Self-love has become quite a buzz phrase over recent years with so many people telling us that "if you don't love yourself first, you won't have the energy or ability to love anyone else". And it's true. You do need to fill your cup up first before you can turn to help, support and love others. However, we have been conditioned since childhood to put others before ourselves. And when you've grown up with such conditioning, it can be difficult to shake.
For example, as a child were you taught to share everything with your siblings, that to not share was a (negative) form of selfishness? As a child were you taught to put others' feelings before yourself - "Don't say that, you'll hurt your sister's (or brother's or friend's) feelings"? As a child were you taught that crying was a form of weakness or were you simply encouraged to bottle up your feelings because children should be seen and not heard?
So much conditioning. So many habits created. And whilst, in most cases, the conditioning and habits were founded from a place of love (from our parents and other adults), they have actually led us down the wrong path; the path away from self-love.
And, now, as adults, when we begin to understand the importance of 'me', we struggle to put our thoughts and new-found beliefs into practice, and quickly slip back into our old habits of putting others first. Practising self-love on a daily basis, as you may appreciate, is not easy. It's not something you quickly and easily fall into one day. It takes consistent practice and effort. It takes a willingness and desire to change your habits and unconscious thinking. And even then, you can easily fall off the self-love bandwagon. But what's important is that you acknowledge when you do, you dust yourself down, give yourself a hug, and hop back on again.
I've been riding my own self-love bandwagon for quite some time now and I can vouch that it's a bumpy and often uncomfortable ride. And that's why I have collected my experiences and thoughts in my personal blog "self-love and me" which you can find HERE. I'm sharing my experiences and thoughts in the hope that they'll inspire you to jump on your own self-love bandwagon and, when you fall off, you too will dust yourself down, give yourself a hug, and hop back on again.