If you’ve ever felt like it was difficult to show yourself the love you need, you’re not alone. Sometimes showing yourself love just doesn’t come naturally and you may not know why. Maybe you’ve tried really hard to accept yourself wholly and embrace who you are and it just doesn’t quite seem to fit. It can be really disheartening, especially when you are desperately needing to feel that kind of love.
Understanding why you push your own self away may help you finally break down the walls you’ve built against yourself. Consider these reasons why you might be struggling with it.
1. You’ve been deprived of safety in your life
It can be a struggle to love yourself when your trust of others has been shattered. If you were deprived of physical or emotional safety in your life, even back to childhood, it can play a part in the struggles you face as an adult. You might find it hard to trust yourself even, let alone anyone else. If you never felt safe to fully be yourself to others, it’s no wonder you struggle to accept yourself now. Self-acceptance is a vital part of loving who you are.
2. Your identity has always revolved around being a giver and carer
If you have spent most of your life catering to the needs of people around you, you were in effect teaching yourself to put your own needs on the back burner. You might now struggle to show yourself priority when it comes to love and necessities. Do you ever feel guilty for doing something that is good for yourself? Do you feel like you are being selfish for not jumping to the needs of everyone else? That’s a sign that you need to readjust your priorities and start fulfilling your own personal needs.
3. You’ve been abused and excessively criticized by others
The more time you spend around someone who only sees your faults, the more likely you are to feel down on yourself. If you spent a period of your life tied to someone who was extremely critical and abusive, you might still be carrying some of their judgment on your shoulders now. When we are repeatedly told that we are not worthy, not smart enough or not good enough for someone, these ideas tend to stick in our brains like glue. It’s important to clean out those negative opinions and make sure your internal voice is a kind one, not a critical one.
4. You are an empath who loves to fulfill others
Being an empath can be a great thing, but only when you don’t suffer in the process. Sometimes your empathy for other people may make you want to pour all of yourself into them, meanwhile neglecting your own needs. It’s a wonderful thing to get your happiness from helping others. It’s also true though that you absolutely need to fill your own cup first. In reality, the more you have for yourself, the more you have to give to others. We can do a lot more good in the world when we feel happy and taken care of too.
Putting your needs first is not selfish, despite what your brain tells you. Don’t forget that you are important too and you are worthy of feeling loved by others and yourself. The road to showing yourself healthy self-love is not linear and there will be times when you look back and wish you would have done things differently. Just always remember that it’s okay to love yourself first and make yourself happy in ways that no other person is capable of doing for you.