Why is it that despite being in a committed relationship or married, one is not satisfied with the partner for either want of more love and affection or for more attention? After all, this was the same relationship that gave one everything to feel happy once upon a time. One may get extravagant and end up shopping. The shopped stuff may remain unopened in the bag for days together, without even giving it one glance after purchasing it. Similarly, one may land up a dream job. But on getting it, the feelings may change. One may question the decision to take it up – if it was something that one really wanted in the long term? Why do these nagging thoughts keep haunting the mind?
In the process of seeking happiness, one ends up changing one’s external factors – the partner, things or jobs, thinking that’s where one’s ultimate happiness resides. Which of course is not true. The first and foremost thing one needs to do to fill the emptiness within is to change the way one feels about everything. And that starts by loving one’s self. When one loves oneself, inner peace and happiness can be in harmony with the outside world and it does not become a medium to receive the sought contentment through it. Loving oneself also includes living a life that speaks volumes of who one really is without proving anything to anyone.
Learning to love oneself is powerful yet people end up loving themselves the wrong way. There are some misguided approaches people pursue to feel happy about themselves and their life. These don’t work since it’s not something intrinsic. In terms of relationships, one keeps searching for that perfect partner. Relying on another person to make one feel happy is a non-starter. If one doesn’t love oneself, one won’t be able to feel loved by anyone else. No amount of showered love would be enough to feel whole and healed at times. Another fallacy lies in resorting to pleasing behaviour to seek approval from others. That may make one feel drained. People often say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’ only to create mental turmoil, since that’s not what they are at the core. Again, thinking that spending money on oneself to quick fix a mood disorder, can only lead to momentary gratification. A dream job with all its prerequisites can feel futile if one is not able to do justice to it by putting one’s passion and hard work into it. And both these come from within. Can never be forced upon.
Loving oneself doesn’t require as much effort as it takes to make someone else love you. All you need to do is to not hide your true self from others, particularly close loved ones. This would drastically improve your relationships. It will also make you feel confident and at peace with who you are as a person. Doesn’t mean you should either put up with or showcase negative behavioural traits or qualities and expect it to be accepted. Loving yourself can be the most transformative thing you can do to improve your life – a process which must start from deep within and not superficially. If you continue to depend on other person/thing to make you feel accepted and happy, no matter what you do will never feel enough. Love yourself to be loved.