As a young adult I repeatedly heard the question, ' How can you love another without loving yourself first? Back then this question seemed so redundant to me, I thought it was so simple. ‘By loving them duh!’ Of course, the stubborn teenage years, make us feel that we have all the answers when clearly, we have no clue what we are doing half the time. However, our teenage years really mold us into our adulthood, through trial and error. Trust me I should know!
If you were to had asked me this question 10-11 years ago the answer would’ve been so different. All that I knew about love was that finding it with someone else was the key component in order to live out that happily ever after we all crave.
Looking for love without giving myself a chance first was like walking in to a battle field blindly and boy were there consequences. My knowledge on love was either based on a Hollywood writer’s interpretation or that of my friends and family’s experiences. I had no concept of my own limits and that got me hurt plenty of times. The new question then became, ‘How could I truly seek happiness if I wasn’t happy with myself.’
Knowing your limits is a very important factor in love. That is something I learned the hard way. You have to set a value for yourself in order for someone to truly cherish you and if you don’t know that value, someone else will just make one up for you and odds are that value might not measure up to your true potential. This creates unhappiness because you are setting yourself up for failure each time you allow someone else to dictate your worth.
Today, I value the importance of self-love and care so much more and I understand that loving another comes hand in hand with loving yourself. Though there may be some differences you need one to fulfill the other. Sure, you can go out, get a significant other, even have a family with that person, but you will never truly find happiness until you learn to find that love for yourself. It took me a while to understand that being selfish is okay. Like everything else in life, of course there should be a balance, but selfishness to some degree is necessary.
The challenge, now a days is finding balance. As a mom it is so easy to forget to give yourself moments alone, to do things that you like to do. You can easily lose yourself because the love of a mom is so strong that you are willing to just give and give to your little ones and forget to give yourself. While it is okay to splurge them with affection and great experiences, it is vital for you to do the same for yourself. Your children are still learning and the best love you can teach them is self-love. Although they may not understand it in depth right now, they will thank you in the long-run and they will grow up in an emotionally stable environment, which is all the benefit towards their mental health.
Every time I think of the princess movies we fixated with as kids, I realize that those fairytales, failed to mention the most important type of love and that was the love for oneself. The happily ever after we seek for the majority of our lives, we are born with, we just have to embrace it. Just like any other type of love, it is also a roller coaster ride. There will be highs and lows but you have stick along for the ride to truthfully enjoy its excitement.