I send this to a dearest every morning, in her good morning text and wishes. I also remind her to love herself in currently 38 ways (lightly, lusciously, outrageously, steadfastly, single mindedly, etc. I am always looking for more.). Welp, I remind her, and I remind myself as well.

It can be so easy to forget about ourselves and to put ourselves probably last and definitely not first. Especially for some of us. Especially for those of us raised in a puritanical cult. For those of us conditioned by society (or our caregivers/parents) to serve others and to regard self-love and self-care as selfish. (Note: one of the ways I remind my dearest to love and care for herself is selfishly.) For those of us who had to ignore our own needs and wants and self in order to survive.

I’ve often heard Rick Hanson remind people to be “with and for themselves” and to “be on their own side.” Loving ourselves first most and always is the same to me.

If I don’t love myself, I am not happy. If I don’t love myself, I have nothing to give to others and the world. If I don’t love myself, I shut myself down and stop myself from shining. If I don’t love myself, in my mind, the people who taught me not to love myself win.

Being with and for myself doesn’t mean I’m against others. It just means that I’m for me. Loving and caring for myself first most and always doesn’t mean that I don’t love and care for others. It just means that I don’t forget about or ignore myself. I don’t let myself suffer unnecessarily. I don’t sacrifice me.

I love me.

As y’all all know, I start each day telling myself that I love myself. That I adore myself, actually. I’ve admitted here that I’m in the midst of a beautiful love affair with myself, which is amazing considering the fact that I was groomed, trained, and carved to loathe, detest, reject, and punish myself.

This is all because I’ve learned to love myself first most and always (as the tattoo on my right arm reminds me).

It can be like swimming upstream when we take this approach. It’s not generally recognized or welcomed by much of society and possibly by those around us. But, again, as my dearest just texted when I told her that I was writing this blog post, when we remember to love ourselves first most and always, we can NEVER go wrong.

It soothes us. It cares for us. It nourishes us. It gives us strength and resilience and beauty.

Try it. Let me know how you feel and how it goes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Sierra Koder on unsplash

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