Loving Ourselves Better

I love Miley’s new song, “Flowers.” It’s short, it’s simple, and yet the point it makes is spot on. I know there is a lot of speculation regarding Miley’s subtext surrounding this song – was this a revenge song after her husband cheated on her? Who knows. But, the lyrics tell the story of a woman, obviously wounded, realizing that how she loves herself is much more valuable and important than how others love her.

As a ‘wounded’ woman myself, I recall feeling almost desperate for the love of my husband after finding out about his affair. Feelings of being unlovable, unwanted, and unworthy permeated my life. My self-esteem tanked. I felt hopeless and had a difficult time looking to the future and seeing anything good for myself.

When I began a healing journey that was more about me and less about my husband and my marriage, I began to see myself differently. I realized that to heal myself I need to, first, learn to love myself . . . to try and separate myself from what my husband did. To accept, once and for all, that his actions had nothing to do with me. It was about him. So, it was time for me to focus on ME.

This is not easy work, but it is vital to our recovery after an affair. Understanding that the love we give ourselves far outweighs the love others give us. We love ourselves when we embrace and live out our core values. Loving ourselves looks like setting healthy boundaries and being mindful of time and energy in all things. Loving ourselves is not arrogant or selfish – it is honoring our gifts and limitations so that we can show up for others and bring our best selves. It is, actually, a very unselfish thing to live into the best version of ourselves.

So how does one “love themselves”? What does that look like? Here are some suggestions:

  • Take an inventory of the energy you are spending on a daily basis. How much of that energy is spend on caring for yourself and helping you be healthy and happy? If that amount is low, what changes can you make to increase that amount?
  • Do you have healthy boundaries when it comes to your personal and professional life? If not, set them and enforce them.
  • Have you forgiven yourself or are you still beating yourself up for not knowing about the affair? If you are still blaming yourself, work toward forgiving yourself for something that was not your fault and completely out of your control.

So, way to go Miley! It takes most of us time to get to this place. For me it took years. But the woman I am now is a woman that I love and will continue to love. I love myself better every single day and I hope you will do the same.

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