I learned as a child that the longest relationship I’ll ever have is with myself. When the month of February rolls around and the marketers start promoting romantic love, I check in with myself to figure out if I’ve made progress on loving myself.

There were events in my life that didn’t make it easy to feel good about myself. As a result, I’ve been able to make steady progress on improving my self talk and the way I feel about myself. It’s been satisfying to explore what’s possible and I’d like to share my personal musings. These are not professionally based.  

To me, self-love is the way I think about and talk to myself. Do I think compassionate thoughts when I make a mistake or am I harsh? What do I think or say when I want to do better another time? Am I kind or bitter? Can I forgive myself as readily as I would forgive a friend? I’m making steady progress here.

To me, self-care are the actions that I take to nurture myself. The bubble baths, healthy eating, reading and relaxing. Self-care is the time I take to nurture my body, soul and mind. I could do better in this area. 

To me, self-worth is how I feel about myself. What beliefs do I have about myself and my potential? Until I take my last breath, I can choose to explore or hide my potential. When someone else speaks harshly to me, how do I respond? Do I internalize what they tell me I’m worth or do I step forward and let them know how I feel? My strengths, talents, and kind acts toward other people are an expression of my self-worth. I’m pleased with my progress, here.

To me, self-esteem goes back to our childhoods. How my family treated me has an impact. I was considered the dumb one in my family. Once I started working outside of their framework, I realized that they were all just brainiacs and that I was going to do fine in the real world. I also studied how to raise my children’s self-esteem and as a result, I benefited from that knowledge. I consciously tried to raise my own self-esteem. I now choose to spend more time with people who respect and treat me well. This makes it easier to respond appropriately to the unkind people who are still in my life. Feeling satisfied with my progress in this area. 

When I work on my self-esteem, I feel that my self worth improves. When I raise my self-love, my self-care improves. These are symbiotic relationships: supporting one another. That’s how I make sense of these terms. This framework helps me bring awareness to my progress each February. And, I love others easily when I love myself. And, my relationship with myself is a work in progress that will last until the day I die. 

We’ll be chatting about these and other things on February 14th at our 2:00 pm Tea Time. Tickets are no charge on Eventbrite. Hope you can join us. We’ll host Tea Time on the second Sunday of each month in 2021. Our next event is on March 30 – four wonderful women will share their personal stories of adventure and triumph! Tickets only $10 on Eventbrite. Hope to see you there.

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