The most important relationship that we can have is with ourselves, with our souls, our psyche. Part of that relationship involves care and feeding or rather nurturing, in the act of self-love.

We’ve all heard the term before, we need to love ourselves before we can love someone else. But there is always a question of exactly what self-love is and how much is healthy before we become a little too much into ourselves.

Can self-love make us conceited? Can it make us insensitive to the needs of others? Let’s take a look.

Self-love is more about developing the person and spirit within.

It is respecting yourself, knowing when something isn’t helping you to be the best that you can be. It is caring for yourself and your mental health, taking the time to rest, reflect, and refuel, not always having to be in motion. It’s taking time out to have a well-prepared meal, listen to music, take a hot shower, read. It’s having alone time. A time to heal, a place where we can breathe, even if it is a few quiet moments of peace in a bubble bath.

It is developing the mind, seeing things with perspective and compassion. It is in knowing what you need to be happy, fulfilled. It is essentially learning about you, shaping yourself, your heart and spirit before you are able to give to someone else in the same manner.

It is setting boundaries of what you will tolerate in your life, from career, friends, family. It is also knowing when you need to just take a little break from the world and come back refreshed. Think of it as a big glass of water in an otherwise heated life. It gives us a buffer.

In my own life, I have had to “take five.” While I am generally an outgoing, protagonist type, I need to be still sometimes. I’ve realized that when I’ve taken on too much, poured out too much, that I need to step back, take a few quiet moments so that I can give again. Okay, basically it is something that I need so that I don’t slap someone silly. I’m sure someone out there can relate.

I found that balance by going within, by dredging through doubt, pain, and making peace with the child within, the one that still sees monsters under the bed, or hiding in the shadows, the one who always worried that I wasn’t quite good enough. The dust bunnies of the soul that we forget to sweep up. I often go back and speak to the five-year-old within and softly tell her that everything turns out okay. I see her blinking back at me with eyes widened and a quick nod. I enjoy making her smile.

I’ve come to the realization as I’ve gotten older that “all that glitters isn’t gold” sometimes, it is polished horse manure, dipped in fairy dust and made to look like a dream. I keep my distance from things and people like that. Surround yourself with people who are genuine, caring and who bring joy to your life every day, not just when it is convenient for them.

 My best friend these days has four paws and meows. Not a bad thing, I guess. More loyal, no trust issues, and no ego issues. They come to you when they need you, and often when you need them. They bring comfort to your life rather than drama and peaceful moments in soft purrs. I’ve come to appreciate not having that style of drama in my life. More purrs fewer hisses, please and thank you. I look for soul food more often. 

This is how you can best love yourself, so that you can, in turn, love others. Self-love gives us time to fill the cup back up so that we can pour ourselves out again, without ego, having swept out the corners of our own life.

This article was originally published in part, at P.S. I Love you

SelfCare Perspective EmotionalHealth