We’ve all heard it before, “you can’t love others before you learn to love yourself first.” It’s a hard thing to admit, and for being such a simple statement, it can feel super complicated. Self-love is essential. The way we love ourselves affects how we relate to others around us. Be it romantic partners, friendships, or even family relations. How we treat ourselves ultimately will reflect on how we treat others. It is important to be aware of how your relationship with yourself affects how we give and receive love. Here are some things you should know about the power of self-love.

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You can’t rely on other people to make you feel loved and fulfilled

Depending on other people to make you feel loved can create unhealthy relationships not only with others but also with yourself. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, you can’t create love in your romantic relationships or with other people anyway. At least not in the way that you could if you loved yourself first. This is similar to the concept “you can’t pour from an empty cup” when we’re talking about self-care. You should fill yourself with love from the inside, so that it can spill over and spread around you, rather than taking from the outside, grasping to fill yourself up with love. If you follow the second way you will be always relying on others for your positivity, love, and happiness. The more you fill yourself up with love from the inside, with love for yourself, then you are then able to radiate this love out and share it with the one’s dearest to you. The more you love yourself, and the more love you have to give away, the more love you will ultimately attract into your life. Love yourself first, if you have a love for yourself when a relationship does not work out, you won’t be left in the dark, but you will still be surrounded and filled with love and self-worth. You are the answer to your love and happiness. Work on loving yourself exactly the way you want to be loved.

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Treat yourself like you want to be treated by others

When you offer yourself the treatment that you want other people to offer you, you set a standard of behaviors from people that they will feel compelled to reach. Do not be ashamed to admit to yourself when you encounter people who treat you poorly “I am a lot better than this. I won’t accept this type of behavior from others”. If you are willing to accept any form of treatment, you are also telling yourself that you are not worthy of something better. Learn to speak to yourself in the kindest possible words, to forgive yourself for the mistakes you do, and to be less harsh on yourself in general. This self-loving behavior conveys to the rest of the world that you are someone worthy of the most genuine and real love. Self-love is not selfish, but it is essential for building a healthy relationship with another person. 

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Do not confuse connection with dependency

This last point is also related to not depending on others in order to feel good about yourself. Depending on others is actually a quite toxic trait. It can be an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a romantic partner or friend, and this tends to happen when we find a partner who might need extra support due to an illness or addiction. This leads to abusive relationships, be it emotional, mental, spiritual, or in even worse cases physical abuse relations. When this type of behavior is present within a relationship, it signals that one of the partners lacks self-love or is unable to live as an individual human being. You might be filled with detrimental thoughts like what if they leave? How am I going to go on without them in my life? Who else will ever love me? Then when this relationship does end, you’re left there devastated and feeling totally alone in the world. Of course, breakups are difficult regardless, but having true love for yourself eases the pain and lets you bounce back with ease. A relationship is really just a partnership. Two people decided to together, support, uplift, and empower the other one. It is not the act of two “halves” coming together to form a whole person, you are each your own individuals. No one should ever “complete you”. COmplete yourself, love yourself, in every instance and you will see that real genuine love will surround you.

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