What Would Someone Who Loves Themselves Do?

What if I Loved Myself?

My initial thoughts cannot be trusted.  As my own worst enemy, I am very good at destroying myself. I am still learning how to love myself. I should not succumb to my vices; nothing good comes from that for me. However, I was uncertain of what I should do instead. Then someone asked me a question that changed everything: "What would someone who loves themselves do?" This question was a revelation to me. Previously, I never made future plans because I never thought I would be alive to see them. But this question encouraged me to think positively about the future.

"Just do the next right thing." The question allowed me to shift my way of thinking from "How can I escape this challenge?" to "How can I take care of myself in this moment?" Another way to approach this is to ask, "What advice would I give to my best friend in this situation?" Despite my self-loathing, this question allowed me to be more compassionate towards myself and prioritize my own needs.

I've come to realize that taking care of myself is essential because I cannot give to others if my own well is dry. I recalled the common parable, "You can't drink from a dry well," which reinforces this idea. I also learned the acronym HALT which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These four feelings may lead someone with destructive instincts to turn to alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, or excessive risks. However, by asking myself what I would do if I loved myself, I was able to focus on my self-care and my own needs in those moments.

At first, it was illogical as a people pleaser to prioritize my own needs; but as I explored this, the result was that I was able to take better care of myself by eating when hungry, resting when tired, seeking companionship when lonely, and managing my anger. This allowed me to be present and enjoy life more thoroughly.

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