‘To love ones self is the beginning of a lifelong romance’ ..Oscar Wilde. I read this quote a number of years ago. It is one of my favourites; but only after meditating on it and really trying to understand what it means. It does, when you initially read it, smack of vanity and self-love to the point of the total exclusion of all others. I do feel that the quote doesn’t intend this at all, and is very thought-provoking.
Let me try and explain why!
Imagine sitting with a friend and having a conversation and they exclaim ‘You know what, I can honestly say I love myself!’ and they asked you the same question ‘Do you love yourself?’ What would you say?
Seeking your own happiness, and trying to make others happy and feel wanted and loved is a great quality to have. A well-known writer when asked this question stated that, ‘We are made to love others, but the true lover of self is going to be lonely until death parts him from himself’. I actually think this is true. A person that is egotistical and selfish to the point of only looking after their own needs is the ultimate lover of himself/herself; but has totally missed the point. To love oneself is to have a balanced view of your value as a human being, and to put your own needs up there with everyone else’s from time to time.
I found as a mother of young children, many moons ago, that I never put myself first, ever! And as a mother you tend not to, because your precious children will always come first. Parents naturally do this and should feel comfortable with it. It’s like having a natural affection for those that we love. The problem becomes more evident when you put your own needs on a back burner for too long and then you realise that you may have lost the person you once knew; the valuable, sexy, loving, awesome woman that you really are.
Do you get where I’m coming from? To love oneself creates a person that is strong, achieves and remains confident in all their abilities; there is your lifelong romance, putting yourself first once in a while, which will ultimately create a happier and more fulfilled person and mother.
Ways I try and do this:
Treat yourself. If you go to work or you are a stay-at-home mum, then why not! Staying at home to bring up your children is one of the hardest jobs you can do. I’m sure you will agree with me on this one. Have a meal out with friends, pamper yourself and do something you love.
Take up a hobby that you may have neglected. I started art class again.
Have a night in with your favourite tipple, eat your favourite food and watch a great film.
Ask a friend or a relative to babysit, and go on a date with your partner or husband.
Go for a makeover. Lots of department stores will do these for free if you look around.
Have a look on Groupon, and see if there are any offers for spa days and take a friend.
It’s all about making yourself feel a little bit special and not feeling guilty for it. Sometimes, we can put ourselves out for others, which is a wonderful thing to do, but it can mean that we can neglect our own needs.
We can have a measure of self-love when we take care of our physical needs on a daily basis. Do we eat fast food every single day? Drink vast amounts of alcohol or neglect our health and not visit a doctor if we encounter some serious issue that’s on our mind or we’re in pain? Probably not! If we didn’t care about ourselves we wouldn’t give a damn what we eat, we’d drink everyday until we were in a drunken stupor and never visit a doctor. So we all do have a measure of self-worth. (Obviously, people with depression often do neglect their eating etc, but that is a deeper issue, which I have written about in a previous post). With the right frame of mind, we do tend to take care of ourselves to a certain extent every day.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”, is not based on vanity, but a desire to look after yourself so that you are happy, you then in turn give of your best to others.
What do you think?