Why do we find it so hard to look after ourselves?

Many of us feel that we are being self indulgent if we show ourselves love. This can be due to early-life conditioning. Love is what makes us feel whole, when we have it we can also give it away, but how can we give away what we don’t already have for ourselves?

We need to learn to nurture a relationship to Self first, in order to share it without resentment. But what can loving yourself look like? It’s being as kind to yourself as you would be to a dear friend or loved one. It’s being patient and gentle and forgiving.

Words have energy and our inner dialogue can be our friend but also our worst critic. Self berating, telling ourselves we’re not good enough, looking into the past with regrets for what we believe we haven’t ‘achieved’ are all ways in which we can deny the love for ourselves.  General negative thoughts towards self or others separates us from feeling the love that’s available to us.

There’s a direct link between the love we have for ourselves and the love we have for another, if we tend to give from an empty vessel then we can later become resentful and wonder why people aren’t doing for us, or perhaps have that feeling of being unnoticed or taken for granted. Yet if we first give to ourselves in whatever form we can, we can feel more able to share from a place of fulfilment. Ultimately, we tend to feel more loving when we feel loved.

There are many ways in which we can self-love, just taking time to be in touch with whatever we need and really asking ourselves How am I feeling? What do I need? Checking in with ourselves on a daily basis.

We all have an inner knowing that some of us may call our intuition or Higher-Self.  It’s the part of ourselves we can connect into during times of stillness, meditation or when doing some repetitive tasks. That’s why we get ideas when we are relaxed often without having to think about it.

This deeper part of us has its own intelligence and has a knowingness for what we need, more so than our thinking mind, as it doesn’t hold the negative emotions or agendas that can create obstacles and cause us to self-sabotage. These obstacles are the barriers that block our self-love.

So learn to listen to your inner knowing and remove those inner barriers. Start to know what makes you feel good and just commit to doing that regularly. Let it become a habit not a luxury to love and care for yourself and especially if you’re someone who is really good at taking care of others.

Laura Stevens-James
Salon Owner

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi.