You may be skilled at loving your pets, your family, your friends, nature.
But are you skilled at loving yourself? Without powerful, enduring love of self you’ll be limited, even crippled, unable to fully manifest your full potential, feel deep inner peace and contentment, be able to bond deeply with loved ones, or be able to consistently feel compassion for others.
What is self-love? It’s the ability to claim and accept all of who you are, even the scary parts. Self-love means being truly authentic: no longer hiding behind a mask of strength and confidence in order to hide your fears and vulnerability. It means understanding and forgiving yourself. It means being willing to learn from mistakes rather than trashing yourself. Self-love means allowing your self rewards not just for your achievements, but because you ARE!
Everyone deserves love: there’s good within us all, no matter our history. And loving yourself opens a door to the good you have within, the gifts and creativity and joy that our world so desperately needs.
If you find your self-love meter in the negative, consider these tips.
For it does take consciousness and commitment to develop self-love.
l. Change your Self-Talk: Start by recognizing the Critic within you that scolds you and puts you down. It’s surely patterned after some childhood critic, like a parent; but it can morph into a helpful Critic. Dialogue with it, and insist that it become a constructive, rather than destructive. Develop the Loving Voice within you, changing your self-talk from self-attack to self-praise and encouragement.
2. Heal your past wounds: Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy,Regression therapy, Parts Work, and Tapping are a few of the many ways to heal the wounds of abuse or childhood that have programmed you to believe negative ideas of yourself and life. Get help if you’re stuck
3. Forgive yourself: Reframe mistakes as powerful life lessons that you can use to improve your life. Then act on them!
4. Reward yourself! Take time to play, laugh, have fun. Once a day is not too much, but make sure it’s not just food, but rather something that brings more joy, beauty, connection, love, perhaps peace into your life.
5. Lean on inspiring friendships. These folks are jewels, for they see your true self. They’re not afraid of your passions, nor envy you. They can encourage you when you’re down, or affirm your potential new path.
6. Identify and change the false beliefs that say you’re never good enough, you’re not worth loving, etc. If you’ve trouble loving yourself, you’ve been programmed subconsciously. Until these false ideas change into the truth – that you do deserve love and a happy life, no matter your mistakes – you’ll feel unhappy and unfulfilled in life.
7. Follow a spiritual path: Connecting with a Higher Power, whatever the theology behind it, increases the probability of feeling totally loved, accepted and fine just the way you are. Thus more able to love yourself.
8. Listen to your Inner Guidance: whether you call it your Higher Self, Inner Wise Woman or Healer, there is a wise and loving part of you that will answer your questions and guide you to increased self-love. Listen to it through imagery, journaling, meditations, self-hypnosis.
9. Create a plan to deal with set-backs or negativity: use deep relaxation or meditation to shift from self-blame to evaluating what went wrong and how to heal the situation. Then do it.
10. Discover what makes you feel good! Try out: the zoo, camping, bird watching, foreign films, cooking new cuisines, whatever piques your interest.
11. List your positive attirbutes and reflect on them daily. Your embarrassment will disappear as you own your value.
12. Gratitude is central to self-love: think of three things per day you are grateful for. Then increase this list.
If you use even some of these ideas to strengthen self-love, you’ll find your life transforming in wonderful ways you can’t imagine.
As said in the Desideratata, “You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars.” You deserve love: and the greatest gift you of love you can give, is to yourself.
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