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Self Love: We Can't Love Others Until We Love Ourselves

I am just having this revelation. I have always known this on a conceptual level but at this moment I am experiencing the great relief, knowing and freedom that comes from accepting this and embracing this through experiential reflectiveness.

We can't love others until we love ourselves is a common phrase we often hear but what is self love?

I started the post with the above lines in 2016 and I’m continuing this in 2019, having deepened my journey into self-love and understanding how it has changed my life.

Self-love is about deeply accepting, appreciating and valuing yourself; what’s important to you, what fire do you need to fuel for yourself & how do you treat yourself in the world.

When I started this journey 3 years ago it was a concept and I’ve lived & breathed it into cells over the last 3 years. It’s been a journey of great discomfort and pain at times, the unravelling and having to face myself had been challenging and many tears have been shed but it’s been worth it, it’s the greatest gift I gVe myself allowing & listening to my own power; my inner wisdom.

How often do you feel you need to put others needs before you own and then feel the resentment and frustration of not having your own needs met?  That was where I was, in my marriage, in motherhood and in work.
Slowly I’ve learnt that my marriage isn’t the place of unconditional love and acceptance but I am for myself. I’ve held and listened to myself, given myself internal cuddles and found other ways of having my needs for attention and being heard met; friends, my sister, therapy, social media, all have helped in building my voice. 

Motherhood is often a time of having our identity challenged and self-love can be a forgotten concept but it needed be and actually the opposite is needed for our children to learn to value themselves and us, as they interact with our subconscious messages and behaviour. Making time for my needs alongside my children’s needs improved my relationship with them.  I am a whole person with a full cup who is excited to see them and wants to share with them as well as support them. 

They see me as someone with needs who takes time to meet her own needs, a few minutes quiet reading, a walk outside, working on something I love, having constructive and boundaries conversations within my marriage and interacting with the world around me. 

I used to think of self -love and taking care of myself as painting my nails or going to a spa and of course those things are lovely but it’s why those things are important to me and what feedback they give me about myself that matters; I make time for myself, I give myself solitude and space (both of which I need and crave as an introvert), I do things that make me feel good when I see them.  So in fact self-love wasn’t just about what I’d do and continue to, it’s a why and listening deeply to my own emotional needs and meeting the ones I need to that aren’t being met elsewhere and giving myself the permission to do so.

What small change could you make or activity could you introduce that would make you feel good about yourself? What need could you meet for yourself?

Self-love is about knowing and owning your own power, including reaching out for help when you need to and finding the inner strength to get up when you need to. Remembering how amazing, talented and gifted you are and that you deserve to share your unique specialness with the world. 

Come and share your thoughts over on the @acacia.woman Instagram page.

Sakina Ballard is the founder of Tranquil Birth and this blog was founded through her own transition and healing through motherhood. 


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