I was very inspired by Spiritualjourney17 (follow the link to see her original post!)
Learning to Love Ourselves…
This has got to be THE most difficult relationship of all! We’ve all heard of loving ourselves but when we turn the magnifying glass inwards, don’t we just cringe at the thought of saying “I love you” to ourselves?
I know I did! Years of harsh criticism and abuse from people had honed me into a self loathing machine! It was very difficult for me to reach a point of truly being able to love myself!
First, I started with learning to accept myself.
That alone was super difficult! I had to do it in stages… Letting myself know that it was okay to be me, at this stage in life… That who we are isn’t set in stone!
Maya Angelou’s quote (and many other inspiring quotes) helped me find the strength to give myself permission to be imperfect: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Learning to accept and love ourselves is an incremental process!
As we start on the path, we start by noticing the things we are doing well at, and that gives us confidence to continue!
Self love isn’t the narcissistic kind of love which puts ourselves ahead of everyone, it’s the kind of love which no longer accepts that we be placed BEHIND everyone!
Start with baby steps and get a little comfortable with that, then add a little more!
Here’s some examples:
Instead of saying “I’ll exercise when I have a good body to show off” flip the script: “I get to exercise so I can get stronger!”
Instead of saying “Ugh! Salad/vegetables with my meal!” Flip the script “adding healthy foods helps me to feel better and is good for my heart!”
Instead of saying “I can’t live without my cigarettes/alcohol/drugs” flip the script “I’m ABLE to live without those crutches I USED to need! I CHOOSE to be healthier for ME!”
Criticism and abuse sends us scurrying into the arms of self destructive behavior as solace. Then, when we are dependent on those behaviors to get through our days, we beat ourselves up for being “weak” or “fat” or “an addict”!
Doesn’t this look like a self perpetuating cycle which keeps us immobile and brings on depression?
We all have the power within us to change the patterns and to break free!
We just don’t know we have the strength, because those habits have locked us into a warped house of mirrors where we see the grotesque and can’t see beauty.
Like I said, baby steps! When we start making little changes, those warped mirrors start to be removed, and gradually are replaced with fresh open air, with a mindset which becomes more kind and loving to ourselves!
Be kind to yourself! Take care of yourself! You are an awesome person who is learning, healing and growing!
Peace to you! Tamara
Remember what Maya Angelou said?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better!”
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