Love moves in cycles throughout our lives – both in terms of love for ourselves and for those around us. When we’re small children, our family are our universe and conversely, when we are not with them if we’re at nursery, school or maybe staying with Grandparents for the weekend, we are not thinking of our parents all the time because as children, we are quite egocentric.
As teenagers, depending on what type of person we are, generally we are quite hedonistic – doing what we want to do but at the same time, ensuring our parents or carers are at a safe distance but there if we need them. As far as self-love is concerned, it’s complex in the teen years – all kinds of problems with self-esteem and self-worth can occur and with so much physiologically going on, it’s a testing time.
In our twenties, we perhaps become more thoughtful about others but still doing our own thing. We are discovering ourselves as adults and choose friends whose values match our own; perhaps we’re busy seeing the world, forging a career and maybe looking for a long-term partner.
The thirties are perhaps for many, the period of our lives where we know what we want – career wise and in our personal lives. We’re still making new friends but are also maintaining friendships made a decade or more ago. Maybe we become parents during this decade and therefore, our love is poured into another little being and love for ourselves appears to become secondary.
In our forties, as parents, our time and thoughts are substantially taken up with our children. Their education, their hobbies and emotional welfare. Maybe we have ageing parents who need more care and attention. Maybe we have established ourselves in a career and are making great tracks to the top of our chosen profession working hard to prove ourselves. Our self-esteem and self-worth is reflected back to us through how we feel we’re doing as parents, as employees/employers and as carers.
The fifties are perhaps about being solo – children fly the nest, retirement plans, changing tack completely and forging a new life maybe; perhaps more time for you, choosing new hobbies and past-times.
As sexagenarians and septuagenarians, just when you think you’ve got it sussed – the good life – the grandchildren appear! More time for ‘you time’ though, with holidays to plan and friends to catch up with.
So you see, as the decades roll-on, the way we view ourselves and the love we have for others changes. At the heart of it all though, has to be the kernel of love for yourself. Think about the safety advice on an airplane – always put your oxygen mask on before putting a child’s mask on – how can you save them if you’re not able to breathe? In everyday life, how can we truly love others, unless we know how to love ourselves?
Once you are aware of how important loving yourself is and the sense of personal responsibility, you can truly understand love for others and give your time and love freely without any sense of duty or hint of resentment. It’s such a valuable lesson for all.
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” Lucille Ball
By Kirsty Perrin
About the Author: Having been immersed in the Winning Edge principles from an early age, Kirsty’s philosophy is to be the best you can be and to enjoy what you do in life.
Kirsty knows that personal development is a continuous journey and therefore has a genuine desire and enthusiasm to help people realise their full potential, to be a success in their life-whatever that may mean to them.
Kirsty’s thought-provoking blogs, prompt readers to think consciously about how their thinking has a huge impact on their life, it informs their emotions and therefore their behaviour. Living life consciously is the cornerstone to the themes of Kirsty’s blogs. You can contact Kirsty directly here