Why is it that we are not taught that loving ourselves is essential, that it can fulfil our lives so much more than just relying on receiving Love from other people? Why do we feel we have to regularly show/prove to others that we love them, but we don’t expect the same of ourselves? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you don’t need other people. Let’s look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; this is a concept Abraham Maslow created to explain what needs Humans are motivated to fulfil, and how our growth requires different levels of needs. Maslow found that Love and Belonging are third in our hierarchy of needs. We do need to feel like we belong, we matter to others, that we can connect. And receiving love from others confirms those things for us.
However, if you notice, the top two levels of the hierarchy are Esteem, and Self-Actualization (how we see ourselves). Having Esteem helps us appreciate and value ourselves. It reminds us that we have the right to be loved by others. Self-Actualization goes deeper. It is acknowledging that “I, just the way I am, have a specific purpose/reason for my existence.” It is about realizing our full potential and feeling confident in providing our unique contributions to society.
It is integral to love yourself! It might be hard to understand what I mean by “Love” so let me use some other verbs that are more tangible that show love. How about: Praise, Treasure, Honour, Support, Accept, Worship, Respect, Value, Embrace… (etc etc)
Leaving it up to others to do all of these things for us can leave us in a very vulnerable place. We should connect with these ways of relating to ourselves, not just on Valentine’s Day, but everyday. So, now that I’ve convinced you to go love yourself, go forth! When was the last time you gifted yourself your favourite flowers, chocolate, or meal at your favourite restaurant? You deserve it!
Learn more about my work www.servinghumanwellbeing.com
Come meet Vaishali Patel and hear her talk more on Self-Love at LOVE YOURSELF, Friday February 12 8:30pm (more info here)