I’m sure you are all familiar with the concept of loving yourself first. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else? You can’t give away what you don’t have. Too often, we put our relationships with others before the most important one we’ll ever have: the relationship with ourselves. We all came from the Source, that Divine Spirit of Love, so we all have love inside of us. Love is who we are at the core. We really don’t need to learn to love ourselves; we simply must remember that we already do.
The process of rediscovering the love within us begins with unlearning. Throughout our lives, we have learned reasons to believe we are not good enough. We have been criticized by well-meaning people who intended to help, and by some not-so-well-meaning people whose goal was to tear us down. Remember being told you are too loud, too shy, too messy, stupid, mean, lazy, too fat, too thin, too serious, unlovable and more?
Whenever any of these misperceptions present themselves as facts in our minds, tell your cruel inner-critic “thanks for sharing.” We often remember and believe these hurtful things people have said because they were usually said by people we love and respect at a time before we were able to distinguish truth from lies. We just accepted the information as true. If it came from a respected source, it had to be true, right?
Wrong! All these are someone else’s thoughts and words that were embedded into our subconscious that we have interpreted on our own and accepted as true. When one of them presents itself, recognize it for what it is and simply say, “Thank you for sharing.” Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even your subconscious, and you have the right to accept it or not. Just saying, “Thank you for sharing” allows you to say, “I heard you and I’m not giving you any more importance than you deserve.”
Once you have learned to quiet the constant chatter that tends to flood your mind, then you can begin to remember what it was like to be a small child. Notice how babies are with themselves. They are constantly exploring their body, putting their hands and feet in their mouth and pulling on their arms, legs and ears. They are enamored when they see themselves in a mirror. Babies are experiencing sheer joy in the discovery of themselves. You loved yourself then—you may not remember, but you began life in love with yourself.
Once you can, at least, intellectually grasp the concept that you love yourself, begin to take inventory of all the things you like about yourself. What are your innate talents, skills and abilities? What is your purpose here in this lifetime? What were you meant to do in service to others? What do you do better than most people you know? What do you lose time doing because you are so wrapped up in it? What would you do for free?
If you can’t think of anything, then ask people you trust what they like about you. The idea is to grow a list of at least 100 things, with the most important at the top. Begin an inventory of why you are loveable. Add to it every day and when you’ve reached 100 things, review your list at least once a day. Keep reminding yourself about what is great about you. It will be difficult to do this every day without starting to like yourself more.
Pay attention to the voices in your head, because that’s where that self-sabotage will kick in, trying to remind you why you are not good enough. Remember to say “thanks for sharing” before focusing back on your personal love fest.
Once this process begins, you will build a renewed energy to discover even more things you can excel at. You will try new things, expanding your horizons, learning more and more about what you love about yourself. This process will never end.
- Recognize self-sabotage for what it is.
- Don’t fight it; just say, “Thanks for sharing.”
- Remember how you used to love yourself as a child.
- Start your inventory of all the things that are “good” about you.
- Become open to exploring new experiences that you can add to your list.
The relationships in our lives are incredibly important, but you need to remember to choose to love yourself first. Choosing to improve the relationship you have with yourself is the key to finding true happiness, which will spill over into every other aspect of your life.
To learn more about strengthening the relationship you have with yourself, sign up to receive a FREE chapter of my upcoming book, Choosing Me Now. You will also be notified when the book is available for purchase.