Three Ways to Love Yourself: The Greatest Love

A song exists by this name, remember? And it had to do with loving yourself. So, just in time for Valentine’s Day. . .

Sometimes it’s not easy to love ourselves. Our minds tend to grab onto our mistakes and lay guilt trips on us, don’t they? I should have said … I should have done … I should have thought …  How do you quiet that insistent voice?

Let me tell you up front that it doesn’t get easier to quiet that annoying voice as you get older. It seems like the older you get the more things you have to beat yourself up about! Arghhh.

So here are three tips I use to help me get over my regrets and love myself. 

First –and we’ve all heard it before — I forgive myself for not being the best daughter, friend, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt or whoever. The Ten Commandments, and the recommendations of other religions for how to live a spiritual life closer to God, are the closest thing there is to an instruction book for life. The problem is, I am human, and that means, not perfect. Try as I might, my very nature betrays me. I fail at being perfect. Forgiving myself is required to maintain my sanity. 

Second — I keep expectations to a minimum. When I ‘expect’ I am  often disapponted. This doesn’t mean I can’t dream! Dreaming is different than expecting. Dreaming is hopes,and achieving a dream requires that the dreamer realize and carry out various steps to make the dream happen. Expectations have to do with what other people do. And face it – no one can control what another person does. When they don’t meet my expectations in a certain situation, I feel disappointment. Catch the word ‘feel.’ I am in charge of my feelings.  I decide what to feel in a given situation. No one can MAKE me feel anything. I chose to. Once I recognize that I have a choice in my feelings and my reactions, I can take control of them. It’s perfectly all right to feel disappointed, don’t get me wrong. But I must realize that disappointment has to do with my expectations about something or someone I can’t control.

Third — I strive to live each day as if that day is the last day of my life. Another way to look at it is, Today is the first day of the rest of my life. (That was my high school class motto, by the way.) The reality is, right now — this moment that I am living, and writing this post  — is all there is! Yesterday or an hour ago is a memory, tomorrow or tonight is a hope. So, for this moment, I’ll try to  be the best ‘me’ possible. I’ll try to be kind, be thoughtful, and be present to my friends, my family, and myself.

Present moments accumulate and become my past. Hopefully these moments will become a past with few regrets, and a life lived with love for everyone, but most importantly with love for the person I am striving to be.

Happy Valentine’s Day to me! 

 (Today’s post is the first of a new series I’ll be building in the coming year. I’m calling it, Inside a Boomer’s Head. Check back for more!)

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