Do You Love You?
By: Amy Maricle
I know it’s a bit of a strange question, but, do you? We have no problem saying we love our spouse, our children, our best friend, or even our favorite ice cream, but we would never say, “I love myself!” Why not?
It sounds weird, selfish, egotistical. Who says that? Well usually, no one. Not out loud anyway. I’m not suggesting that you take to the streets shouting your love and appreciation for yourself, but I would like you to consider how you treat the most important person in your life, the person who is responsible for your well-being every moment of every day – you.
Can You Count the Ways?
Think about the ways that you say I love you to others – you empathize, you do favors, you give hugs, presents, and good advice. Chances are you can think of a lot of ways you show people you love them.
How do you show you love yourself? Is it harder to count the ways?
Loving yourself is hard. It’s much easier to focus on the negative – how you always say the wrong thing, are forgetful, messy, and have a dorky sense of humor. All this negative self-talk is not the way you would treat someone you loved. If you talked to your best friend the way you talk to yourself, she would have bailed on you a long time ago!
If you don’t take your emotions, needs, and wishes seriously, nobody else will either.
Just like any deep relationship, your relationship to yourself requires work. One way to start focusing more on yourself is to try the following exercise:
Make a List
Make a list of nice things you do for the people in your life. Perhaps your list might look something like this:
Say nice things
Give a thoughtful gift
Help them out when they are in need
Give them a hug
Listen when they are upset
Encourage them when they doubt themselves
Give them the benefit of the doubt
Spend time with them
Give them a present on their birthday
Stand up for them
Make them laugh
Tell them to take a break
Can you pick one or two things from the list that you could do for yourself this week? What if you went out of your way to find something that makes you laugh? Or gave yourself a break when you made a mistake, or found a friend to talk to instead of ignoring your feelings when you are upset? Your friends and family deserve the best of you, and so do you!
What do you do to love and take care of yourself? If you struggle to take care of yourself, why? Tell us about it in the comments.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not a substitute for professional psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content provided by Maricle Counseling and Amy Maricle, LMHC, ATR-BC is intended for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical or psychological advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you read here.
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