You have a responsibility to love yourself


Posted by in April's Magazine

There’s a feature in The Guardian called ‘A letter to…’ which invites readers to submit ‘the letter you always wanted to write’ but which you never did, and certainly never posted. There are all sorts of different letters – some people write letters to parents who have passed away, some write them to ex partners, and some people write letters to complete strangers who have unknowingly touched their lives in some way or another.

A while ago, a friend told me a story about a colleague of hers. This woman had been on a few dates with a man who seemed nice; they got on well and had enjoyed one another’s company. They had made an agreement to see each other again, and the plan was for him to call her on a certain day to firm up the arrangements. But when that day arrived, it passed without a whisper from him. A couple of days later he contacted her with some fairly lame reason as to why he hadn’t been in touch, and she told him simply to go away. When he tried to explain she reiterated her request for him to disappear, and told him very clearly: he had messed up, and she doesn’t give second chances. Now this was someone she had been out with a few times, whom she had liked and had wanted to see again. But when he didn’t keep his word, that was enough for her to draw a line under it and bid him farewell.

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A letter to…
If I were to write a letter to a stranger who has touched my life in some way, it would be to her. I have no idea who she is; I don’t even know her name. And yet I am in awe of this woman. Quite simply, she knows that she deserves the very best in her life, and when someone failed to treat her accordingly, she immediately knew he wasn’t good enough for her. How many times can I honestly claim to have done the same thing? In short, never. I’ve found myself in countless situations where the signals that someone is treating me badly are so blatant they may as well come with great big flashing neon lights and 100 decibel alarm bells, and yet I have allowed them to do so.

Why? Because on some level I have obviously believed it’s all I deserve, and so the cycle continued. When I heard this story it was like being given a welcome slap in the face. It makes perfect sense that I need to set the best example of how other people and the world at large should treat me, and as such I have a responsibility to myself to give the best example ever. I can’t expect other people to treat me better than I treat myself. Allowing other people to treat me in a way that is any less than I deserve is sending out a big fat signal that I don’t value my own worth. What a sad state of affairs.

I have another friend who told me a story a while ago about a girl he liked. He said she was a great person, he enjoyed her company, they had fun together, and he was really attracted to her. But he didn’t want to have a relationship with her. When I asked him why, he said simply that she settled for second best in all aspects of her life and that that was a really unattractive quality in a person. Another eureka moment.

A summer hottie
It’s all part of the theory that the energy you put out into the world will come back to you. The law of attraction: like attracts like. I deserve the very best, I treat myself with the utmost love and respect, ergo this will come back to me. I see myself as deserving of good things, and other people will see me in this way too. The best part of all of this is that once you realise it, it’s a very easy shift to make. Changing your mind set is bound to have a profound effect on the way you see yourself, and how others see you.

It doesn’t necessarily come naturally – I’ve had to make an effort to shift my thought patterns and now I don’t need to remind myself that I am frankly bloody brilliant, an absolute marvel of an individual and utterly deserving of the very best in all areas of my life – it comes naturally to me to think this because it’s fact! You’ll find that as soon as you start really believing this about yourself, other people will treat you accordingly and you’ll find that you attract more of the good stuff into your life. You have a responsibility to love yourself. After all, if you don’t, who else is going to?

This month I’ve been mainly…
…wandering around markets and eating amazing local produce; ramping my exercise routine up a notch in a bid to be a summer hottie; learning to meditate; LOVING yoga; looking forward to Lou’s birthday party in April and Eirin’s imminent arrival; running running running; loving being able to wear sandals again in the lovely Spring weather; reviewing some great restaurants.

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