I'm sure at some point throughout your lifetime you have been told that you have to love yourself or maybe you've been told you have to love yourself before you can love someone else or something along those lines. Loving yourself has sort of become one of those things people throw into their motivational pep talks but don't put any context to it. It has become a cliche thing to hear, which causes people to brush it off and pay no mind to it. But self-love and self-care are actually incredibly important and they are not selfish acts.
I see and know many people who are always putting others before themselves, which isn't a bad thing but you can't neglect yourself. You deserve the same love and care from yourself that you offer to those around you. We feel guilty sometimes and think that focusing on ourselves is so selfish but when it comes to self-love and care it's not. It's okay to take a step back and see if your wants and needs are being met too.
If we pour out everything we have to help and love others and don't continue to pour into ourselves then we reach a point where we become empty and you can't pour from an empty cup. So, loving yourself increases the capacity at which you can love those around you. Remember that saying that you heard back in middle school that I mentioned earlier about loving yourself before you can love others? It's totally true. If you don't have love how can you give it?
Not only is loving and taking care of yourself beneficial for the people around you, but of course, it's so good for you! Self-love isn't being conceited and telling yourself that you are perfect and do everything right and are better than everyone else. Self-love is accepting yourself and embracing all the things that make you uniquely you. It's being compassionate and respectful to yourself. It's empowering yourself. It's believing in your capabilities and knowing and understanding your value. When you love and care for yourself well you will naturally be more happy, more forgiving, more compassionate and just an all-around more positive person.
Remember to love and care for yourself on all levels; physically, mentally, and emotionally. We tend to put physical care over the others but they're all equally important. So, whatever self-love looks like for you do it. Whether it looks like deciding to eat healthier or exercise a little, or leaving a person or situation that doesn't benefit you, or going to counseling or group meetings because you feel need some extra help. Whatever it is for you in this season of life, do it. You're not being selfish by taking care of yourself and doing what's best for your health and happiness. You are so incredibly deserving and worthy of the love that you want to give, so share it with yourself.