As you can read in the article ‘Self-love Investigated‘ you always act from a place of love for yourself. Every action is to help you forth… just how efficient are those ways of self-love?
Why is it so difficult to look at ourselves with a confident and accepting smile? And where do the ineffective ways of self-love originate from?
As a child we copy everything. We copy what we saw our parents do, our teachers told us and the church taught us. It is how we learned, it is how we programmed our unconscious, automatic pilot and learned to survive, to grow into self sustaining adults.
Also how to relate to ourselves we learned from our parents in our early childhood. So if our parents couldn’t love in an effective manner for whatever reason and therefore couldn’t love us and give us what we needed and accept us for what we were, we copy this. In words this would come down to conclusive convictions like ‘I must not be lovable’ or ‘I can not fully be accepted for who I am’.
These fundamental convictions form a relationship with ourselves which doesn’t feed our souls.
If we go through puberty hanging on to such dis-empowering convictions, we grow up not loving and appreciating ourselves the way we need to, to live happy lives.
Okay and what now?
While as little children we copy everything we are shown and taught, during puberty we start thinking for ourselves. ‘Thank you mom and dad for the basics, now it is up to me to let go of convictions that do not work for me and hang on to those that are handy, empowering and functional.’
In our society we learn that children in puberty who are rebellious are bad kids, difficult to handle etc… Thereby the process of designing your own believes as a young adult about right and wrong, desirable and undesirable is frustrated. The young adult is taught to keep in line with the standards of the parents, teachers etc and thereby held back from becoming his/ her own person.
Puberty is there for the young adult to turn from looking outside for guidance to start looking within themselves to determine what is right and wrong, who they want to be and what they want to do in life.
If this is hampered, we keep looking at other people, external authorities to tell us what we are worth and how much we are worthy of love and acceptance.
As a little child, copying our authorities, we were dependent on their ideas about us. Now it is time to learn to love ourselves in the most effective way possible.
Own your qualities
One of the ways to do this is to realize that your current attitude towards yourself is simply copied from people who couldn’t express their love more than they did. They couldn’t fully see your qualities and relate to you from this recognition. This is the old programming from decades ago. The next step is to investigate and look at your unique individual qualities. Write them down and acknowledge them in your daily life. What makes me who I am as an individual? What are my unique qualities, beneficial to me and my surroundings? See the worth of those qualities and start loving and appreciating these qualities with a confident and happy attitude. They are yours, own them, be happy and proud of them as often as you can, start rewriting the old programming. Realize they are yours and you take them where ever you go. Nobody can take them away from you.
Maybe at first it is difficult to recognize them, to own them, to reprogram the relationship you have with yourself. It might take some time to rewrite your old convictions… keep recognizing them, keep seeing what you bring to the table and start loving these wonderful qualities.
This recognition will not only change the relationship you have with yourself but also the relationships you have with others. If you love yourself, recognize and own these great qualities, you don’t need anybody else to tell you you are lovable and valuable. You already know you are. This alleviates yourself from searching for love and appreciation from others and alleviates others from the burden of convincing you you are okay the way you are. Knowing your own worth, the fear of not being appreciated by others is relaxed and your relationships with them become lighter, freer, more open and more filled with love. In words this would be something like ‘If you love me, great! If you don’t, that is fine too. I am happy with myself, your approval is not needed’.
Follow your inner guide
Another way to increase to love yourself more effectively is to start taking better care for yourself. Also this method is based on the shift from external focus to internal focus and the realization that now, as an adult, it is up to you and nobody else to take care of your safety and well-being. Become the most loving and caring parent to yourself you can imagine. The first step is to become conscious of your desires and aversions, the Yes and No inside. What do you really want and don’t want? Become aware of the consequences of going away from this inner voice. Feel the sensations in your body, the energetic reaction you feel when you say Yes if it actually feels like No. It has got a sense of heaviness to it, a sense of ‘I have to do this eventhough I don’t want to’. Maybe you feel small like a child, unsafe, contractions in the belly, solar plexus… It is a form of violence towards yourself. Also see what happens if you stand up for yourself and act according to your internal compass. How does that feel? And what happens if you choose the less socially accepted choice, nevertheless the choice in line with the Yes and No inside? Maybe you feel guilt, self hatred etc… this is the old programming, protesting the new type of choices you make. It is afraid you’ll be isolated, not loved anymore, people getting angry with you.
Becoming conscious of this mechanism is the beginning of the end of the old programming. It is based on the idea that people around you and their opinions are more important than your own opinions, the Yes and No inside. As a little child this was logical, because your life depended on other people. As an adult you are free from this practical and emotional dependency. This is important to realize. They don’t have much influence on your safety and survival. It is you that is responsible for your survival and well-being. Your choices every second of the day make up your life situation. From all the people in the world, you are the most influential for your life situation and happiness. So logically you should give yourself the most attention. Educate yourself and start listening to that intuitive direction inside, the Yes and No that tell you what’s good for you and what’s not, what you desire and what you don’t.
The second step is to start living according to this wonderful inner guide. Start making choices in line with that intuitive compass. Only do the things that are good for you, that nourish your spirit, that make you happy and strong, make you feel at home, safe within yourself. Other people become just other people, doing their own thing. You don’t need them anymore. You do your thing, they do theirs. from this clear split of responsibilities you will change and your relationships will change. They become more relaxt. Maybe you’ll encounter resistance from people you know right now. They are used to the old situation where the responsibilities are not clear and pure. They still believe in the old programming ‘You should take care of me when I need you, even though you cross your own boundaries to do so and I do the same for you’. This unwritten contract is violence towards yourself and also violence to the other person. Instead, be there for yourself first. It is one of the most powerful transformations you will ever encounter on your path to freedom and inner peace.
A handy tool to empower this change is the following question: ‘What would someone do that loves him/herself?’. Put it on notes and hang them on spots you pass on a regular basis. Do this for at least 6 weeks to create this loving and caring parent-role inside yourself. Keep it small at first and then extend the method to bigger decisions, bigger constructive changes in your life.
If you want help on this beautiful path to inner-peace and strength, drop me a line.