Monday, September 17, 2012

Loving your gifts and talents

Lately, I've been reading and hearing so much talk about loving yourself -- that it's the first step to loving others, it's the only way to truly be happy in life, and, our success in our jobs and relationships depends on it.

But, what does it mean to love one's self? Some of us have so much bad that's been piled on us from broken childhoods, toxic marriages, demeaning work experiences, and a host of other damaging experiences, that the concept of loving our self seems crazy!

Greedy people suck, literally

First of all, let's say what loving one's self is not. It's not about putting yourself and your needs above or at the expense of another. That isn't love. That's selfishness. Having a greedy attitude with money, attention, power, or any other resource comes from a sense of neediness. And, neediness is not self-loving. Sucking the life out of others is most assuredly not loving others or oneself.

The martyr gives it all away

Also, playing the sacrificial lamb is not self love. Giving away your dreams, position, opinions or any other personal expression is denying yourself of joy and accomplishment. You wouldn't do this to your best friend or someone you cherish. Why would you think to do this to yourself? Never give your life force away without giving to yourself at the same time.

Loving your gifts and talents

Loving yourself, right this very moment, means celebrating the very essence of who you are. The God-created spirit who moves on the earth, who has been formed with gifts and talents built into your very DNA. It's pretty amazing when we think about it; we have ideas, inspirations, dreams, and adventures embedded in us. They are unique, too! Every single one of us has something to offer mankind that only we can deliver.

How does that translate to loving ourselves? 

When you have an innovative approach to how you or your employer does work, finding a way to honor that is loving yourself. When you speak your truth about a subject you know well, you love yourself. When you celebrate your ability to delegate, organize, inspire, envision, nurture or create, you love yourself. Hopefully, you get the picture here -- honoring your uniqueness, acknowledging your gifts and talents, all equate to loving yourself.

What if you don't know those good things

Some of us have been so busy with our noses to the grindstone doing the job or taking care of others, that we have lost the connection to who we are, what our gifts and talents are, and how to live our purpose. You might say that you don't have time for all of this esoteric, touchy-feely stuff. Okay. But, what if I told you by getting to know and love your core self you'd be a more productive business owner/parent/spouse, that you would have more energy, and people would respond to you differently, you probably would take the time, wouldn't you?

Most of us don't do this kind of work well on our own. Some of you think you do, however our blind spots, hurts, and beliefs almost always get in our way. I suggest that you invest in yourself by taking some time with a counselor, coach or consultant. These are professionals trained to help you mine the nuggets of gold deep inside of you.

And, once you know and own those nuggets, you can begin to love your gifts and talents!

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