Feb 042021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I have always loved the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, and have done my best to live by its wisdom. I especially love the paragraph, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” To me, this means treating myself kindly, loving myself and taking care of my needs, because I have worth by just being here.

Whenever I am tempted into some decision or behavior that isn’t for my well being, I pause. I ask myself questions like the following:

  • Is it going to contribute to my self-respect or erode it?
  • Do I need it or want it?
  • Does the behavior or decision support my goals?
  • Will the temptation be worth it, or will I regret it later on?

It’s not easy, but most of the time, I choose to avoid the lure of temptation and support my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. (Full disclosure: I sometimes stay up too late at night watching a television program and regret it in the morning.)

Needs vs. Wants

Are you treating yourself well and addressing what you need for health and well being? Many people confuse taking care of their needs with indulging in what they want. Your wants may be old habits or ways of reacting. For instance, there’s a part of you that wants to eat that entire bag of chocolate candy, even though it’s bad for your health. The chocolate isn’t something you  need, it’s something you want. Giving into a chocolate binge is a short term tactic to satisfy a craving. The gratification lasts for only for a few minutes, and isn’t worth the risk of weight gain, cavities or self-reproach afterwards.

Instead, healthy eating habits are long term strategies to treat yourself kindly. You show yourself love by eating fruits, vegetables, protein and getting enough exercise. These are behaviors that are necessary for a healthy and happy life. They build self-respect and self-esteem. With self-love, you take actions that may make you uncomfortable, but you know will eventually bring you what you ultimately need and desire.

Your Relationships Improve

When you show up for your well being, you demonstrate that you value yourself. Your relationship with yourself improves because you think better of who you are. This attitude translates to your relationships with other people. Because you have self-love, you love others more deeply and have more to give to them.

As you treat yourself with care, you attract others who also treat you that way. If they don’t respect you, your sense of self-worth causes you to recognize they don’t belong in your orbit. This realization includes friends, clients and customers. Set boundaries and take actions to appropriately protect yourself against those who can’t appreciate you the way you deserve.

Forgiving Yourself

Treating yourself kindly also means to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. They were simply learning exercises. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. But all too often, we chastise ourselves for infractions for far longer than we should. This can create a cycle of self-abuse that drags you down and keeps you stuck in the past. Systemic self-criticism also leads to other negative decisions that shred your love of yourself.  

Instead, once you learn the message a mistake has for you, any guilt from it has no further purpose. You don’t have to castigate yourself after you’ve made amends and set an intention not to repeat the error. Be gentle with yourself. Accept that you’re human and grow from the experience.

Demonstrate Your Love of Yourself

Self-love isn’t just a warm feeling about yourself. It also includes “a wholesome discipline,” as the poem says. When you demonstrate caring for yourself with actions, you prove how much you appreciate yourself. Treating yourself in a kind, gentle and loving way, and one that supports your worth, allows you to thrive and to fulfill your potential.

Affirmation:

The Universe recognizes my worth, because It put me here. I now accept my value and treat myself with respect. If I’ve made a mistake, I learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I attend to my needs, and support my health and well being. When I love myself, it translates into better decisions and actions.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Encourage Positive Actions.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Jun 302020
 
Sparks of Insight

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you welcome an offender back into your life. That may be the worst thing you could do for yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t absolve a person of the responsibility of what they’ve done and they might not have changed. Forgiving simply means you’re letting go of your anger against the person. When you can truly wish them the best, then you know you’ve forgiven them.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jun 252014
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When I was young, I was given the message that I had to sacrifice those parts of me that made others uncomfortable. If I was talented, and it made another envious, I was supposed to hide my talent, otherwise I was accused of being “selfish.” At one point, I felt bad for making good grades because I somehow thought I was taking a good grade away from someone else. Many people are like me and have been told they were being selfish, when they were only being true to themselves.

In many cases, the definition of “selfish” has been perverted. If you say “no” to participating in an activity that would overextend you, you might be called “selfish” because it inconveniences the person who asks you. You can always consider your needs against what other people want from you, then decide the most appropriate action to take.

True selfishness is when you disregard the welfare of others. It doesn’t mean that you must ignore your own welfare to please someone else. But the term may have been twisted to become a club to manipulate you.

There is such a thing as healthy selfishness. That’s when you concern yourself with your well being. You’re not taking anything from anyone else, you’re just attending to your needs. Remember that everyone else has the same Universal power that you do to manifest what they want. They don’t need to take what is yours, whether it’s time or resources, to achieve their goal. Nor do you need anything of anyone else’s.

This isn’t a carte blanche to ignore the needs of others. But be aware that some people will have their own agenda when they put their desires ahead of your basic needs. You have a right to your needs and to express the Spirit within you. One of life’s lessons is to learn to honor yourself first.

Affirmation:

I honor myself. I recognize when someone tries to manipulate me, and take appropriate actions to take care of my well being. Everyone has the same connection to Universal power that I do, and can take care of their own needs. I have a right to be here. My welfare is as important as anyone else’s.