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The Golden Rule of Self-Care: Treat Yourself the Way You Want Others to Treat You

The Golden Rule of Self-Care: Treat Yourself the Way You Want Others to Treat You

Do you treat other people better than you treat yourself? If yes, this is for you.

You're not the only one who would do anything for someone else, but when it comes to yourself, it's tough to even muster an "I like you."

Like 99% of life, though, liking yourself (never mind loving yourself) is easier said than done.

But the 100% truth is that the way you treat yourself, the way you treat others, the way they treat you… it’s all connected.

What you say to and about yourself in front of people speaks to how you think you should be treated.

How you treat yourself when no one's around reinforces your beliefs about who you are.

And who you are is so much more than you can imagine.

How you feel and what you think about yourself is no match for who you really are. Your feelings are not you, not entirely.

Which brings me to something my career coach told me not long ago (her name's Jen and she's awesome, by the way)...

"Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you."

And yeah, I get how frustrating that sounds when you feel like garbage.

I get how easy it is to be hard on yourself.

You're not the only one who's (still) trying to figure themselves out. Trying to feel better, be better, live better.

We could ALL use a little more light. It just depends on the day.

It's why I write what I write:

To help you treat yourself better. To help you love someone else and through that love, start to love yourself better. To bring you sunlight and fresh air on the days you have none left.

You know, for the flowers.

For the new better feelings and things you're trying to grow this month... this year.

Because here's another 100% truth to keep in mind when you're being hard on yourself:

You're not just the flower. You're the whole garden, and not one of your flowers can bloom all year long.

In other words, think of your feelings and thoughts like plants. They can be negative or positive, weeds or flowers. You get to water the ones you want to see thrive.

You're the garden and the gardener.

You're stronger than you feel.

You're free to choose the palette of your emotional sky.

And you're allowed to change, to grow in any direction you really, really want to grow. You're allowed to treat yourself better today than you did yesterday.

You're allowed to feel differently and think differently, to act and do differently.

You're even allowed to bloom from your wounds, to show compassion to the places in your life that hurt the most. And then, like a phoenix, watch yourself rise like you couldn't before.

You can learn to be a friend to yourself.

Treat yourself like someone who loves you would treat you.

If you asked a friend what they thought of you, what might they say? What would they say your strengths are? What do they love most about you? Ask them and find out.

If all you have handy is a mirror, use that to practice new thoughts, the kind that acknowledge the darkness in you but also the light.

You can try a mirror gazing ritual like this one to say nice things to yourself on a nightly basis.

Make self-kindness a habit, and self-forgiveness too, and every aspect of your life will respond. I think it's why this Hawaiian ho'oponopono prayer has helped me so much.

Treat yourself better in private, and you'll carry that confidence and strength with you into the world around you. And people will notice.

. . .

Tell me:

What here did you most need to read today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know what hit home. 

~ Jen

P.S. Ready to feel better about who you are? Take this poetry print home with you to remember how enough you already are.

Comments on this post (7)

  • Jun 05, 2022

    For the longest I lived by the other golden rule. The one that we’re taught when we’re young: treat others like how you would like to be treated. Somewhere along the way, I forgot how I would like to be treated but I knew how others liked to be treated and it became easy for me to just forget about myself and focus on them. I definitely needed to read that I should treat myself like how I would like someone to treat me. It reeled me back in.

    — JoRya

  • May 08, 2022

    Make self-kindness a habit, and self-forgiveness too, and every aspect of your life will respond

    — david

  • Nov 15, 2021

    I agreed with treat yourself how u wants other treat u. But my friend tell me to treat others better first before mine. How i can convice him to treat himself first?

    — Merry

  • Sep 28, 2020

    Mikey, I am grateful for the hope my reflections can awaken within you. It’s always there, the light is never truly out. Trust me, if I can learn to like/love/respect/appreciate myself after the mistakes I’ve made and the internal struggles, then I have total faith that you can and will too. Let yourself be a journey. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Sep 28, 2020

    Thank you. The tears are overwhelming. I’ve been woking to like/love myself for many years. Your writing gives me hope. I feel like a wounded bird. Not that I know what a a bird feels like. It’s very Painful. Heartbreaking. Thank you again. Peace. With love. Mikey Hanson

    — Michael

  • Sep 30, 2019

    Monika, thank you for sharing this! Wow, good for you for taking this time for yourself in a world that doesn’t always promote that kind of self-care and respect and space. Rooting for you and with you!

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Sep 30, 2019

    I love this! I’ve always been a friend to everyone else except myself. In July, I decided to take a full six months off and learn about myself. To treat myself kindly, and stop being so unkind. I’ve been so destructive to my body and mind. I’m very thankful I have this opportunity to do this.

    — Monika

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