Speak Up: Learn to Love Yourself

In order to love someone you must love yourself first, but that can be a difficult task for some. Learn how to take charge of your own happiness rather than expecting that happiness to come from other.

Where Are You Looking for Love?

Kelli from the United States asks:

I really understand that to love someone you must love yourself first, but I have the hardest time doing it. I’ve been married for twenty years, have two children who are great, and I put everything/everyone first. I always seem to make the worst decisions, and I’m so sad and lonely and have really been taking it out on my husband and kids. Please help me understand why I can’t love myself. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or what lengths you go to prove it or how pretty you are, some people like myself are just destined to not have someone take care of them.

Carmen Responds:

Dear Kelli,

I think the answer lies within your last sentence, where you state that “some people are destined to have no one take care of them.” First of all, none of us are destined for pain, sadness or loneliness. We are all masters of our own destiny, so no matter how bleak things may appear or how much time may have passed, we can always change them!

So how does one learn to love oneself? Well, maybe start by not expecting your happiness or fulfillment to come from an outside source. Neither your kids, nor your husband, are responsible for your happiness, or able to fill whatever void you may have inside of you. You will have to take charge of your own happiness and like everything else in life worth having, this will require some work.

“Whether you see yourself as a success or a failure… you’re right.” – Kelli ext. 5130

What steps can you take to take charge? Well, I started by finding a therapist that helped me work through deep-rooted feelings of worthlessness and sadness. There are many modes of therapy like hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and traditional talk therapy. Other ways to get in touch with one’s inner self are yoga or meditation. Working out, taking walks, swimming, running, etc. are also excellent ways to get in touch with your self. You will find that it is easier to listen to your mind and heart while doing physically stimulating activities. When you are forced to be by yourself and actually do something that does not involve anyone else, you will find that it creates a space for you to listen and be present.

I know that this one is especially hard for mothers and caretakers. But know that always putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own needs will not only result in exhaustion, but also resentment. As I said before, you cannot expect others to take care of you the way you may take care of them. Dropping that expectation will make life a lot easier. It may seem impossible, but learning how to drop expectations and how to stop remaining fixated on an outcome is probably one of the best things we can learn in life. When we start understanding that others are not responsible for us, life truly starts anew.

Learning how to love one’s self takes practice, determination and work. Know that there is no reason for you to feel so sad and abandoned any longer. Your life can change tomorrow, and the beauty is that each day gives us new opportunities to create a blank slate. Yesterday does not matter. You will just have to start doing, instead of merely thinking about it. Sometimes, thinking will make an already loud mind even louder, and I suspect that you have a whole bunch of self-defeating talk in your subconscious, which keeps driving the way you are feeling. Take care of yourself, literally, and start doing things that make you happy! Maybe think back to a time when you were happy and remember what drove those feelings. Good luck, my friend.

“My advice is to set goals in steps. So, instead of a setting a goal of losing 20 pounds, set a goal of 4 pounds a month or a pound a week. It is manageable and with a weekly goal, it is easier to keep it in your sight lines.” – Blythe ext. 5339

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6 thoughts on “Speak Up: Learn to Love Yourself

  1. jolenejensen

    EXCELLENT ADVICE! This was me 10 years ago. I still have a long way to go but you start by thinking back…I used to love…fill in the blank. Go for evening walks, read a book, horse back ride…whatever it is and you do it. You set aside that time daily and that time is yours. I decided that from noon until 2pm was my time to read, watch tv, or call a friend. I set no dr apointments an if the kids woke up from their naps I said “rest time is from noon until 2. You can lay back down or read quietly on the couch.” They resisted at first but when they saw that I was determined to keep that time sacred for ME it became second nature. I have become such a happy person. DO NOT let people guilt you into giving up YOUR time. Shame on them…if you do give in that is where the resentment comes from. You would understand if the situation were reversed…It’s ok to love yourself!

  2. Vernette

    Thank you for sharing. I too feel the same way about having too many expectations for my own happiness. I put my kids and my partner’s happiness before my own and I somehow expect them to bring me the same kind of happiness in return. I expect too much and in the end I am always disappointed when things don’t get “as I planned.” What you emphasized about learning to love one’s self is really true. I have to learn to do the things that make ME happy and help me build my mind and body up in a positive way, whether that is spending time alone to take walks, run or read a book. The trick is not to see this as being selfish but being able to learn about myself and make peace with myself that I am valuable to the people I have in my life. Only then can I learn to love myself. It’s not easy but I am learning to let go of my expectations and to live life in the moment. Thank you, I appreciate your advice and best of luck to Kelli.

  3. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Great advice, Carmen !!!!

    My Great Aunt taught me long ago that nobody will , or can, take care of you like YOU.
    Even though the people around you may love you dearly, nobody will ever take care of your money, your car, your clothes , or more importantly, YOU as YOU would.

    We are born into this world with ALL of the tools we need to achieve happiness….all we need to do is , first and ALWAYS, believe in ourselves…… and then take action !

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  4. Anna

    Hi there,
    I’m a young female approaching my 20’s young.. and I’m worried that I have never felt “love” from a companion. I question if males see me as a companion or just their friend. I see my friends, females and males in relationships left and right. For some reason I wonder if I am even attractive enough, I’m a simple woman but I’m starting to question is simple the new difficult? I do have a issue with my feelings and putting them all out there at once, Who in their right minds wants to be vulnerable? When I try I end up falling for someone who is not looking for love but a warm hole to be in. I want a companion a real relationship not a long distance one either…what’s wrong with me?

  5. marc from the uk

    I liked this article, I have a friend who’s always down, fed up and sad, she tells herself that things are not good, so yes she attracts that, she needs to accept you are what you eat, drink and THINK!!! Ther is no better medicationthan self help, and I have found some people on this site extremely helpfull and educational in helping me change my views of past and enjoy the present by accepting I can change how I feel and think in future. I wish Kelli well.


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