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Self-Love Struggle: When Kindness Stops at Ourselves

Updated: May 11, 2023

Greetings, dear reader! I’m sure that most of you have heard of the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's a wonderful moral principle that we are taught when we’re young that encourages people to treat others with kindness, respect, and empathy, in the same way that we would want them to treat us. But what if I told you that there's a flip side to that rule, and it involves treating yourself with that same compassion and self-love?

For me, I take great pleasure in helping other people feel good about themselves. Assisting others in recognizing their own strengths, encouraging them to pursue their goals, and contributing to their happiness brings me so much joy. But when it comes to doing the same things for myself, I have to admit it's a different story altogether.

The challenge of loving yourself

I really struggle when it comes to being kind to myself and expressing self-love. I often find myself being my own worst critic, judging myself harshly for perceived flaws and shortcomings. I'm quick to discount my own accomplishments and brush off compliments as though they were given from a place of pity as opposed to something that I actually earned. It's hard for me to recognize and believe in my own value and worth, even though I have no trouble seeing it in others.

I know that I'm not alone in this struggle. Many of us find it easier to extend kindness and compassion to others than to ourselves. We're quick to forgive others for their mistakes, but we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. We're generous with our time and resources when it’s for other people, but we neglect our own needs and desires.

So what’s the problem?

Why is it so hard for us to believe in ourselves and to treat ourselves well? It might be because we've been conditioned to believe that self-care is selfish or indulgent. We're taught to put others first. It could be because we're afraid of being seen as arrogant or conceited if we acknowledge our own worth. Or perhaps it’s our own personal insecurities holding us back. That little voice in the back of your head saying “You’re not good enough.” It’s amazing how much of a jerk that little voice can be sometimes!

Whatever the reason, we must find a way to contradict our negative self-talk and replace it with a more optimistic voice. One that keeps our spirits up and moving towards our goals. Some days will be easier than others to do this, but if we surround ourselves with positivity it will help us through those tough days. Whether it's chatting with a supportive friend, reading an uplifting quote, creating a vision board or doing a good workout that keeps you on track, find whatever it takes to keep you inspired and motivated.

Focus on the good

Take time each day to reflect on the things in your life that you’re grateful for, both big and small. By taking your attention away from your personal pity party and focusing on all the wonderful things that make you feel happy, we can shift our perspective and cultivate a sense of appreciation for ourselves and our accomplishments. And in the same way we take pleasure in making others feel good about themselves, we should also take pleasure in treating ourselves well.

So, my friends, let's make a pact to treat ourselves as well as we treat others and give ourselves the self-love we truly deserve. Let's extend that Golden Rule to include yours truly and believe in our own merits. It may not be easy, we’re definitely worth it!

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