It’s official. I’ve been back in Thailand for two weeks now.
Happy to be back, I’ve been getting down to business and working on the many projects I’ve been assigned. As such, I haven’t made much room to update my blog, until now.
Among my most recent blog posts is one titled, “I Love Me Now” a personal update. In this article, I stated how I’ve been holding back on doing some things that were hugely important to me because I kept putting other things and other people first in my life. I basically stated that I was taking a step back from doing things that were unhelpful to my life goals and plans, because some of those things involved caring too much about how others’ felt and thought about what it was that I wanted to do.
Apparently, some people got the message wrong and assumed that I was making a statement that was anti-family and anti-team. It appears that some people believe that self-love goes against loving your family and putting them first. Well, I have some news for those people.
Self-love is CRUCIAL to being able to truly love others. If you have little ability to appreciate yourself, you will find that appreciating others isn’t so easy.
The reason for this is simple. Happiness isn’t found. It is created and it is chosen. Other people can’t create it or choose it for you. That means that if you can’t find contentment within yourself, you will NOT find it in or with others, and you will not be able to offer it to others either. If you want to be the best of yourself for your family or your team, you have to love yourself enough to be all that you can be for them. Without sufficient self-love to nurture your own personal growth, you can not effectively be better for the ones that you love. It’s that basic.
Before taking the step back to do some self-realization, acceptance and personal focus, I had started to become very frustrated. I found myself becoming less patient, more anxious and feeling like everything I was doing was seemingly pointless. This was largely because I had started getting “caught up” worrying about, and giving my attention to, the opinions and ideas of others, to the detriment of my own. As a result, I held back on a lot of things I should have been doing for myself, because I was worried about how other people would see it or feel about it.
I’ve always worried about how others’ felt when I accomplished things they didn’t, or couldn’t.
Growing up, I always excelled at pretty much anything I set out to do. Although that earned me a great deal of success whenever I tried to accomplish something, it also put me out in the cold when it came to having friends. For most of my life, and even now, people have been intimidated and threatened by me. Not because I’m big and scary or anything ridiculous like that, but simply because I had a knack for learning and achieving things, and I could do it far more quickly than others. I often became “teacher’s pet” at school, even though I didn’t try to be, and I had few friends because no one liked being out-shined repeatedly.
Being friendless or always viewed as competition was not my preference, so I tried to dumb myself down and hold back on my best efforts in favor of letting others succeed beyond me. I just didn’t want others to feel so threatened by me. But in doing so, I let myself lose out on a lot of serious opportunities to advance my own life. To be honest, there is still something I’ve been gearing up to do for the last year and the only reason I didn’t try to do it yet was simply my fear of becoming competition for others I knew who were neighborhood “friends” and also in the same field of work. I just didn’t want to feel like I was stepping on anyone’s toes, and so I held back on my plans.
Again, I just didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
That’s why I needed to take a step back and be with myself for a minute. I’m always putting my feelings aside to worry about someone else’s, but that isn’t always healthy. If you’re always hurting yourself in favor of not letting others be hurt, you’re eventually going to end up too hurt to function. That’s what I was doing. I was worrying about everyone else and not worrying about myself enough. In the end, it made it impossible for me to even function as a normal member of my own family, and that hurt them in the end.
I’m not saying you can’t worry about, care for or put others first. I’m saying you can and should, just not all the time. You have to have a line where you set the limit, so that you don’t exhaust yourself or mistreat yourself, or let anyone else take advantage of you either. For a long time, I was the girl who didn’t draw lines and didn’t say “no”. It got me in a lot of personal trouble.
But you have to draw the line, out of love.
Me saying “I love me now” was an awakening moment, where I realized that for me to be all that I can be, I had to first start by loving me enough to give myself a chance. So for those who read that past article and didn’t understand me, or mistook my family values as a result, I hope this clarifies things for you. If you want to be a family person, you should love yourself enough to be a great person and a model member of your family. Love yourself enough to improve and to dream and to build. If you do, you will be able to help build with your family, inspire their dreams and improve as a group. That’s all there is to that.
Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done.
Do you think that loving yourself is important for loving others? Let me know in the comments below.
By the way, if you haven’t seen any of my vlogs, make sure you see them on my “videos” page on my website.