First and Foremost:
You Gotta Love
Each relationship you have
with another person reflects the
relationship you have
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
- Oscar Wilde
Before we get started with relationships, let's take a look at the most important relationship we will ever have..., the one with ourselves.
When asked if they like/love themselves, most people would respond with a quick yes. However, were they to examine their feelings further, these people would come to the same conclusion that I have. I am my own worst enemy. I would not tolerate anyone treating me the way I treat myself. I would leave the room or hang up the phone if anyone dared to say the things to me that I say to myself. I second-guess myself, lecture myself, judge myself and sometimes even punish myself. As for compassion, I tend to save that for my friends. At least that's how it used to be. My approach to myself is improving because I have consciously started to change it.
The first step to changing anything is to be aware of it. We must be honest about how we treat ourselves.
How do you talk to yourself?
Are you confident?
Do you speak kindly to yourself?
Are you secure and peaceful in most situations?
Do you like the way you look, act, are?
If you are like most of us, you think you could lose some weight, have better skin, have a more exciting life and a smaller nose. We pick at ourselves. We think that everyone else is happy with the way he or she is. We think that security is something other people have, and we are the ones who missed out. Here's a little secret. Everybody is insecure. Everybody judges himself or herself harshly, and everybody struggles with even the concept of loving himself or herself.
The good news is that once we become aware of the way we treat ourselves, we can change it. The most worthwhile goal you can ever set for yourself is one of self-love and self-acceptance, Once we begin to strive for self-acceptance, once we realize that we are supposed to accept ourselves, our lives will begin to change before our very eyes.
Let's start by looking at some of the obstacles we put in the way of self-acceptance. First, we think love is something that has to be earned. We look at ourselves and say, "I will love myself when I am thinner. I will love myself when I stop messing up so much. I will love myself when I stop being so insecure. I will accept myself when I can be like so-and-so, or I will accept myself when I am no longer the way I am."
We all engage in this kind of thinking, but do you see how silly and absurd it is?
What if I told you that the more you love yourself the more lovable you will be?
The best possible person that you can be ... can only be when you love yourself completely.
Would you say to your best friend, "I can't love you until you lose weight"?
Would you say, "I don't love you because you aren't perfect. You keep messing up"?
Of course you wouldn't. And yet this is how we speak to ourselves.
Have you ever had the experience of being nice to someone who was feeling down? Have you ever complimented someone and then seen that person transform right before your eyes? He or she instantly becomes more attractive or funnier. You say something nice to someone and his or her face glows and his or her eyes get a little sparkle. This isn't your imagination. This is true transformation. The very same thing will happen to you when you compliment yourself. Try it....
My heart is with you as you begin to work on accepting yourself. Remember that loving yourself can open the door to a whole new life, one that has as part of it relationships of the very best kind.
(c) Kimberly Kirberger, 1999. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc. from Teen Love: On Relationships, by Kimberly Kirberger. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
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