When was the last time you took time out to celebrate how far you have come in life? Do you even have time to appreciate who you are on the way to where you are going? Today, I challenge you to love yourself deeply, wholly, fully and unconditionally; only then are you properly positioned to love your spouse, loved ones and others regardless of their weakness.
At a time in my life I was so busy trying to have a perfect home and trying to always be there for my spouse that I forgot and hardly had the time to give myself a special treat. Oh yes, you do deserve a special treat and not once in a lifetime but often. Do not wait till someone takes you out to ‘spoil you silly’; you may need to be the one to ask yourself out at times and give yourself the special treatment you deserve. Don’t be too busy working to amass wealth and end up losing your health when the wealth comes.
I felt that as long as my home looks like a palace and there is always a smile on my spouse’s face, I was okay, but I got it all wrong. I gave myself away selflessly forgetting to reserve anything for ‘me’ and that started affecting me negatively. I became so ‘worn out’ because I never took time out to be refreshed. It is great to look after the welfare of your spouse, home and kids but do not forget to look after yourself too. Always look at the mirror and observe if the reflection of who you see is a better you or a ‘worn-out’ you.
In the words of Sarah D. Jakes, “you have to love yourself first; because that’s the only way you can truly love another imperfect person”. I love the words of Olakunle Soriyan which reads, “I’ve come to realize that the smallest thing to do in life is to make myself happy”. My husband often says, “no one can make you sad without your consent”. It therefore means that it is paramount that you should be happy in life; and if you are surrounded by those who do not make you happy, find a way to make yourself happy. You cannot make other people happy if you’re sad. Let me ask you a question, “What are those things you derive joy in doing and when last did you do them?”
A lot of leaders are lonely and depressed and that is why suicide cases are increasing all over the world. There are times that you will face great challenges and you must build your own circle of cheerleaders. Do you have people who can encourage you no matter what you’re passing through? You may have a lot of pressures on you as a leader, you need to have confidants or mentors who you respect, who can look you straight in the eye to tell you to take a ‘serious’ break when you need one. Don’t overwork yourself till you break down.
The grave is filled with lots of people who never fully lived their lives. People viewed them as successful but never knew they battled inwardly with depression, loneliness and rejection; and as such ended their lives because they didn’t enjoy it. Learn to hang around those who celebrate you and those who will stop at nothing to bring out the best in you. Fall in love with yourself because if you do, you will stop at nothing to make yourself happy. Know when the law of diminishing returns set in and when to take a break to rest or go for a long vacation. Do not die before your time; do not fix your funeral for when the applause is loudest (when the world needs you most). You are phenomenal, see yourself that way and love yourself fully. Don’t be a solution provider who refuses to use the prescription he recommends for others when he too needs it.