52 Ways to Show I Love You: Honoring the Self

Source: Air France safety video/YouTube

Every airline tells parents that, in the event of an emergency, they are to put on their own oxygen masks before attending to their children. When we care for ourselves — honor our own needs — we implicitly can show love to others. How do we show love to ourselves?

How do we honor ourselves?

Why does “honoring the self” have benefits for a love relationship? 

  • By taking ownership of our own wants and needs, we can better provide for them ourselves, asking others for their involvement only when it is essential or helpful or improves the outcome. By thus managing the tightrope between independence and dependence, we do not overly burden others and still recognize how much they bring to us.
  • By taking responsibility for ourselves, we help build others’ trust in us. They come to believe that we will not manipulate them. Instead, they expect us to address our own challenges and know that we will ask for input or help only when we are ready for it.
  • Communication remains direct. Few things burden a relationship as annoyingly as passive-aggressive behavior, pretending that everything is fine when it definitely is not fine. Direct communication permits acknowledgement of the situation, whatever it may be, and explores possibilities of addressing it in a range of ways. Everyone wins.

Have you had times when you knew you should tend to your own needs but had difficulty acknowledging them? What helped? Did your impulsive behavior ever lead you to hurt someone else or your relationship when, with time and inward direction the hurt could easily have  been avoided?  

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