The other day, I had a conversation with my almost 18 year old son about love and relationships. He asked me if I thought I’d ever get married. (I’ve been single for many years now.)
My response? I don’t know.
I told my son that I didn’t know if I’d ever get married. Because I didn’t know if I could find someone who would love me as much or as well as I love myself. And THAT was confusing for him.
You see, our experiences give us something to compare things to. When we go through something new (personally or professionally), our thoughts take us back to a previous experience. This isn’t anything we do out loud or even something we might be aware of. It just happens. We look through our memory banks to see where we may have gone through something like it before. We just try to figure things out based on what we’ve been through before.
Holding up two hands, I said, “When I meet a guy, I’ve got to see if what he’s offering me (left hand) is as good as or better than what I give myself (right hand). I’ve got to see that the love, compassion and nurturing I receive from a man is as good as (or better) than the love, compassion and nurturing I give myself. And vice versa. I want whoever this future guy is, that he also knows how to love himself first. That HE knows how to put himself first so that he can be happy and then share his love with me along with you and your brother.”
When it comes to loving others, we need to know how to love ourselves first so we know what to compare it to.
The #1 Reason why self-love is SO important – it is a tool you can use to make sure that your people, your work and your life gives you as much love as you give yourself.
Self-love includes setting limits and boundaries. Where we decide what we deserve and use that information to determine if others are worthy of us. And that is OKAY.
You deserve to be loved the same way that you love others. Because YOU matter, too!
In modeling self-love for my son today, I want him to understand how to put himself first. To love himself first so when he meets someone new (friend/romantic partner), he’ll do the comparison. That he’ll hold up one hand and list all of the things he does for himself and compare that with what the other person is offering.
I don’t just want him to be a good citizen, a gentleman and a decent human being for the world. I want him to be kind and loving to himself.
I want him to know his worth (priceless) so when another person comes along and shows him less than what he is showing himself, he can say “Thank u, next!” in a compassionate way.
And not just in romantic relationships, but in friendships, professional relationships, career, etc. Self-love matters in every area of our lives.
Because Self-love teaches us to:
- Put ourselves first – physically, emotionally and mentally- so that we can be at our best in all areas of our lives.
- Listen to ourselves, our bodies and our spirit so that we can take a step back when we need to recover.
- Make better decisions based on the love we carry for ourselves.
My biggest hope for you, amiga (and my son) is that you get SO good at self-love, that you’ll know right away when a person, job or other thing is (or isn’t) WORTH your time and energy.