Love Yourself First
Relationships are hard. People think that after a couple has been together for a while that less work has to go into a relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth. What usually happens is people get too busy trying to life maneuver life’s obstacle course. They have a difficult time dealing with life, being an individual, maybe add being a parent into the mix — and forget to put effort into their marriage, partnership, etc. But I believe the same can be said for all relationships. A parent and child can easily become removed from one another. Maybe it is because many children now days are so involved in extra-curricular activities, friends, social media, etc. — and become engaged socially. So that parent/child relationship begins to change. The child becomes more independent and needs the parent less and less. Eventually moves out and has a family of their own. Does this mean the love is lost? No. It simply means things have evolved to transcended from where they once were. Whether you are a parent or the child, it is still important to take a moment each week to nurture that relationship and bond. A phone call, a text or a cup of coffee. Sometimes, that is all it takes to say, “Hi.” and catch up.
Marriage is no different. I have been married to my husband for almost 10 years. We have been together for almost 12 years. We cannot manage to find 30 minutes some weeks, to just have a meal together, because of our work and school schedules. But we try to send daily texts to say, “I love you.” And albeit, they are nice to receive, I find myself jealous because his guests at his job and fellow students have more of a relationship with him than me. Or so it would seem some weeks.
Jealousy is an ugly beast. It is hard not to feel it sometimes. We are human. We are not perfect. But rather than focus on the bitterness, the jealousy, the longing — focus on the real issue. Loving yourself. This too is important in all relationships. We, as parents, cannot take care of anyone else if we have not first taken care of ourselves. Nurturing the bonds with the children is important. But you cannot love anyone else fully, if you do not love yourself. While I would long for a shared bottle of wine, a funny movie and night of laughter with my husband, I understand, in part, that our schedules have caused a wave in the ocean. Even small puddles ripple when it rains. We just try to grab moments to re-connect so we can to ensure those ripples and waves do not become tsunamis. They become tsunamis when you: 1. Neglect to love yourself. 2. Neglect to re-connect, even in a small way, daily. 3. Take the relationship for granted. Ripples and waves are manageable. Tsunamis are nearly impossible. Love yourself and those you share relationships with enough to take time to appreciate them. It is never too late though. You may not be able to repair the damage from the tsunami, but you can always say, “I am sorry.” Even if saying sorry to that person is no longer possible (due to death, perhaps), you can write that person a letter and exorcise those negative emotions so they no longer control you. You can always apologize to yourself too. Within that, remember it is equally important to forgive yourself. And those three words can help healing begin.
You must love yourself first. It is essential and a critical key to embracing this life and those you love to the fullest. Loving yourself can help you heal. Loving yourself can help you engage in life. Loving yourself can enhance relationships with every single person you come in contact with. If you see someone in the grocery store and they just look beyond mad, smile. Sometimes, all it takes is one smile to make someone’s entire day. Think about that! If you were that person having that mad moment and someone just glanced and grinned at you. Just gave you the slightest, kind gesture of human love…it may make all the difference. You could be the closest thing to God that someone experiences today. Remember that.
Love yourself first. It’s hard. Relationships are hard. Especially the relationship we have with ourselves. We are the worst to ourselves and those we are closest to. Why? Because we cannot leave ourselves [physically ;)] — and in taking relationships for granted, we assume those closest to us are not going anywhere either. Choose not to live life that way. Choose kindness. Choose forgiveness. Choose love.
I found this website not too long ago. – Loving Yourself – It talks about how we love ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves and with God. Perhaps you may find words of healing and peace within the pages, just as I did.
God wants us to love ourselves as we love Him. If you do not have a relationship with God, you can still love yourself. But you cannot give away something you don’t have in you. So love yourself first.
Love yourself and start living the life you deserve.
Start with learning how to talk to yourself better.
Here are some wise words from my mentor, the late, Rev. Retha Martin, C.Ht.