by Linda-Ann Stewart
On Valentine’s Day, we show our love to the significant others’ in our lives; our husbands, partners, friends and family. But what do you do to show love for yourself? What are you doing to take care of yourself, and of your needs? Many of us have been taught to ignore our needs, that we’re selfish if we think of ourselves first. However, we’ve taken this idea too far and don’t think of ourselves at all. Charity and love begin at home, with you.
A person who does everything for everyone else, and nothing for himself/herself will eventually burn out. Ultimately, their needs will be taken care of some way, generally in a way that isn’t enjoyable. The inner self will cry out for attention, beginning with small warnings, such as a cold, tension, anxiety, or feelings of being overwhelmed. But if the inner self is ignored, it will escalate it’s demands by creating more discomfort. Many people experience some sort of health crisis because their inner self needs some consideration. The health issue could be fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, or even cancer.
Attend to Your Needs
When you first begin to attend to your needs, you may get resistance from the people in your world. Suddenly, you’re not serving them like you’ve done in the past. They’re being forced to take responsibility for themselves. They may even call you “selfish.” Before you agree with them, evaluate whether they have an agenda for this accusation. Do they want you to do things for them, or fulfill their desires (not their needs, but their desires)? If so, they’re trying to manipulate you to return to your old ways so that they’re more comfortable.
The challenge is to know how to balance self-love with other-love. But self-love must come first. That’s the bottom line. Your needs must be your primary concern, or else you may not be able to do for others. Your loved ones may even have to take care of you. However, once you begin to take care of your needs, you’ll actually have more energy, more life, and more love to give to others because you feel so much better.
I begin to assess my needs, and know that my needs are more important than someone else’s desires. I take care of my responsibilities, but I also have a responsibility to take care of myself. I give myself permission to attend to my needs, despite any outer resistance. I remember that I’m the most important person in my world. I need to fulfill my needs so that I have more to give to others.