As I reflect on my life at the age of thirty-five years old, I wonder how I have learned to love myself along the way. I ask myself, “how can one love themselves’ when there is so much more to love in others?” Well, I’ve learned along the way, through the guidance of my parents, that it is important to love yourself first. It can be a hard concept to grasp for a selfless person, but as I walk in my own shadow, I trust and love myself for all of me.
It took a lot of time and practice to finally love myself for all of me. Actually, I am still in practice to be honest. As a nurse, I put other needs first and care for many people in their worst of moments. So, how do I balance loving myself too? Well, I love my career and helping others. I feel blessed to be able to love and do what I love to do, which is help others. But there is a balance. In order to be able to care and love for others, I had to learn to love myself for all of me, including my imperfections.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean being self-centered. There is a major difference between the two. Being self-centered is expecting others to treat you as special, but not returning the favor. Self-centered people lack insight into their own behavior, and consequently relationships are empty and incomplete. People who have developed a sense of self-love value themselves in full, including their imperfections. They learn from their mistakes and utilize non-judgemental efforts to honor their own voice.
I give you all permission to love yourself everyday. Have compassion for others by being compassionate with yourself. Forgive others by forgiving yourself. Trust in yourself and love who you are in every aspect of your life. So put your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug. You deserve it.
About the author:
Ariane Theriault is a registered nurse at a Boston Hospital in the cardiology field. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude for Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her favorite part of blogging for Walden is being able to help others and herself on her road to recovery from an eating disorder. She likes to give a fresh perspective on eating disorder related news in the media and on her own personal struggles, while relating them to others. In addition to writing for the Walden Blog, Ariane also writes her own blog Rest in Peace E.D., Hello Ariane. Her passions range from gardening, writing, and advancing her career. She enjoys spending her time with her partner, family, friends and her two cats, Jaguar and Binks.