“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Refill and let you be refilled before you can go all out to love the world.”
Love is an abstract but in every form we relate with it in the acts of others and ourselves in everyday encounters. You’ll hear someone claim they are loved because of the care they receive from the other person i.e. he/she who loves them. I’m not talking of romantic love but it still applies in every sense. Our expressions of love tell what we associate love with and there are scholars who went ahead to describe some love languages to help individuals be more in tune with their expression and perception of love.
Over time I’ve heard of people talking about and championing for self-care. In other terms they make a case for self love. Unfortunately, over the same time or even longer I have witnessed often than note people being gentle, caring, supportive and available for those they love but not to themselves. How can you out of kindness and love lavish those under your care but not to yourself even for a single day? Is it out of ignorance, conscious decision or rather dislike of oneself? Since the start of the year have you gave yourself a treat? If not, why not? Let me know in the comment section.
This past week we celebrated World Patient Safety Day and as per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in the wake of COVID-19, the focus was on healthcare workers’ safety. For centuries we’ve had health workers put the well-being of their patients first and in the recent past we’ve seen the cost of this as we lose healthcare workers out of hospital infections. It’s unacceptable but it happens because in a way our expression of love and care for others is visible and is acknowledged by those we care for. On the contrary, self love may be construed as being mean or selfish.
I work with a great company and I love the work we do which means for every encounter I make I want to make it as memorable. It was a hectic week because the love for my job and the people we work it flows through the work I do. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we did a series of webinar discussions that drew on different stakeholders in the healthcare space to ramp up commitment for healthcare worker safety. After the sessions, we take it upon ourselves to appreciate the participants who were part of the session. We did thank you notes and sent them to the stakeholders, one for being part of our discussions and for their commitment for health workers’ safety. Once the work was concluded I had a chat with a friend that asked me whether I appreciated myself for the work. Sincerely, I was exhausted but rejoicing in having pulled it through to the end with a clear plan on what lies ahead in our advocacy agenda. This was a wake up call. We express our love to others, appreciate them with kindness but when it comes to us, it’s a pipe dream.
For my downtime today, I reflected further on this and realized that it’s a weakness we all have. We are easy at expressing or showing our love for others but not ourselves. In reverse, it makes us hope to receive the same love from others which may never happen. In this case we either get bitter, dissatisfied and disappointed at everything yet how others love or appreciate us isn’t within our control. All we can do is love ourselves more and better. I’ve witnessed people being in unhealthy relationships in the name of at least there is someone who cares about them. How do you know they care about you if you don’t even know how to care for yourself? What standard are you using to gauge whether they love you if you don’t love yourself to start with?
It’s important for us to love and care for ourselves. Without knowing what’s right for us we may never know how it feels to be treated right. The same relates to how we end up interacting with the world. If you are the quality time kind of person, lavish yourself with a chilled hangout by yourself at your favorite spot. You need and deserve it more than you imagine.
“Love yourself. You deserve love and nobody knows how to love you than you do. If you don’t, nobody will ever do.”