Loving yourself is one of those things that sounds so easy, but proves so difficult.
That’s because we stepped out of the habit of loving ourselves a long time ago.
Yet the benefits of feeling light, whole and healthy make the effort of stepping back in worthwhile…
Why love yourself?
Like any new habit, there has to be a good reason so you’re motivated to make the effort.
From a healing perspective, imagine how your body, your mind and spirit feel when they are continually being assessed, criticised or judged … Probably not very happy, so their energy gets constricted, resulting in dis-ease and discomfort. Conversely, when you love yourself, you oil the wheels to healing, health and wellbeing.
From a Law Of Attraction perspective, what you send out is what you get back, so dissatisfaction with yourself only breeds more of the same.
From a spiritual perspective, love is the energy that dissipates all forms of discomfort, just as light dissipates all darkness.
What gets in the way?
So what gets in the way of loving ourselves?
As babies we came here loving ourselves, and within a couple of years we absorbed many of the beliefs and attitudes of our parents and carers, including their limiting beliefs and fears, which they in turn inherited from their parents, etc, etc.
Reinforce this conditioning with the belief that focusing on yourself is selfish, and it’s no wonder we end up totally dis-connected from loving ourselves.
Fortunately, the tide is turning, with leading edge healers emphasising the importance of loving ourselves, and providing helpful ways to do so. Here are three I’ve selected for you to try.
Three steps forward
It’s rather like building up a muscle, you’ll need to work at the approach you choose, until you’ve fully stepped into loving yourself again.
1. Every morning, look into a mirror and say ‘I love [insert your name]’
If this feels phoney at first, that’s because it’s so different to your usual critical viewpoint. As you persist, loving yourself starts to feel genuine until it eventually becomes your habitual way of being.
Thank you Louise Hay, a vibrant and healthy octogenarian for this well-tested approach!
2. Tell yourself ‘I love all parts of myself’
At first this seems similar to the first approach. However, I’ve found saying ‘I love all parts of myself’ has a different, and very encompassing flavour. Somehow it helps me easily accept the parts of myself I’ve not been so keen on.
Gratitude to Panache Desai for prompting this insight.
3. Write 5 complimentary things about yourself each day
Most people find it easy to list things they don’t like about themselves, but quickly get stuck with a list of things they do like about themselves. Writing down 5 things you like yourself each day starts to turn the tables, moving you towards liking, and then loving more of yourself.
To make it more of a challenge, each thing you write about yourself should be different, ie no repetitions!
With appreciation to Anita Moorjani for this practical approach.
With persistence, any of these approaches will help you accept and love yourself and experience health and wellbeing. As always though, no need to believe me, check it out for yourself!
And there are many other approaches to loving yourself, so please share what works for you, so others can try them too
Thanks for these tips. It is true that so many of us seek love from outside instead of working on ourselves first. A healing relationship involves both people supporting each other to be better people without placing pressure on either person to do all the work. Allowing space is a sign of respect as it enables both people to develop their own interests without feeling guilty or resentful for giving up important parts of themselves. Sometimes it is easy to forget the fact that we began whole but then collected masses of debris from other people that needs to be blasted away to rediscover who we have always been at our core. I guess that’s what is meant by the slogan “there is nothing wrong with you”. What has tossed us off balance is the baggage left by other people. Shed that and we instantly feel lighter and happier: reborn so to speak.
Yes, Chris, we all have innate health at our core, so there’s nothing intrinsically ‘wrong’ with us 🙂 It can be as simple as stopping playing the thoughts of the baggage we’ve picked up, and starting the day by opening to fresh thought, and loving ourselves.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
Talk about great minds thinking alike. Thanks so much, May, for your topic Loving Yourself which has been on my mind lately. The ideas you suggested for doing this sound worth trying. My newest discovery — the biggest step for me — is that loving yourself isn’t selfish after all. Since reconnecting with the great love of my life, I see how he loves and cares for me, so I can recognize it in myself too. Because I love him in return, I want to care for myself, and not just lean on him to take care of me. It’s easier to see the times when he needs space to care for himself, and this helps me recognize my own self obligation. Love is reciprocal.
I’m so glad my article chimed for you, Celeste.
And you take it a step further by illustrating the reciprocal effect of loving yourself in your relationship. Nothing selfish there! Thanks for sharing, and take good care of yourself.