Self Love – Learning To Love Yourself
I grew up in a family where I never felt loved. My mother constantly criticized and judged me, compared me to my other siblings, and she made a point of letting me know that she never wanted me. So, when I was living at home during my teen years, I would hide in the back of my bedroom closet, and hope that no one would find me. In my closet, I felt safe to imagine a better more loving life for myself.
As an adult, I soon realized that before I could ever have a serious relationship with anyone, I needed to start by learning to love myself first. Here are a few of my own self-loving tips below that have worked for me:
1. Travel back in your imagination and memory and see yourself at any age, and establish an expanded form of self-love, to create a loving relationship with yourself. In “The New Diary,” by Tristine Rainer, she suggests using a journal as a “time machine”. Dialogue with yourself and listen to what your needs were at the time. Then, give yourself what you needed in your life – nurturing, loving words, understanding and compassion that you longed for as a child. This exercise sounds so simple, yet it is a powerful start to learning to love yourself.
2. See yourself as a perfect and spiritual child of God. You may have lived with your birth family for some time on this earth and believed all the negative things they tried to make you think about yourself, but remember, your true mother/father is God, and he/she has always been with you and believed in you. Take some time and see yourself as God sees you – a precious, perfect, and deeply loved divine child of the universe.
3. Do things that make you feel happy each day. Give yourself permission to play and stop being so serious. Notice how you feel when you are doing things that you enjoy vs. the things you think you should do. A walk in the early morning air, being creative, taking a class you always wanted to take, listening to music, and laughing with friends, etc. Let yourself explore and enjoy the things that interest you.
4. Appreciate the good in each moment of the day. Seeing all the special blessings around you, will keep you thinking positive thoughts and help you see all the gifts you do have each day in your life.
4. Never ever put yourself down for any reason. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on. Trust you did the best you could with the information you had at the time. There is no need to beat yourself up for anything anymore – and holding on to negative thoughts about yourself will only bring you down and make it harder for you to move forward again.
For those individuals who did not grow up living in a loving home environment, there is still so much hope and self love available to you. It just takes a willingness on your part to take the time to listen to how you feel within yourself. Your spiritual light is so special and important right now in the world. Love yourself enough to let your beautiful light shine through you. Imagine yourself holding a spiritual flashlight, and seeing your own self love lighting up the world.
By: Ann Russell