Recently a friend of mine asked me, ‘how she can make her fiancé feel special by gifting something non materialistic’. I had so many ideas and immediately sent her a list of things.
After some hours (it doesn’t hit me instantly, I’m a little slow) I had an epiphany after an argument. Yes, it takes an argument sometimes to get those realisations (Disclaimer: Argue at your own risk). I felt I’ve given away too much of myself in most of my relationships. Sometimes we give and give and give and the show of love is no less.
I’m not self praising, getting to the point. I haven’t done anything nice for myself as diligently as I’ve done for others. The discipline with which we all want to please other people doesn’t come when we should make ourselves feel important. I think I take a back seat when I’m given some attention by someone other than myself. When it comes from outside I feel satiated and stop working on putting some of my love aside for myself.
What is self love then? Doing fancy things for yourself? It is whatever sails your boat but keeps you sailing everyday, through rough seas and calm. For me it’s sometimes me-time, sometimes seeing faces I don’t see everyday, music, everything about nature, dancing around my mom, singing till my throat hurts and obviously a lot of things make me happy. We all know what makes us happy. We consciously don’t make time for those things everyday.
It’s like the savings account we were told to open to create a habit of saving. Yeah sure it’s an investment but it’s a habit more importantly. Why make it a habit? Why not just do it when you feel like? Because attention is like money; if you don’t set aside some for later, you might end up spending all of it and you want to spend some on yourself too. Too much attention given is overwhelming, and you have no idea how the subconscious of the other person is going to take it. Im not suggesting we become self obsessed, but consciously divide some attention for yourself everyday.
It’s helped me a lot over the years practicing this. You must know you’re an important person in your own life and you deserve some love in any weather. You don’t have to depend on the seasons, you can churn some snow for yourself anytime you want because you’ve made it a habit. Create compartments and reserve one box of love for yourself. No matter what, that box will never go out of luck. Because you can always give yourself a reason to be grateful to be alive. (Book Rec.: “Man’s search of meaning” by Victor Frankl)
Time-out an old post of mine; I had written on rest and break. May be sometimes we just need that—doing nothing at all. However, a void tends to fill back up, when we get back to our lives. Its important to fill it up with some good feelings. Unless we feel good we cannot make others feel good. We will keep going out there expecting the world to fill that void. We need to wear our own masks before securing other’s even on the airplane. Why not clap for small efforts that we put into our daily tasks? Appreciate and show it by words and by doing nice things when we have accomplished something, however small or big. I was a mathematics fan in school and every time I solved a problem I would say “Clap for me everybody I got the answer.” I need to learn so much from the old me.
Starting small helps, may be look into the mirror and smile (yes you can be a little looney), have personal journals, small notes of praises, buy flowers (this one not my idea but works), take yourself out for a coffee, buy plants for yourself. Then go all manic and throw some imagination, may be make yourself a garden, start a blog, make huge plans for yourself without worrying about how you’ll do any of it. Show yourself that you’re well deserving of the things that keep you buzzing. It doesn’t even have to be perfect; sunrises are my thing and I’m almost always late by a few minutes. Even then you just have to show up, for something for yourself. Your mind needs to learn that you are your best cheerleader and your first love.
All this and you’ll never be worried about attention not coming from outside. You wouldn’t even need it most of the times. People may be rude, lash out on you sometimes; the world doesn’t change. You do. You become this light bulb, always shining bright and that lights back up immediately even if it flickers. Everyone wants some of your light, but make sure you stay lit for yourself first.