You can find serenity in learning to love yourself first. Everyone has heard the expression, “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The second part of that statement in many ways is easier for many people. It seems to be common sense to be nice to others. People understand being courteous to others – holding doors, not interrupting, giving another the best that one has to offer. In most homes there is a guest bedroom, guest towels and other special niceties for others. No one ever thinks of this as unusual. It seems to be common sense that one should be nice to guests, visitors, and others. Why then, do so many people have such a hard time showing themselves love?
Every day I have the opportunity to speak with women from all across the United States as well as several other countries. These women vary in age, marital status, number of children and type of work done for a living. One thing that these women all have in common is that more often than not, they do not know how to show themselves love and appreciation. It is common for women to sacrifice for their spouses, children, parents, siblings and even their friends. These women make the sacrifices gladly, happily and without regard for repayment because of love and appreciation. They make these sacrifices all day every day and twice on Sunday because they want to show love to those around them. Yet, these women balk at the idea of taking time to show themselves some love.
When a woman loves herself, she takes time to make sure her hair, clothes, and appearance are their best, to her liking. When a woman loves herself, she takes time for herself, to get a cup of coffee with a friend or read a book, or take a luxurious bubble bath in the middle of the week. When a woman loves herself, she gives herself the company treatment on a regular basis. When a woman loves herself, she takes time to be good to herself and does not see the time as wasted, as an unnecessary indulgence or as selfish. When a woman loves herself she treats herself with love, kindness, and compassion.
Take time now to look at your life. How many days do you go to bed tired, resentful and wishing you had a minute, just one minute for yourself? How many days do you go to bed wishing you had just a few minutes of peace and quiet to think, to read, to slowly sip your coffee? How many days do you wish you had simply left your spouse and kids at home after dinner and gone out on your own for a few hours? When was the last time you took a 2 hour bubble bath on a Wednesday night and left the family to fend for themselves? If you answered any of these questions in a way that made you feel sad, embarrassed or a little mad, perhaps you need to start showing yourself some love.
Once upon a time, I worked at home all day, took care of my family all night and all weekend and had no time to pay attention to myself. I was tired. I was cranky and I was mad. I was so busy helping clients and taking care of my family, that I spent no time at all taking care of myself. My husband figured out the problem before I did. He told me to get out of the house, to take some time for myself and not to feel bad about it. That is when I discovered my local Starbucks. I learned that a simple cup of coffee cost only $1.73 with tax and refills were only fifty-three cents. I learned that after 15 cups of coffee you get a green card and free refills. I learned that after 30 purchases you get a nifty gold card with your name on it. Thus began my weekly night out at Starbucks.
I would meet my husband at the door on Wednesday evenings when he came from work. I would give him a quick kiss and run out of the door. I admit, at first I felt selfish. I mean my husband worked outside the home and was tired each evening when he came home. The children needed help with homework. There was laundry to be done, dishes to wash and a million other chores around the house. At the same time, I needed the break. I needed to get out of the house and to interact with someone other than my children. So, I went to Starbucks, every Wednesday evening for weeks, for months for years. It didn’t take long for me to stop feeling bad, to enjoy the time out. I began to look forward to my Wednesday nights to myself. Sometimes I read a book. Sometimes I worked on my knitting. Sometimes I watched movies on Netflix. It didn’t matter. The important thing, is that I took time for myself. I showed myself love.
The test came when it was too cold, too snowy and too icy to walk to Starbucks one Wednesday evening. I had been looking forward to the night off from work, from family and to myself. So, when my husband came home, I told him I was still taking my day off, I was just doing it at home. So, I told my husband from 6 pm until 9 pm was my time. I was taking a bubble bath with candles, a glass of wine and a good book. Then I was going to sit in bed and read a good book while I ate fruit and chocolate. The best part, I did it. The children wanted dinner. The children got into arguments and the children broke something. I did not care. I left it all alone. I left everything for my husband to handle while I enjoyed my night off and showed myself some love. Take some time today to and learn to show yourself some love. Take time for yourself. Find what it is that you need to feel loved, then go and do it.
You can find serenity in learning to love yourself first. So, the question for you this serene day is what do you do to show yourself love?