Some say self love is selfish, others say it isn’t. Some say it is biblical, others say otherwise. My thoughts? You cannot give what you do not have. Simply put, how can you love others if you do not love yourself? How can you give what you do not have? Yes, I know this is not new and you have read/heard this lots of times. I have been thinking about this from the female perspective (maybe I should narrow it down to the Nigerian female perspective).
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
Growing up, I have seen women work tirelessly to maintain their homes and the main comment that flies around is that it is the woman who owns the home…. I do not necessarily argue with this, but somehow the weight that has been put on women’s shoulders is quite a lot. Growing up, girls are educated and groomed to become a wife…. This girl becomes a woman, gets married and automatically, she becomes a person of varying roles. As she takes on these roles, she becomes consumed with them and then she gets lost somewhere. She expends all her time and energy taking care of her home and everyone else, neglecting to take care of herself. This is not done on purpose and it feels normal, based on all that has ‘learnt’ and how there’s so much to do with little time for herself. It gets to a point where she is unable to recognise herself and then maybe she realises she’s unhappy/unfulfilled. She has every reason to feel this way. She starts to blame others, but the real person at fault is herself. No one ever told her to lose herself. Yes, I know no one probably told her not to lose herself either, but do you know what? As she loses herself, her value diminishes to her and to others. She starts to wonder what happened to her, her self worth, her dreams, her goals…. Where did she get lost? How did she get lost?
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”– M. Scott Peck
A few years ago, I started asking myself these questions (I still do, just as checks). I had gotten to a point where “I” was lost beneath the roles of wife, mother, employee…. I decided to take charge and unearth myself from the ‘abyss’ I had lost myself in. I reemerged and I feel great about it. I started doing things I love and I am still able to manage my varying roles (might not be perfect but nothing ever really is). I achieved this ‘balance’ (for lack of a better word) by creating a schedule and I have tried to stick to this as much as possible.
Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept. – Anna Taylor
Are you lost somewhere under all the roles you play? It’s never too late to find yourself. Start by loving yourself. Take time out for you and you will notice the difference.