Self-love is the foundation for all relationships you build in your life. It sets the bar for your boundaries, your happiness, and the respect you receive from others. Self-love has always been difficult to understand, my life has been riddled with the quote “you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself”. As a teen girl, I called bs, so if I don’t feel worthy of love no one can love me? The details were left out in that quote. Through my experience with being ghosted and ghosting, friendships crumbling, fights, and the trials of a long-term relationship I have discovered the most radical and ultimate form of self-love; and that is choosing yourself.
You can’t love someone until you love yourself first.
Fact or fiction? A little bit of both, as I mentioned I absolutely loathe this quote, but let’s find the truth in it. You can absolutely love someone even if you don’t think the sun shines out of your bottom; issues arise with the doubt in your heart. For me, I struggle with feeling like I am worthy of love. A part of me believes that people will always get tired of me and eventually leave, hell, sometimes I wish I could do that to myself. Letting myself be loved, trusting that someone could feel even an ounce for me as I feel for them is a major struggle. My first step in accepting love was accepting myself.
Self-Love and Relationships
When I first got into my relationship, my entire mood depended on how my interactions were with my partner. I felt I needed him to make my day better, I depended on him for my own happiness. After many fights and things seemingly crumbling, I slowly started to take a step back. Slowly, I began to spend more time by myself. I began taking myself out on dates, I started working out and eating better, so I could be happy on my own. The better mood we were in individually, the easier we were able to come together and be the support the other needed during a hard day.
I am no relationship expert, but it is important to not go into any relationship (romantic or platonic) hoping the other can complete you. We all have things we are battling with every day, to put your happiness onto someone else is unfair. Love and relationships are about support and mutual understanding. As I said, I started doing more things alone. I have made it my goal to nurture myself and to treat myself. All of this self-love ultimately leads to you choosing yourself over anyone else. No, this is not selfish.
Choosing yourself enables you to create healthy boundaries for yourself so you are not burned out or overstimulated. It helps you remember you are in control of your life, there is no codependency. Choosing you and working on you, does not only help you, but it also helps your partner as well. We are all our separate wholes, and bringing someone in your life is a great addition.
So what does it mean, to “choose yourself”. It can mean anything you want it to mean. Treat yourself to a spa day, do what makes you happy and fulfilled so you can bring more to your relationships. We are all struggling and need a hand, our relationships are fundamental to our development and even our happiness. Help, but do not overextend yourself. Love, but do not give your whole self away. Love unconditionally, but give that love to yourself as well. Choosing yourself and practicing giving yourself unconditional love and acceptance will bleed out into every aspect of your life. Your self-worth is your foundation.
If you are interested in how to further nurture and choose yourself, I’d suggest looking into the 7 chakras (here is a little beginner’s guide I find useful). Start with your Root and Sacral Chakras. Your Root Chakra is the 1st chakra, your foundation, it is located at the base of the spine and represents safety, security, and stability. If this chakra is imbalanced, you could have a lot of anxiety or fear, general mistrust of others, you feel alone in the world. Your Sacral Chakra is the 2nd chakra located below the navel and represents creative and sexual energy. An imbalanced Sacral Chakra can lead to a lack of or repressed creativity, lack of energy and self-confidence, sexual dysfunction, withheld intimacy, and emotional isolation.
How to nurture your Root Chakra? Get out in nature and be physically active. If you are interested in using healing stones/crystals, carry with you Red Carnelian (associated with strength, cleansing, and bravery) or Obsidian (a black gemstone said to protect you from harm). What has been extremely useful to me are some Root Chakra affirmations, here are my go-to’s:
- I claim abundance
- I am anchored and connected to Mother Earth
- I claim a healthy body
- I am a divine being of light, and I am safe, protected and secure
- Life loves me and I love being here
Ready to work on your Sacral Chakra? Spend time in the water, whether it be lakes, rivers, streams or the ocean. Water is the Sacral Chakra’s element! Red Carnelian would also be a great stone to keep handy (links with your creativity and artistry), Moonstone (comes in many colors but look for the peach color as it is stimulating to the mind and is meant to reduce worry and carry a loving energy). Again, meditation and Sacral Chakra affirmations have been my lifesaver, here are my favorites:
- I am a creative being
- I am a sacred being, am worthy of love and desirable to others
- My relationships are safe
- I am comfortable in my body
- It is my birthright to receive pleasure and have my needs met
This journey of self-love and choosing yourself is a lifelong journey, something that is always being adapted and challenged. But choosing yourself is eye-opening, I am still on my journey but I can feel that communication is becoming better, that I am able to say what my needs are and admit to myself what I want in my relationships. I hope someone finds this useful, and stay tuned for more in-depth ways to heal your chakras.