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To Love Oneself is The Beginning of A Lifelong Romance

To Love Oneself is The Beginning of A Lifelong Romance

Change is the only constant.

In life, the situations in which we find ourselves and the relationships we enter into are always time-limited. Whether these relationships last for a few weeks or a few decades, we are always aware that those we love could be taken from us at any moment. Bereavements, breakups, and unforeseen circumstances can all conspire to change our lives in the course of a mere few seconds.

In this respect, everyone in our lives is like a passenger on board a train. Everyone gets off the train sooner or later, and the sooner we accept this truth, the more readily we can adjust our outlook on life in such a way that increases our chances of self-acceptance and inner peace. When we truly embrace impermanence, we are also more likely to learn from past experiences and carry these lessons forward to lead a more peaceful life filled with healthy relationships.

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The danger of relying on others for love and validation.

When you depend on other people for love and approval, you set yourself up for a fall because all relationships end eventually. Those who love themselves know that whilst happy relationships with others are a great joy in life and can be tremendously enriching, the only person upon whom one can depend to provide love and support is yourself. Otherwise, you risk personal devastation every time a friend, relative, or romantic partner rejects you or threatens the existence of your relationship.

In extreme cases, people who depend on other people for approval and affection bend and twist themselves out of all recognition; trying to please everyone and seek for attention. This can lead to poor self-esteem and a greatly diminished sense of self-respect. In contrast, when you love and respect yourself for who you are, you are free to live a more authentic life in keeping with your true nature. You learn to balance striking compromises, remaining flexible, and staying in touch with who you are.

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Courting, befriending and loving yourself.

As those who show themselves love and care know, self-love is the only kind of love upon which you can depend. When you take the time to know yourself, a lifelong romance can begin. Only when you become accustomed to spending time by yourself can you gain a true appreciation of your needs, wants, and desires.

This, in turn, helps you imagine and ultimately build the kind of life you need. Spending time engaging in your favorite activities, taking yourself on trips and expeditions, and staying as healthy as possible are all steps that will increase your self-appreciation, acceptance, and self-love.

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Never feel lonely again.

When you truly love and appreciate yourself, you will never feel lonely again. You will always have your own self-reliance and self-approval to see you through life’s challenges. When you come up against adversity, you will always be able to look to yourself, and your inner resources to help you move past the barriers that lie in your way.

People who fully understand the importance of self-love enjoy connecting with other people, but they never make the mistake of depending on them to prop up their sense of self or to provide them with a purpose in life. Those who are secure in their identities and believe themselves to be just as valuable as any other human being never feel the need to seek out validation as they carve out their own paths in life.

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Self-love is an ongoing project that is well worth the effort. When you truly nurture yourself, even times of great stress and hardship seem more bearable.

More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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