Some people say it’s selfish or vain to love yourself. You may have even heard it’s bad to love yourself. This is a myth and a lie! Many people don’t even know what it means or what loving yourself entails. Imagine the looks you might get from people you know if you were to suddenly announce out loud: “I love myself!!” while proudly sporting a big smile. A likely response from your friends might be: “Oh . . . that’s nice.” at the same time thinking: “Who does she think she is?”
Many people don’t understand what truly loving yourself is and I can tell you it does not exist in the realm of vanity – at all! It has nothing to do with that. Loving your self is strictly an inside job.
What will it take to get beyond the myths and lies that are preventing you from loving and accepting yourself for who you are, just as you are?
If not you, who else?
So what is self-love? There are so many distorted versions of what self-love is and what it should and shouldn’t look like. Personally, speaking from my own experience, I believe self-love is total, complete, 100% acceptance of yourself. Do you unconditionally allow and accept your anger to be felt without blame or judgment? . . . what about depression? . . . or a perceived weaknesses . . . or what you believe to be a mistake?
This is not easy!
There are many negative things we believe about ourselves which get in the way, causing judgment, and hatred in some cases. Some of these beliefs we are aware of, but most are unconscious. In your early years you may have been told or heard someone say:
- “You should have never been born!” – ouch . . . a really deep hurt that could tear you apart and keep you split throughout your life if not faced
- “You aren’t worthy of my love!” – if you believe it . . . a big chunk gone
- “You are stupid!” – take another chunk out of innocence and self-love
- “You can’t do anything right!” – there goes another chunk.
- “You aren’t good enough!” Gulp…
- “That’s just the way it is – there is nothing I can do about it.” – chunk . . .
- “What will the neighbor’s think?” – Oh well . . .there’s less of me to care anyway
And on it goes through our lifetime. We begin to believe these things we were told or heard others say because more and more evidence gets mounted to support these negative beliefs, causing our suffering to continue with no end in sight. Then we hear ourselves saying them in our head or out loud to others. We then have a vicious cycle and our life becomes predictable – in a horrible way.
. . . And then we forget, and act like we don’t have a clue . . .
- “Why can’t I find a loving partner?”
- “How come I can never catch a break?”
- “Why do bad things always happen to me?”
- “How come I can’t get a good job and earn lots of money?”
- “What am I doing wrong?”
- “Why am I always depressed?”
- “Why am I always sick?”
It’s Never Too Late
I confess, it has taken me years to begin to even entertain the idea of loving myself. I was too stuck. I had suppressed my rage and was shut down, paralyzing my emotions. It’s an arrogance in a way, holding back love from ourselves. It’s also selfish – because as we judge ourselves and hold back love from our own being – we do the same with others. When I got to the bottom of my blocks – there was guilt, shame, hatred, self-loathing, and unworthiness, as well as believing I was a failure and weak and needed to be punished.
The Ugly Truth
Withholding love from myself (and others) was a fool-proof way of making that happen. But it didn’t end with me. I used to punish my mother by withholding my love and making her feel guilty – it worked, so I continued to use this method throughout my life. Now I know I was projecting my own suppressed guilt onto her. Being brutally honest, my hurt self was soothed and satisfied as I watched her suffer and take on the projected guilt as her own. She was only able to take it because of her own suppressed feelings of guilt and self-loathing – making her an easy target.
The cycle continued until I said “ENOUGH of this madness!!” and started healing these malicious patterns within myself. I have only unconditional love for my mother now. I am so grateful.
I believe healing the heart is the most important, self-loving thing you can do for yourself in this lifetime! For many of us – it is the reason we are here now. What is the point of holding back on love – really?
Where to Begin!
- Make an intention to love yourself from your heart – even though you may not feel it now, really mean it! You can also use affirmations to help (Click here for information on affirmations)
- Have a willingness – again you may not be feeling it, just have the willingness to go there
- Hold no judgement over any thoughts and feelings – witness only (Click here for information on Compassionate Witnessing)
- Know you are not alone – help comes from amazing and unexpected places when you make an intention and have faith you will be shown the way how
- Listen to your intuition and take action
- Practice forgiveness and acceptance of self and others
- Begin to face and feel the things that are blocking and preventing self-love
- Question – is it true? (Click here for tools to help heal negative beliefs)
- Take responsibility
Your life will take a new course as you make self love your intended path.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Please share what you are thinking and feeling below!