ve had for myself onto my lovers, who quite frankly didn’t deserve it because they weren’t reciprocating those feelings. My unending love and their lack of it typically resulted in their rejection of me. At some point, you have to stop giving yourself to people who aren’t giving themselves to you.
When love’s foundation doesn’t reside within you, it makes it much harder to recognize when someone is expressing real love, and it can be difficult to receive. The truest love is the love you have for yourself, so if you haven’t established a relationship of true love with yourself, then you have no idea what it really feels like. I mucked up a fair amount of relationships because I either couldn’t recognize that the love being given to me was authentic or because I didn’t know how to embrace it, which I believe came from my belief that I didn’t deserve it. And, I’m sure those feelings manifested because I didn’t love myself enough to think I was worthy of all-mighty love.
So, if you’re struggling in the love department, particularly self-love, how do you turn the tide? The very first thing you need to do is believe you deserve it and are worthy of being loved. I know it’s easier said than done, so to get you started I want you to think about a person in your life – past or present – who you express love to in a way you wish you were receiving and begin to love yourself with the same effort and intention you give to them. The person could be your best friend or a parent or a lover, whoever they are, love yourself the same way.
Another way to self-love is to apply the same mechanics we use to create a loving relationship with someone else. When we meet a person who could be a potential love interest what are some of the things we do to exhibit loving feelings?
- Go on dates
- Spend quality time together
- Engage in meaningful conversation
- Pamper or shower with tokens of affection
- Put our best-self forward
- Write to each other
Take yourself on a date. Establish meaningful you time and conversations. Yes, talk to yourself with compassion and affection. Invest in yourself the way you would in someone else you love, and write a love letter to yourself. Be your valentine!
The road to love, love, love starts with you – in you. If you’re searching outside of yourself for it, you’ll be searching until the day you die. Love yourself so deeply so that the love you have to give is going to people who deserve it most – those who are loving you back just as deeply.
Yesterday I posted a quote by Rupi Kaur on my Instagram feed, and I will end this post with it too because it’s so powerful and the truth:
“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundation of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.”
With all the love in my heart! XOXO