Not the “I’m okay, you’re okay” self esteem movement or the “I LOVE ME!” overly exaggerated, let’s-fake-self-love-til-I-feel-self-love self-help technique and sure as hell not the “Once I lose 20 pounds, I’ll love myself” future self idealization process. No… you… right where you are… right as you are… right now.
Do YOU really love YOU right here, right now?
Tough question, isn’t it?
I myself go through periods of self love (sometimes flashes of it) and then, just when I think I’ve got this self-love thing down, something happens and I’m right back at square one (i.e. self criticism and self judgment) and then I ask myself:
Why am I learning this lesson AGAIN?
Well, my dear, it’s a lifelong lesson. Take your lifetime pass and enjoy the ride…
So… if you’re in a spot where you recognize that you don’t love yourself, where you know that you’re always comparing yourself, criticizing yourself, expecting more, demanding more, focusing on your deficiencies, berating yourself for the last stupid thing you said or did wrong, wondering why you haven’t gotten it “together” by now, there are simple, strategic, EFFECTIVE things you can do to REALLY love yourself.
Here are 5 ways to start:
1) Be willing to change. Lots of people say they’re willing to change… and really aren’t. Being willing to change means a number of things:
- you are open to looking at your life and your choices in a variety of different ways
- if something in your life isn’t working, you’re open to changing things up
- if you feel wronged by someone, you’re willing to see the situation from that person’s perspective (doesn’t make that person right or the relationship good but it frees you from the need to blame or resent him/her)
- accepting that you screwed up and putting your whole mind into the actions necessary to clean up the mess (rather than complaining about the mess)
- seeing your decisions as provisional (not permanent); knowing that, in any moment, you’re free to choose differently and doing so without feeling like other people will say “I told you so” or will mock you for making the wrong choice; other people still might do that but when you’re willing to change, you’re more sold of having change than you are afraid of making a mistake
- drastically altering how you run your life- I’m talking you’re ready to renovate the house of you and you’re willing to let go of WHATEVER needs to be let go of in order to do that
When you’re truly willing to change, there’s no such thing as “Oh, no way! No matter what, that is not an option I’d even consider.” Willingness means you’re open to everything. You don’t have to choose it but you’re at least open to delving into it, seeing if it will work for you, and making a conscious decision about what to do next. Closed minds aren’t allowed when you’re in the space of being willing to change.
2) Wake up to the self abuse you do. Write down all the ways you show a lack of self love to yourself and, for each one, write down what self love would look like for that self abuse action (the positive opposite) AND implement it. Check out the FREE Self Abuse vs. Self Love worksheet I’ve put here on Scribd. Download it, print, and use it. Here’s the link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/136704813/Self-Abuse-vs-Self-Love-Worksheet
3) Do a criticism detox for 21 days. In other words, be super-vigilant and VERY conscious of when you are moving towards the realm of criticizing yourself and others. Stop yourself in that moment and say, “I am willing to release the need to criticize or be criticized.” Even the smallest criticism counts. Be a drill sergeant in your mind for 21 CONSECUTIVE days and see what happens.
4) Watch one You Tube video a day that reminds you of how fabulous you are. Five to ten minutes a day can revolutionize your life. Carve out that time daily to watch a video that will remind you of who you REALLY are. If you aren’t a You Tube/video watching kind of person, read an empowering book or listen to an empowering audio. But do SOMETHING daily to remind yourself how fabulous you are. Here’s a great place to start- Watch the movie ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise L. Hay on Vimeo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NjUzNP-u_o
5) Quit eating junk. Junk food = a junk mind = a junk body. There is no way you’re seeing, thinking or living clearly if you’re eating crap. There’s no nice way to say it. And here’s the truth about overeating or eating the wrong foods as expressed by Marianne Williamson in her book, “A Course on Weight Loss”:
“The experience everyone yearns for is love, and you have come to experience eating as an act of self-love, even when you are eating unwisely.
Even when you overeat- an act you know better than to think of as actual self-love, given that it is inherently self-destructive-
you experience yourself as emotionally nourished, even if its just for a moment.
A subconscious effort at self-love turns into an act of self-hate. As you transform-
as you learn to be fed love by love itself- you will stop looking to food for what food cannot feed you.”
The above five steps are simple, strategic, and absolutely doable on a DAILY basis. Repetition makes the master. Start today and let me know how it goes.
Which of the above 5 steps have you implemented and how is it going for you?