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In the heart of a bustling city, there lived a young woman named INAYA. As the name suggests, she was known far and wide for being kind, caring, and compassionate. People counted on her for a helping hand or a listening ear. Her heart was a sanctuary for others, a place where troubles found solace.
Inaya took care of herself diligently. She nourished her body with wholesome foods, relished in the colors and textures of nature’s bounty and embraced movement. She tried finding solace in the rhythm of her breath. Yet, despite her efforts to tend to her physical well-being, there was a crucial element missing. For all the love and care she gave, she had never learned to love herself. Her heart was a garden of vibrant flowers, but she had forgotten to water her own. In the quiet moments of reflection, Inaya couldn’t shake the feeling of emptiness that settled within her. The mirror reflected a stranger, a girl weighed down by the burdens she carried for others.
It was as if the universe had forgotten to mirror back the same tenderness she so readily bestowed upon others. Deep inside, a question lingered in the corners of her heart; why did the love she gave to others not seem to return to her in the same measure? Was Inaya’s love not sincere or lacking in depth? Was it not genuine?
That was not true; Because she sincerely celebrated the joys of those around her, and was always ready to offer a kind word or a helping hand with a force that flowed freely from her heart.
Inaya had a close friend Sana who always made Inaya feel comfortable without any fear of judgment and therefore, Inaya confided her perplexedness to her. She spoke to her about her anguish, and to her surprise Sana already knew about her state as she could see the manifestation of it in her behaviors.
She told Inaya that she has been noticing how her laughter had become less frequent, her sensitivity to criticism heightened, how she had started struggling with feelings of unworthiness, how she often sought external validation to affirm her worthiness, how her self expression became limited because she feared rejection, and how she had become reluctant to prioritize her needs thinking it to be selfish on her part.
She told Inaya that on one side she is giving so much of herself and on the other side the emptiness within her seems to be growing multifold. She made her understand that despite her outward kindness, her inner world was often turbulent. She made her recognize her struggles to find inner peace and contentment.
This became a pivotal step in Inaya’s journey towards self-love. She realized that lack of self-love was taking its toll on her. She had given so much and had poured her heart into the lives of others, and had unwittingly created an imbalance in her life. In her quest to be a pillar of strength for those she cared about, she had inadvertently neglected the foundation of her own well-being.
She realized that she was deserving of the same love she gave so freely, and that it was okay to ask for what she needed. She seeked help from close friends and therapists and started nurturing and boosting her self-love.
The above 12 practices helped Inaya transform her relationship with herself. Each step she took was a testament to her commitment to nurturing and boosting her self-love, creating a foundation of strength and resilience that would sustain her for a lifetime.
It was a lesson she carried forward, a beacon of light for others who, like her, were learning to navigate the intricate dance of giving and receiving love.
The love story with your own self is everlasting and you grow through love, so grows your joy, ever more present and ever more constant. Self love is a vehicle that leads to a ‘Journey To You’ and leads to a broader version of you. Stop worrying what other people think, because people who genuinely love you for who you are will also love your growth.
Let’s wake up with Love each day, Love for Life, Love for others, and most importantly Love for ourselves!
With graduation in Psychology and a PG diploma in Psychological counseling, started my career as a school counselor. Got a chance to attend the Train the Trainer seminar at Infosys Banglore and thereby started my read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
Smita could visit her mother only in summers when her daughter had school holidays. Her daughter also enjoyed meeting her Nani, and both of them had done their reservations for a week. A month before their visit, her husband told her, “My mom is coming for 4-5 months!”
Smita shuddered. She knew the repercussions. She would have to hear sarcastic comments from her mother-in-law for visiting her mother. She may make these comments directly only a bit, but her servants would be flooded with the words, “How horrible she is! She leaves me and goes!”
Are we so swayed by star power and the 'entertainment' quotient of cinema that satisfies our carnal instincts that we choose to ignore our own subconscious mind which always knows what is right and what is wrong?
Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of violence and may be triggering to survivors and victims of violence.
Do you remember your first exposure to an extremely violent act or the aftermath of a violent act?
I am pretty sure for most of us it would be through cinema. But I remember very vividly my first exposure to aftermath of an unbelievably grotesque violent act in real life. It was as a student at a Dental College and Hospital.
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