Most of us are very good at supporting their family, friends, and their loved ones. This is a wonderful human quality. However, why do we keep caring about others and yet forget taking care of ourselves? Why are we not there for ourselves the way we are for others?
It took two painful breakups, two horrible back stabbings from my friends, and two letting-downs of my family until I decided that it is time to think about myself first and that I should stop giving people second chances.
I should stop expecting people treat me with the same respect and care as I treat them. I need to focus on myself and on my needs because along the way I neglected myself.
So, what exactly does it mean to ‘be there’ for yourself?
It means to experience yourself – to express yourself, to feel, to grow, to heal, to love yourself, to enjoy yourself, and live every second with passion and a zest for life.
It means treating yourself in a caring and loving manner. It means being alone doing the things you love. It means being kind, compassionate, and understanding to yourself.
It is a way of life. It is you, listening to your feelings and the deepest cravings of your soul. It is a way of being completely in touch with your true essence. It is treating yourself like you would treat a friend or someone that you love with your whole heart.
You see, the thing is – if you truly want to have a positive impact on someone else’s life you must have a great relationship with yourself first. You can’t offer someone love and care if you don’t love and care for yourself.
Because, if your compassion doesn’t include being compassionate to yourself – then it is incomplete. You can’t say that you are compassionate.
That said, how can you practice being there for yourself? Here are some starting points to guide you.
Embrace your imperfections. They make you a unique human being. They make you-you. An exceptional person. Embrace your talents and your personality. Don’t try to imitate others. Accept your individuality.
Practice saying ‘NO.’ Say ‘no’ to people and things that no longer serve you – that don’t enrich your life and make you a better person. By saying ‘no’ to the wrong things and people you are saying ‘yes’ to yourself and that’s a very beautiful thing.
Develop boundaries. Don’t let anyone walk over you. Be sure of yourself and what it is that you want and especially what it is that you don’t want and what kind of behavior you won’t allow. Defend your beliefs and values without feeling guilty. It is your right to set boundaries on how you want to be treated.
Spend time alone and listen to your inner voice. Take some time to be alone and still. In silence, we learn how to listen to our heart’s deepest desires. Only when you spend time alone with yourself you will get to truly know yourself.
Be a good parent to yourself. Be creative, let yourself explore and learn new things. Take yourself out to dinner. Cook yourself a delicious meal. Buy yourself something you really want because you deserve it.
Do at least one nurturing thing for yourself every day. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it seems. It will all lead to your ultimate happiness and fulfillment.
Finally, check on yourself every single day.