They say that in order to love another you must love yourself first.
But do you ever find it difficult to love yourself?
I have always found it pretty easy to give love freely to others. To the people that come into my life, friends and strangers alike, I am compassionate. I am able to see their blunders as stepping stones, regard their missed opportunities as a message that something greater is coming, and have confidence that they can achieve anything. I’m an advice giver, a shoulder to lean on, and avid motivator. I truly believe that every individual, no matter who they are, is worthy of forgiveness, capable of greatness, and deserves happiness.
But I find myself withholding love from the person who needs it the most. Me. When it come to me I adopt a tough love approach.
With myself I am sparing in praise. I question my knowledge, downplay my achievements, and counter every compliment I receive with a fleeting thought of how I could have done better. I neglect to acknowledge, both privately and publicly, the things that I excel at and even do better than most.
In short, I squash my own greatness. And for what purpose? So that I do not appear full of ego? So that I don’t offend anyone? More importantly….what am I sacrificing in myself by doing this?
How many of you are guilty of doing the same thing? We must ask ourselves what purpose this serves.
Love yourself. Embrace your importance in being. Own your strengths. Do not allow yourself to be crippled by the possibility of failure. Do not strip yourself of your incredible worth or uniqueness. Do not question your ability. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Expect to see a return on what you have invested in.
We only get one go at life. We waste much of it acting as bystanders instead of participants. We quiet our wants and our needs and our deepest dreams in the face of fear and of self doubt. We filter our words and our actions so they only carry a fraction of the impact they are capable of delivering.
Go out into the world and take what you want from it. Do what makes you happy. Spend time with the people who make you feel valued. Use your voice. Go easy on yourself and accept that you will never be perfect. Perfect is crap; it’s boring and marginalizing and impossible to achieve. You will go crazy chasing it.
Chase experiences. Chase the life you have always wanted. Chase the best you that you can possibly imagine. Chase hope. Chase the possibility of what can be.
Freely give the things that you want most: love and adoration and respect. Shine yourself up until you sparkle brightly and without falter. You are capable of contributing so many great things to this world. Believe in it as much as you humanly can.
Here’s to realizing your own greatness, today and every day.