“If I’m loving myself, I’m loving you.”
Wow, what a crazy appropriate time for today’s post. With all of the emotions and uncertainty that’s come up the last few days, I feel like this message is incredibly important.
I used to laugh at self-love/self-care messaging, I didn’t get it and kind of thought it was narcissistic. It was a lifetime ago, but it was real, and as you can imagine, I was not in a good place. On the outside I looked good: I was winning awards & scholarships, had a 4.0, had my own piano business, was performing recitals, but on the inside, I was very, very broken.
I had a severe eating disorder, and when I was struggling to show up for school, work, others, etc., I thought the solution was to be harder on myself. I’d beat myself up verbally, calling myself stupid and a failure, amongst other things, I’d punish myself by not eating or working out way too much, I’d deny myself what I wanted thinking because I wanted it it was bad (It makes me so sad looking back how awful I was to myself!)… And no surprise, the worse I treated myself, the less I could function and hold it together.
It was a time when I needed love the most and I was getting it the least. I’m so incredibly grateful for some people God brought into my life then, a few amazing friends, doctors, and therapists, who poured love into me when I didn’t even know how myself, let alone think I deserved it. That love I received from others was what ultimately cause the tiny (at first) shift towards loving myself that started my healing journey, and what has made me so passionate about pouring love into others. It changed my course and my life.
I chatted a bit about how negative patterns of thinking & living take a long time to change in my post about my 3rd Takeaway from 2020 and process & consistency in my 6th Takeaway… that shift happened probably about 10 years ago now. It’s been a decade of learning and growth, of believing that healing and better days were coming. And while I’m in the best place I’ve ever been, I know I still have a ways I want to go. Be patient with yourself and your journey.
Learning to love, take care of, and have compassion for myself has changed my life. The way you treat yourself matters!!! That verse in the Bible, ‘love others as you love yourself’? My whole life it was interpreted as ‘we’re selfish beings and we need to feel bad about that and focus on others.’ When actually, I believe it was God calling out the importance of loving both yourself and others. Loving yourself isn’t about thinking you’re God’s gift to mankind, and it isn’t weird or bad. It’s showing up for, talking to, and caring for yourself as you would the dearest people in your life.
The way you bloom and thrive when you love and take care of yourself has endless benefits, from being happy, secure, resilient, self-empowering, healthier, but one of the best? Your cup is filled, and it overflows. The saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ is one of my favorites. It explains it so simply. Things like kindness, love, compassion, they have a ripple effect. When you’re giving them to yourself, they expand, and you have that much more to give. You don’t rely uneccesarily on people, substances, or coping mechanisms to get by. You aren’t stuck in lack. And you can accept so much better when people pour back into you. I could talk about this topic for days, but I hope this start has convinced you guys to love on and take care of yourself more!