Learn To Love Yourself
Sometimes we lose our way in life and we have to learn to love ourselves again.
What does it mean to love yourself unconditionally?
To love yourself unconditionally, is about your being. It’s more than just a physical act of self-care, having material items, using mental force to will yourself or having the day off to rest. It is also more than just saying positive things to oneself. Loving yourself involves our whole being our mind, body and spirit. Working on the inside out.
Self-love is loving yourself unconditionally flaws and all. Not in an unhealthy infatuation sense, or thinking that you are better than everyone else.
For years I have been saying a lot of negative things to myself.
I kept playing the “I am a victim” card.
I battled with low self esteem.
I hated myself, I couldn’t look in a mirror.
I hated the way I look, the colour of my skin and for years.
I wanted to be light skinned. Just so that I could win over the love of a man that didn’t care to love me. I craved his love and affection. I wanted his hair and I wanted his complexion.
Thinking maybe then he would accept me. For years I was verbally abused, for being the darkest in my family. I grew up thinking being dark was a curse.
Being on twitter didn’t help either, there’s always a constant debate regarding skin colour.
I had to learn to that there was a big difference between Self Love and Self-Care.
There is this myth behind self love, most of us believe that taking care of our outward appearances is self love i.e. Buying an expensive handbag, a manicure, getting your hair done, buying expensive car or having massage etc.
Don’t get me wrong looking after your outward appearance is good. However these are temporary satisfactions and they won’t last long. Hence why we indulge into years of self care but we are still faced with the difficult task of loving ourselves.
I started buying things to fill the emptiness that I was feeling and at the time I felt good about myself. However when I got home and the rush wears off. I still didn’t like myself or how I looked. Even though my Mum did ever thing possible and showered me with love. I still yearn for my dads affection and his acceptations.
My mum sat me down and told me plain and simple, ‘You got to start loving yourself, the skin you’re in because, even if you changed the colour of your skin this man will never accept you or love you the way you want”
I am not all there yet but I am closer than I was couple years ago. It is a long process but you will get there
For years I have been trapped into a negative mental state, with constant bombardment of being told I wasn’t good enough,was not pretty enough or I wasn’t the right colour .
We live in a world where we are told if we don’t look a certain way or dress a certain way or have a particular skin colour then we’re not beautiful. We beat ourselves up everyday trying to fit into the norm. Every where you go you see things that make you feel that you have to have perfect look, the best grades, certain title, status, money to be deemed worthy of respect or love. By seeing this we let it define who we are and who we become.
Therefore trying to love ourselves becomes a difficult task and we find ourselves drowning again in self-pity, self-rejection and self-blame.
Consequences of not loving yourself Self
When you don’t love yourself success can become harder to achieve, because you’re constantly being judgemental on yourself for being “wrong”, “imperfect” or “not good enough”. You belittle yourself a lot and uses labels such as “failure”, “loser”etc
You start to become numb, the unworthiness and pain that you are feeling leads to addictive behaviour such as sex, shopping and smoking, drinking.
Because I didn’t love myself, I was constantly craving approval from others. In a room full of people I felt lonely.
People would tell me that I was talented. I would think of other peoples work and compare my work to what they have achieved.
I found it hard to believe in myself and constantly criticise myself.
How to start loving yourself
- Be kind to yourself.
When I first started, being kind to myself was my biggest challenge.
I learnt to accept myself and my shortcomings. I learnt to tune out other people’s and my inner voice by focusing on the positive qualities that I have.
I learnt to stop comparing myself with other and to be kind to myself
2. Embrace yourself.
I struggle with being on my own I always wanted to be around others but I hated being around others and it made me seek affection and love from the wrong people
I am my biggest enemy and being around myself was the worse.
I write a lot now to keep my mind active
3. Practice Forgiveness.
I struggled deeply with this, I find it difficult to forgive others. My mum told me that, if you don’t forgive these people that did you wrong, you’ll forever be a prisoner to them.
‘They did you wrong yes, but forgiving them isn’t for them its for you’
Learning to forgive myself, was challenging because I was my biggest critic.
I started doing positive affirmations and medititation. Through doing this I learnt to quiet my inner thoughts and forgiving myself daily became easier. I understood that I wasn’t perfect and no one is and I didn’t have to be.
I embraced my imperfections and I stopped judging myself .
4. Practice gratitude
By practicing gratitude you open the door for more things to come into your life.
The author of ‘The Magic’, Rhonda Byrne, and Louise Hay both share powerful ways to change your life and your relationships.
They teach us to practice being grateful.
Start by Writing 10 things that you’re grateful for 30 days.
“I am truly blessed to have ____________________________, because __________________(why?)_____________.”
Look in the mirror and tell your self every morning
I am beautiful,
I grateful that I have ____________ (hair, nice lips,lashes, good skin etc)
You will see start to see changes and you’ll start loving yourself more.
5. Be kind to others
Being kind, considerate, compassionate and caring to others opens up the door to divine love.
Yes being kind to others is a gift and sharing love will help you feel loved.
You reach the highest level of self-love in the state of serving others.
You’ll realize you don’t need someone else to feel complete any longer. You’re already complete.
A relationship will only make you shine brighter and bring more love in your life.
Louise Hay, book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’
Also a few poems that helped me.
As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!
WHEN I LOVED MYSELF ENOUGH – BY KIM MCMILLEN
For many years I lived with a guarded heart. I did not know how to extend love and compassion to myself. In my fortieth year that began changing. As I grew to love all of who I am, life started changing in beautiful and mysterious ways. My heart softened and I began to see through very different eyes. My commitment to follow this calling grew strong and in the process a divine intelligence came to guide my life. I believe this ever present resource is grace, and is available to us all. For the past twelve years I have been lemming to recognize and accept this gift. Cultivating love and compassion for myself made it possible.
When I loved myself enough…
When I loved myself enough I quit settling for too little.
When I loved myself enough I came to know my own goodness.
When I loved myself enough I began taking the gift of life seriously and gratefully.
When I loved myself enough I began to know I was in the right place at the right time and I could relax.
When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down way down. And that has made all the difference.
When I loved myself enough I bought a feather bed.
When I loved myself enough I came to love being alone surrounded by silence, awed by its spell, listening to inner space.
When I loved myself enough I came to see I am not special but I am unique.
When I loved myself enough I redefined success and life became simple. Oh, the pleasure of that.
When I loved myself enough I came to know I am worthy of knowing God directly.
When I loved myself enough I began to see I didn’t have to chase after life. If I am quiet and hold still, life comes to me.
When I loved myself enough I gave up the belief that life is hard.
When I loved myself enough I came to see emotional pain is a signal I am operating outside truth.
When I loved myself enough I let the tomboy in me swing off the rope in Jackass Canyon. Yes!
When I loved myself enough I learned to meet my own needs and not call it selfish.
When I loved myself enough the parts of me long-ignored, the orphans of my soul, quit vying for attention. That was the beginning of inner peace. Then I began seeing clearly.
When I loved myself enough I began to see that desires of the heart do come, and I grew more patient and calm, except when I forgot.
When I loved myself enough I quit ignoring or tolerating my pain.
When I loved myself enough I started feeling all my feelings, not analysing them really feeling them. When I do, something amazing happens. Try it. You will see.
When I loved myself enough my heart became so tender it could welcome joy and sorrow equally.
When I loved myself enough I started meditating every day. This is a profound act of self-love.
When I loved myself enough I came to feel like a gift to the world and I collected beautiful ribbons and bows. They still hang on my wall to remind me.
When I loved myself enough I learned to ask ‘Who in me is feeling this way?’ when I feel anxious, angry, restless or sad. If I listen patiently I discover who needs my love.
When I loved myself enough I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.
My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.
When I loved myself enough I gave up perfectionism that killer of joy.
When I loved myself enough I could tell the-truth about my gifts and my limitations.
When I loved myself enough I quit answering the telephone when I don’t want to talk.
When I loved myself enough forgiving others became irrelevant.
When I loved myself enough I could remember, during times of confusion, struggle or grief, that these too are part of me and deserve my love.
When I loved myself enough I could allow my heart to burst wide open and take in the pain of the world.
When I loved myself enough I started picking up litter on the street.
When I loved myself enough I could feel God in me and see God in you. That makes us divine! Are you ready for that?
When I loved myself enough I started writing about my life and views because I knew this was my right and my responsibility.
When I loved myself enough I began to see my purpose and gently wean myself from distractions.
When I loved myself enough I saw that what I resisted persisted like a small child tugging my skirt. Now I am curious and gentle when resistance comes tugging.
When I loved myself enough I learned to stop what I am doing, if even for a moment, and comfort the part of me that is scared.
When I loved myself enough I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to.
When I loved myself enough I saw beyond right and wrong and became neutral. At first I thought this was indifference; now I see the clarity that comes with neutrality.
When I loved myself enough I began to feed my hunger for solitude and revel in the inexplicable contentment that is its companion.
When I loved myself enough I could see how funny life is, how funny I am and how funny you are.
When I loved myself enough I recognised my courage and fear, my naivety and wisdom, and I make a place for each at my table.
When I loved myself enough I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month.
When I loved myself enough I realised I am never alone.
When I loved myself enough I stopped fearing empty time and quit making plans. Now I do what feels right and am in step with my own rhythms. Delicious!
When I loved myself enough I quit trying to impress my brother.
When I loved myself enough I stopped trying to banish the critical voices from my head. Now I say, Thankyou for your views’ and they feel heard. End of discussion.
When I loved myself enough I let the part of me that still misses Kent feel sad instead of trying to stop her from loving him.
When I loved myself enough I began buying a hostess fruit pie for the teenager in me who loves them so. Once in a while, cherry.
When I loved myself enough I quit trying to be a saviour for others.
When I loved myself enough I lost my fear of speaking my truth for I have come to see how good it is.
When I loved myself enough I began pouring my feelings into my journals. These loving companions speak my language. No translation needed.
When I loved myself enough I stopped seeking ‘experts’ and started living my life.
When I loved myself enough I came to see how my anger teaches about responsibility and my arrogance teaches about humility, so I listen to both carefully.
When I loved myself enough I started eating organically grown food (except for those occasional fruit pies of course).
When I loved myself enough I could be at ease with the comings and goings of judgement and despair.
When I loved myself enough I was able to be treated to a $50 haircut and enjoy every minute of it.
When I loved myself enough I quit having to be right which makes being wrong meaningless.
When I loved myself enough I learned to grieve for the hurts in life when they happen instead of making my heart heavy from lugging them around.
When I loved myself enough I forgave myself for all the times I thought I wasn’t good enough.
When I loved myself enough things got real quite inside. Real nice.
When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body. It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.
When I loved myself enough I quit fearing my fear.
When I loved myself enough I quit rehashing the past and worrying about the future – which keeps me in the present where aliveness lives.
When I loved myself enough I realized my mind can torment and deceive me, but in the service of my heart it is a great and noble ally.
When I loved myself enough I began to taste freedom.
When I loved myself enough I found my voice and wrote this little book.