Reading Self Help And Nonfiction Books
When I turned 18, I started to read multiple self help and nonfiction books. The topics varied from history and literature to personal finance and success. Many of these books focused on self esteem and they were constantly stating that I needed to love myself first.
Since I was young and naive, I always thought that the books were a little crazy, because everyone loves themselves. Even though I had self esteem issues, it didn’t mean that I didn’t love myself. Everyone loves themselves, right? It didn’t make any sense to me at all.
Even as an adult when I started therapy, my therapist told me the same thing, and had instructed me to repeat affirmations to myself “I love and accept myself, just the way I am” repeatedly throughout the day, everyday. I thought it was ludicrous so I never did it, of course.
Even though I had self esteem issues, it didn’t mean that I didn’t love myself. Everyone loves themselves, right?
Realizing That I Wasn’t Loving Myself
Now that I’m older, I realize that the books and my therapist were right all along, I never did love myself. I always made sure that the babies and my husband had everything they wanted and needed. The babies had homemade baby food and liquid formula instead of the cheaper powder version, and my husband was always made a lunch for work, and dinner when he got home.
On the other hand, there were days that I realized at 10 p.m. that I never took the time to eat that day. If I did eat, it was either fast food or whatever was sitting on the table that I could eat in less than five minutes.
Even though I didn’t take good care of myself, my babies were always fed, bathed clothed multiple times every day. It didn’t occur to me that something was wrong with this.
What Happens When You Are Not Loving Yourself
When you do not love yourself, you are not taking care of yourself. You are making sacrifices for your family and friends, which is nice to a certain extent. However, if you are doing this constantly, you will become burned out and that will lead to more problems.
You will start yelling at everyone, have more stress and will get annoyed easily. If the kids start fighting, you will not have the patience to sit down and have a teachable moment with them. You will most likely just yell and scream and lose your temper. If your husband forgets to do something small, you will react as if it was the end of the world.
If the kids start fighting, you will not have the patience to sit down and have a teachable moment with them.
How Should You Be Loving Yourself
You should plan on loving yourself every day. It will take some time to change how you treat yourself, but it will be so worth it at the end. Try to treat yourself like you would treat a friend. Jack Canfield, success coach and co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series says “If you treat your friends the way you treat yourself, would you have any?” I now buy food that I enjoy and make it after I have fed the kids. I sit down and enjoy my meal and leave the dirty dishes in the sink for another time. I don’t settle for regular coffee if what I really want is a latte.
I have learned to take small amounts of time for me throughout the day. Whether it is five minutes so I can grab a latte or a half hour soak in the tub, I am spending that time on myself.
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Positive self-esteem is the centerpiece of a healthy personality. McKay and Fanning’s new book offers us a valuable storehouse of tactics and strategies for constructing (or renovating) the foundation of our self-esteem.
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