“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” -Wilfred Peterson
Loving yourself is not narcissistic. Self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-appreciation all build a stronger you. When you become stronger, you become more confident and more open to your purpose.
The last day of January 2019 has come and gone. Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year, February. Perhaps it is because my birthday falls in this month (not narcissism), but even more exciting, it is the month of love and hearts.
As I reflect over my hope journey, I realize that it is love that brought me to hope. Love from others brought me to be able to love myself, which in turn brought me to love others by sharing my writing openly.
The more I shared, the more I realized I loved my work. I was overcome with joy when I spoke of it and the warmth that surrounded me motivated me to share it publicly in a blog. Filled with trepidation, I forged forward with writtingfromthekitchen.com focusing on the motto, “Love is the main ingredient.”
The support I have received from my loved ones and dear friends over the past months has been amazing. In their busy lives, they have taken time to listen to and read my posts, critique me gently, and sometimes just simply tell me how much they love me.
Knowing that you, dear reader, also enjoy reading my posts adds to the love and generates hope for me every day.
Love and appreciation from others cannot be measured. And I have found it to be only part of the love equation.
I venture to explain. We enter the world fully dependent on love and support. Many argue that it is through those early experiences that our view of love is determined potentially shaping our destiny. Once we feel secure and loved, we venture out of the security of those arms and begin to explore, manipulating our environment for self-satisfaction, while still looking for affirmation. At that early stage of life, self-love may not even be questioned.
It is not until we begin to self-loathe that we absolutely need self-love. The question of when or why this happens, I can’t answer, since it is different for each person. But this love is necessary for growth. We need not fear to appear selfish by being gentle with ourselves during this process.
Loving ourselves allows the richness of love to flow in and upon acceptance of this love, our love flows out toward others. When we love others, we love ourselves. And the heart circle is created.
-Erika K Rothwell