Discussing facing less-than-ideal life circumstances in our early 20's VS early 30's with my best friend this week, we learned that the difference is major. In short, the difference is in knowing ourselves. Being connected to who you are, committed to what matters to you, and able to value yourself by the decisions you make and actions you take is what it takes to truly find happiness and peace. In the every day, yes, but especially in the face of life's challenges. Here's a quote from our conversation:
"Knowing myself made the mess so much less messy. It also allowed me to act differently in the face of fear. I'm not so afraid of what might happen that I'd sacrifice my needs. Instead I put me first and draw lines, knowing the thing I'm afraid of isn't as bad as betraying myself would be."
In the eye of a storm, you should be able to look in the mirror and say, "I know you. I'll take care of you."
At my brother's wedding a few weeks ago, the minister shared the commonly quoted golden rule: "It is imperative that you love each other as you love yourselves." Generally this is interpreted with the emphasis on loving others well, but it's a two sided statement and the other side should not be overlooked: You must love yourself well also.
I'm not suggesting you put your own needs first at all times. This is not a selfish thing. Loving yourself is just as necessary as loving others. Loving yourself is necessary in order for you to be able to love others. Sometimes your needs will come first and sometimes they won't. Knowing yourself, your heart, will help you to know which moment calls for which of those loves.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to gauge your current self-love level:
1. If you were to tell your story, your whole story, including mistakes, could you tell it truthfully and in a positive light? Have you forgiven yourself those mistakes?
2. If the people you most rely on in your daily life were no longer there, how much of your current situation would change? Would you live elsewhere or live differently? Work at a different company or field? Should you be including some of those desires into your life now, as it is?
3. If you were asked what you want your life to look like in five years, or ten, how easily could you imagine it? Would you be excited to share your response, or filled with dread at having to come up with an answer?
Just copy and paste!
"Knowing myself well has taught me that the thing I'm most afraid of isn't as bad as betraying myself would be." @kimberlynovosel
"Being connected to who you are, committed to what matters to you & able to value yourself is how you find peace." @kimberlynovosel