In today’s society it seems as if everyone is out for themselves. It appears that people take little to no thought of others, and in a way, this is true. However, I believe what we are experiencing now is a complete shift in the mindsets of people as a whole. This shift includes how we view what it means to authentically show love. Not just romantic love, but love in general, and more specifically, love for oneself.
This shift has resulted in our eyes opening to the fact that most of what we have been taught about the expression love, once stripped of superficial intent, is nothing more than self-sacrifice.
You may ask yourself the question “Doesn’t real love require sacrifice?” The answer to that question would be an absolute “Yes”, but (and this is key) not to the expense of losing one’s self [worth], confidence, and peace of mind.
We fundamentally know the best way to love others is to love yourself first. Therefore, that basic fact alone begs the question to be answered as to why there are still so many people that are willing to give of themselves to the point of resentment? These are the people who are seeking validation of worthiness to receive love. Many people are worried about how others will view them because deep down there is a lack of self-esteem. This truth is a hard pill to swallow as people, in general, prefer not to admit the hard truths. The kind of truths that tend to sting to the point of requiring action in order to grow past their current state of deficit of self-love. However, we all know that the truth shall set you free.
The good news, as I mentioned before, is the obvious shift in our thinking that has affected the way we now make decisions in every area of our lives. People are finally deciding to do what makes them happy which, of course is a very good sign that as a society, we are moving in the right direction. The exception to this are those that choose to remain resistant to change.
If you struggle with finding balance between showing love and support for your loved ones while also being loving towards yourself, I have a few tips that you may want to consider. These tips can be integrated into your everyday life helping to ease the stress that comes with trying to balance love for others and love for self.
Using the following tips to create new habits will help build your self-confidence. This is vital for maintaining balance in your life as it is almost impossible to give time, love, and attention to anyone else unless you are also taking care of yourself.
Although this seems rather simple, we all know at times, solutions are easer said than done. This is especially true if you are someone who feels obligated to be easily assessible and available for the ones you love.
Here are my six tips on how to take care of you too:
- Know your limits. There’s no way to set boundaries unless you know your limits. Just because you have a heart of gold doesn’t mean you should give to the point that you end up with a heart full of resentment. This is not fair to you or your loved ones. Being self-aware is crucial to knowing your exact limits.
- Set boundaries. Setting boundaries is the natural and practical next step that comes after identifying what your limits are. Your boundaries must be non-negotiable because it ties into your mental and emotional well-being. Rid yourself of the need to please disease. When you fail to set boundaries, you will set yourself up for future and unfair resentment towards those who you allowed to cross the lines. It is important to know when you have given too much in any capacity and stop the cycle of doing so immediately.
- Learn to say no and be okay with that. Even though it may be uncomfortable to do so, you must learn to say no. This means saying no when the act of giving to others will take away from your true self. It is not uncommon for people who give selflessly to feel a sense of guilt when “no” is the only answer. Be okay with saying no because when you make your boundaries clear it teaches people how to treat you.
- Be consistent in your actions. Once you have made your boundaries known and become comfortable with saying no, it is crucial to be consistent in your actions. Failing to do so will send a clear message that you can be persuaded to do something you really don’t want to do.
- Make time for self-care. When you make time for yourself outside of taking care and giving to others, it creates balance in your life that will prevent feelings of resentment from surfacing. This is especially true in the case where you give freely and it seems to go unappreciated, or is taken for granted. When you give love and attention to yourself, it means you recognize that you matter too.
- Sever ties with people that refuse to respect your boundaries. This one can be tough because this one is all inclusive, be it one of your closest friends or even a family member. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries then ultimately, that person has no respect for you. When it comes to close friends and family, it only makes sense to have a heart to heart with that person. On the other hand, if after having an open and honest conversation concerning your boundaries, someone continues to disrespect your wishes, it is time to sever ties. Actions will show that person far better than your words ever could. Take your loses and move on. Initially, this may feel uncomfortable since you are treading into new territory, but once you do what is uncomfortable, you will gain a sense of empowerment and will know that a moment of discomfort was well worth the effort to protect your peace.
Can you think of other ways that may help someone else who may be struggling in the area of taking care of themselves, as well as taking care of those they love dearly? If so, feel free to leave your comments below.