“Love yourself first, because that’s who you will be spending the rest of your life with.” ~~Unknown
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it.” ~~Anna Taylor
“The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.” ~~Sahaj Kohli
#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.
The need for love is basic human yearning and as children many turned to parents for that critical life affirmation. But what happens when we only equate love with someone else? We lose the ability to love ourselves and satisfy our own needs. This can open the door to unhealthy dependencies and addiction. However, sobriety and Statement #7 practiced daily can create a portal for self-love to blossom so that we may comfort, protect, and develop ourselves.
Self-love is not selfish; it is akin to the old adage of “putting on your own oxygen mask first.” Being able to care about meeting our needs reinforces that we are worthwhile and validates ourselves. Initially, this was difficult to understand and embrace. It felt unfamiliar and uneasy, but as I practiced the WFS Statements, I began to look at myself differently and was able to love myself.
Discovering how to love ourselves on this journey of sobriety and recovery can take many forms, from an inward circle of health consciousness to outer boundary settings and everything in-between. This week take some time to make yourself a priority and love yourself. Look deep and reflect where you need more self-love and take at least one action towards it. Share your insights in a journal, group or on the WFS Online Forum, after all, you’re worth it!
Hi 4C Women,
Self-care is a major part of the path to self-love. For many women, the guilt of our past choices leads us to neglect ourselves and overcompensate by doing way too much for others, expecting it to fill our empty love tank. When we decide to take the path of self-care, we either feel selfish or are told we are being selfish. For me, it became about finding balance, setting healthy boundaries which eventually led to self-respect and self-love. This was difficult at first because it felt so uncomfortable giving positive attention to myself.
I remember doing so much for my family that I felt guilty for doing anything that could be seen as taking time away from them. I also saw myself doing the same thing when I was working and volunteering. I was the classic example of “rejection” fear if I started practicing self-care and doing less for others in the process. Rejection meant I was unlovable and what that finally lead to was a very unhappy, self-loathing woman who coped by drinking. When I eventually learned to say no (which is a complete sentence), I was quite surprised that the world didn’t stop turning or at least partially collapse! While I still struggle with balancing self-care and giving care, I know there is a foundation of self-love.
That foundation has become a sort of alarm system that starts a warning beep when the batteries are getting low. As Statement #7 says, Love can change the course of my world, caring is all important. Be sure you are part of that love and caring. If it’s a challenge to do so, ask yourself if you love yourself enough to practice self-care. If the answer is no, find ways to begin filling your love tank with positive self-talk, be compassionate with yourself as you are with others, refute those self-esteem wreckers I call the inner critic. One way to do that is to name the inner critic and when it starts sending old, untruthful messages from the past, politely ask them to be quiet and flick them off your shoulder!
What’s your inner critic’s name and are you ready to refute the negative, false messages it is whispering in your ear? I sometimes give the positive messages my name and just say, “Dee, you are so correct! You may stay on my shoulder and continue whispering wonderful things about who I am TODAY.” I am including a writing that helped me tremendously on this self-love, self-caring path of recovery. It especially helped me when I was going through my separation and divorce. I hope you find it uplifting as well.
The Most Important Relationship
By Jo Coudert
You do not need to be loved… not at the cost of yourself.
The single most important relationship which is central is the relationship with self.
It is rewarding to find someone you like but essential to like yourself.
It is quickening to recognize that someone is a decent human being but it is indispensable to view yourself that way.
It is a delight to discover people who are worthy of respect, admiration and love, but it is vital to believe yourself worthy of respect, admiration and love.
For you cannot live in someone else.
Of all the people you will ever know in a lifetime, you are the only one that you will never lose or leave.
To the question of your life, you are the answer.
To the problem of your life, you are the solution.
Bonded in self-care, self-love and knowing that caring is all important, Dee