How do we treat ourselves? What does that even mean? To help answer that question, let’s think about how we treat other people. How do we treat our favorite people? How do we treat strangers? How do we treat the people we like verses the people we don’t like?
Consider how we treat the people we like. We show them respect, appreciation, kindness, fairness, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness. We make them a priority in our lives. If they have a problem, we are willing to listen and to help. We are protective of them. We want the best for them. We want them to be healthy, happy and safe. We try to be encouraging and supportive. We forgive their mistakes. We are also honest and open with them and tell them how we feel. We are even willing to make self-sacrifices for them depending on how deeply we love them.
Now, let’s look at how we treat the people we don’t like. We might ignore, avoid, tune out, criticize, or judge them. We may reject them and not show up for them. We may take their words as an attack and get defensive. We may even argue with them and say things to hurt their feelings. Or try to hurt them physically and sabotage them. It’s a safe bet that we do nothing helpful for them nor do we provide them with anything they need.
Do you treat yourself as someone you like or dislike? Maybe you clearly don’t like yourself so how can you treat yourself in any other way? But please know this. It’s only through loving ourselves and treating ourselves with understanding and compassion that we can ever become the person we want to be. It may feel counter-intuitive at first to treat ourselves in a loving way but once we get started, our spirits will be so appreciative of the mercy we are finally showing ourselves. Remember, unconditional self-love is not about earning or deserving love. Self-love is simply a seed planted within us just waiting to be nurtured in order to go.
With this in mind, ask yourself, “How can I treat myself in a more loving way today?”
Note: This blog post was inspired by my book, Unconditional Self-love:What it is, Why it’s important, and How to nurture it in your life.