Learning to love yourself isn't easy - especially if you grew up in an environment that involved abuse, neglect, shame or an emotionally dishonest atmosphere. Most people who experience self-love have had it planted as a seed by someone who accepted them unconditionally at a very early phase in their development. But even those fortunate enough to have had this experience, come to find that self-love must continue to evolve as the diversity of life's experiences are faced. For those of us who have not had the seed of self-love planted . . . all is not lost! Self-love is our natural state. We can find our way back to our rightful state of being. Self-love is who and what we are - it is merely hidden by learned patterns of disallowing love. Learning new patterns of allowing love involves an awareness of what self-love is, and then practicing certain skills, self-affirming thoughts, and actions that lead to greater joy.
Self-love is not so much a feeling as it is an absence of self-doubt and self-disapproval. It is a sense of balance and belonging. Respect, responsibility for self, and feeling good are important values. Self-love means that your well-being matters to yourself unconditionally and in practical terms. The following are some characteristics of self-loving people:
Self loving people tend to treat themselves well.
They see fun and enjoyment as a primary goal most of the time.
They do not remain in mistreatment by others.
They are caring towards others. (Because it feels good to do so).
They put themselves first. (Even those they love are a "close second.")
They find a thought that feels good, and practice it.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF SELF LOVE
Who we are is more important than what we are.
We are valuable. Nothing can change that.
What we want always matters.
USING THE MIRROR
Here are two ways to determine whether you love yourself:
1. Mirror, mirror on the wall ...
The next time you are looking into a mirror, look DEEP into your own eyes.
Notice how you feel in your body as you say "I love you."
Is the statement true - or are you lying to yourself?
Notice what you see:
Self-loving people tend to see themselves as a whole person when they look into a mirror. They LIKE what they see overall, despite their flaws.
Other people tend to see either themselves as "parts" (too wide hips, fat stomach, big nose, pretty hair, etc.). They tend to see aspects of their appearance, which they like or dislike, not the whole of themselves.
2. The Sudden Mirror . . .When you accidentally see your reflection in a storefront window, what is your immediate reaction? If you met this person on the street, would you LIKE them?
SELF LOVE CHECKLIST
____ I do things which nurture, strengthen and comfort my body.
____ I accept my vulnerable feelings like sadness, fear, and mistakes.
____ I'm responsible to bring myself back to a state of feeling good.
____ I look in the mirror and notice my whole being.
____ I comfort myself with positive thoughts.
____ I recognize my achievements.
____ I use healthy activities (exercise, hobbies, friendships) when I need comfort.
____ I share my true feelings with others.
____ I express my anger in healthy ways.
____ I assert my needs and ask for what I want.
____ I recognize and value my need for solitude and alone time.
____ I recognize and value my need for fun and lightheartedness.
____ I am generous with praise towards myself.
____ When I make errors, I am responsible instead of guilty.
____ When I make errors, I forgive myself.
____ I pursue and maintain friendships with others.
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE US BACK INTO SELF-LOVE
Do I use my intuition with myself?
When I feel emotional, do I explore deeper to understand what I would need to feel better?
Do I give myself what I need to feel better?
Am I kind to myself?
What is good in my life?
What in my life do I most enjoy?
What stimulates me?
What's missing in my life - and what can I do about it?
What can I do to add more joy into my life?
Do I follow through doing what I say I am going to do?
What do I think?
What is my preference?
What can I do to feel happier right now?
Copyright 2005, Dr. Annette Colby, all rights reserved.
Dr. Annette Colby, RD
Nutrition Therapist & Master Energy Healer
"Opening Creative Portals to Success"
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