Today is Day 9 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.

There’s more than a fine line between being selfish and being loving to yourself. Yet some people confuse the two and use it to get more from you. When you’ve been a people pleaser, you might feel selfish for doing things that make you happy when others need you. That’s how DoorMats think! Self-love is the most unselfish gift you can give yourself! It’s your responsibility as a child of God to treat yourself with as much love as possible.

As someone who came from a place of not loving herself at all, I can attest that when you care for yourself first, you end up having a lot more to give others. It’s practical, which is why the heart gets nourishment before the rest of the body. You must first self-nourish with love and meet your needs to have more value for others. When you fly, you’re told that if you’re traveling with a child, put on your own oxygen mask first. Taking care of you makes you more able to help your child. A limping person is less able to help someone who needs support. When we put the needs of others first, we’re weaker. It’s harder to support someone if you’re not supporting you? Make yourself strong first!

Saving more time and energy for you is NOT selfish. It’s self-love! I’ve been unfairly called selfish for saying “no” to a very inconvenient favor or to giving time to someone I didn’t like who never helped me. When you begin to give yourself love by doing more for you and setting boundaries on what you do for others to achieve this, you might get hit by a big poison word dart—getting called selfish. But the truth is, making self-care a priority isn’t selfish. It’s logical. When you feel good, you have more to give

Loving yourself, and making you a priority doesn’t make you selfish!! Self-love requires healthy doses of putting you first.

If you’re consistent, people will get used to the new you. If they don’t, you probably don’t need them. Don’t waste energy trying to enlighten folks. They may not want to get it if they’re selfishly trying to manipulate you with word darts. I’ve explained to dart throwers and they didn’t like it. Too bad! I’ve also asked why they think they’re more important than me. You guessed it. They don’t like that either!  People eventually will accept you. It ain’t worth the effort to keep explaining to someone who doesn’t want to listen.  As you accept your right to be #1 in your priorities, and that not being everything for everybody doesn’t make you selfish, barbs roll off more easily.

It’s time to accept that YOUR needs deserve priority in YOUR decisions! This isn’t selfish! Selfish folks do as they please. People who love themselves evaluate each situation to decide what’s best and do unto others when possible. In recent years I’ve said, “focus on self” over and over when I feel life getting out of my control. It helps me concentrate on finishing projects, decreasing stress, and maintaining physical and emotional health. This isn’t selfish. You can be kind to others while giving yourself loving attention.

You’re entitled to say “no” and to address behavior that feels wrong. If you don’t purposely hurt someone, why not honor your needs? Yet some folks say it’s selfish. , These days if that happens, I ask why is taking care of me selfish??? Consider it rationally, without guilt. Why create false security by making others happy, if YOU aren’t happy too?  Word darts are weapons to make you return to more giving ways. Don’t let names used to return you to pleasing mode stop your progress!

People who call you selfish are the selfish ones for trying to manipulate you to do more for them. You’re entitled to care for you. Selfish people rush to call others selfish—to guilt them into submission. You’re not selfish for limiting how much to give others.
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Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2011 HERE.

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