These days we often hear the term “self-love”. However many of us still associate it with narcissism and selfishness, which it is not. The roots of many psychological traumas stem from our childhood when at some point we were denied that love and reassurance from our family we needed. And that impacted our ability to cultivate love within ourselves, trust ourselves, and take responsibility for our lives. It’s that victim mentality that so many of us are stuck in and can’t break free from. Now finding love for yourself within yourself can be very difficult. The longer we live with the mentality of needing people to save us, pleasing people, and neglecting ourselves, the harder it is to cultivate self-love. But why is self-love especially important for military spouses?
Why self-love is important for military spouses
When we struggle to love ourselves, we give the power over our happiness to other people. We tend to be more anxious about the outcomes of our work as our worth depends on it. We are afraid to displease other people by simply being ourselves.
People who don’t love themselves sacrifice their lives for others. And as a result, they find themselves deeply hurt and insecure if those “others” didn’t give anything in return.
Military spouses are especially prone to making sacrifices. And it often may result in high stress levels, mental and physical exhaustion, as well as compassion fatigue.
The reason why it happens is that military spouses typically prioritize others over their own needs. Of course, it does not automatically mean they don’t love themselves. Many things simply have to be done and doing most of the house chores alone takes time and effort. But lack of self-love is something that can also be the reason why military spouses neglect themselves. When they start to think that everything else comes first they skip self-care practices and start neglecting themselves.
How self-love can help you as a military spouse
Cultivating self-love will help you take better care of your physical and mental health
For anyone who mostly takes care of other people’s needs, it’s especially important. Let’s be real here, if you don’t take care of your health, then probably no one will. Prevention is always better than dealing with the aftermath.
As a bonus when you feel your best, you are better equipped to be productive and helpful to others.
Self-love helps you improve the relationship with other people
When we neglect ourselves we don’t feel happy. And with time we often become bitter and resentful which in turn impacts our relationship. It contradicts the sole purpose of serving others. Instead of providing help and support, we project our stress onto others.
Self-love and self-care help you feel more relaxed and content. You communicate your needs better and don’t deny yourself of needed rest and compassion.
Self-love makes you more confident in your abilities and as a result, will help you become more successful
Confidence and self-love go hand-in-hand. When we are confident, we are willing to take risks and become the best version of ourselves. When we are confident we want to take risks and go after the goals that we set for ourselves.
Although it can be challenging, it’s important not to lose ourselves in helping others and remember our personal goals.
Self-love reminds you that your worth doesn’t depend on how well you serve others
Last but not least, your worth does not depend on how hard you work and how well you serve other people. You are inherently valuable and worthy of love just as you are.
Even remembering this alone can make you feel better and more secure within yourself.
Military spouses do a tremendous amount of work, and there’s no denying that all of that work is valuable. But there is still a vulnerable human being behind that strong and resilient spouse that also needs compassion, love, and support.
When we offer ourselves unconditional love, we set ourselves free from high expectations and disappointments. We are the ones who hear ourselves and we are the ones who respond to ourselves when we need it.
If you are struggling with finding self-love, self-esteem, or compassion fatigue, a professional mental health counselor can help you uncover those inner conflicts and/or traumas that are holding you back.