“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
It feels great when you help and take care of others. It feels great when you treat your family, friends, partner, or whoever with kindness, respect, compassion, and dignity. This shows your love for them and how much they mean to you. But, has it ever occurred to you why you’re better at supporting your loved ones than yourself?
How come you’re always there for your loved ones, but rarely for yourself?
I know many will say: “Well, I’m sensitive and empathetic and I really like it when I can help others overcome their problems or alleviate their pain.”
But, I have a question: How can you help and take care of others if you don’t help and take care of yourself first? How can you love and be there for others, if you don’t love and aren’t there for yourself first?
If you want to live a healthy, balanced, fulfilled, happy life, you need to learn how to hold space for yourself.
So, what does this mean?
For me, being there for myself means being present and treating myself with kindness, compassion, care, love, and dignity. It means observing and accepting my feelings, thoughts, and needs. It means listening to the wishes of my body and soul.
For me, being there for myself means seeing and accepting myself for who I am. It means cherishing myself with all my imperfections and weaknesses and never criticizing myself for my flaws, insecurities, mistakes, and failures. It means treating and loving myself the way I’d treat and love my best friend.
It means always being myself and giving myself enough space to think about what I really want and need in life. To think about where I’m headed and whether I should change the course.
It means trying my best to meet my needs and fulfill my goals and dreams. It means not depending on others for my happiness and peace of mind. It means believing in myself and knowing my worth. It means being aware of my fears, problems, and pain and doing my best to overcome them. It means enjoying my own company.
So, if you truly want to be there for and help others, you need to learn how to be there for yourself first. Because that is the only way you can ease out someone else’s worries and alleviate their pain.
Following are 8 behaviors that will enable you to always be there for yourself:
1. Accepting all your imperfections.
Your imperfections don’t make you weak or less important than others. Instead, they make you unique. They make you stand out from the rest. Therefore, you need to accept and love yourself the way you are.
Embrace your quirks, whims, annoying habits, weaknesses, fears, and insecurities. Because the more you accept and cherish yourself, the more you’ll take care of and value yourself and others as well.
2. Setting boundaries.
Boundaries don’t always need to distance you from others. They can, in fact, strengthen your bonds. When you have clear, fixed boundaries, you show that you’re not willing to put up with anyone’s bullsh*t. You show that you’re not afraid to stand up for yourself and that you don’t allow yourself to spend your time and energy on negative, manipulative, phony people.
By setting clear, firm boundaries you enable yourself to love more freely and generously.
3. Saying no.
One ‘no’ said to others is very often a ‘yes’ said to yourself. Being willing to say ‘no’ to others when they expect or want you to do something that’s not in accordance with your beliefs and moral values or simply when it’s something you don’t want to do shows that you’re true to and honor yourself.
When you say ‘no’ to others, you show both them and yourself that you’re determined and important. You show that you have integrity and you increase your self-esteem.
4. Connecting with yourself.
Connecting with yourself benefits your overall well-being. Living life at a fast pace means that we scatter our energy everywhere around us. We devote it to the people and things surrounding us and to everything that happens in our lives. This way, it’s very easy for us to start neglecting our needs and emotions.
To prevent this from happening, you need to make time to connect with your body, emotions, and spiritual nature. Observe your feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative. Pay attention to how your body is feeling and to the yearnings of your soul.
You can do all this in whatever way you feel most comfortable: listening to music, painting, meditating, praying, or just being in nature.
5. Being authentic.
Be willing and brave to see every part of yourself. See and accept your virtues and good sides and your less perfect sides as well. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake or fail to accomplish a goal. Instead, treat yourself with kindness, patience, and compassion.
You’re the only one who knows who you really are. So, accept yourself as such and never be ashamed of yourself.
6. Being a great parent to yourself.
Make sure you pay attention to and love your inner child. Allow yourself to gain new experiences, learn new things, accept challenges, test your limits, and be creative. Allow your imagination to run wild.
Give yourself space to make the right decisions. Believe in your abilities and strength. Encourage yourself to get up and move on when life knocks you down. Treat yourself right and live your life the way you want to.
7. Reaching for support.
Being there for yourself doesn’t mean that you have to rely only on yourself when you’re going through rough times. Instead, it means that you need to be aware of your own limits and then rely on your support system without feeling hesitant or ashamed.
Your close friends and family are the people who truly love and care about you and who want the best for you. Therefore, you can always count on them for their unwavering, wholehearted support and help.
8. Practicing supportive rituals.
Invest time in and nurture yourself. Whether you will meditate, practice your favorite hobbies, or enjoy warm, relaxing baths every day, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you do things that make you feel relaxed and fill you with joy and positive energy.
Devote as much time to yourself as you devote to others. You deserve it.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.