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“I have a question…what if you’ve done all this…you’ve told yourself over and over again all the reasons to keep pushing through…but you are alone.
I am 35 years old..soon to be 36…and I am unloveable…my life is a rat race on repeat…wake up, work a shitty job, go home to an empty house, walk dog..go to bed..wake up and repeat…its pathetic really and I won’t continue this way for much longer….I just can’t!
People look at my online image and see a smiling face…but behind that smile is a very sad and lonely person.”
Those are the lines I read this week from one of my readers. It was heartbreaking and so very sad.
And I realized that you could be the most wonderful person in the world and everyone could see the love and light and brilliance in you. But if you yourself can’t see this. If you yourself can’t feel this about you. All the admiration in the world won’t help.
What makes the difference between those of us who struggle with life and those for whom life washes gently around them?
For most of us, the answer is, we need a major dose of self-love.
1. Self-love and criticism
Every moment you spend doubting yourself, your capabilities and your wonderful uniqueness is a moment you’ll never get back. And none of us have forever, so don’t waste a second on self-criticism.
Next time you find yourself feeling anxious and critical of who and where you are, remember this, you’re too strong and too smart to throw away any more precious moments.
Allow yourself to make mistakes, to feel unsure and uncertain with the awareness that this is simply part of creating a richer, deeper, vibrantly fulfilling life. And instead of pointing fingers, love yourself through it all.
2. Self-love and relationships
All relationships start with you, and the way you feel about yourself. You could be with the best partner on the planet and still not feel loved enough or happy enough.
You will only allow as much respect and admiration as you have within. That’s why loving oneself is essential for a truly loving relationship. Love yourself first.
Gently shift your focus from any form of darkness, or pain, or uncertainty about relationships, or anything else for that matter, to what you want to feel.
And that’s love.
You’ll find your mind and life have little choice but to follow your focus.
3. Self-love and forgiveness
You have to love yourself enough to let go. To forgive what others did, or the experiences you had.
You don’t have to like what happened and you don’t have to be best friends. But you have to forgive, to overlook and let go because if you don’t you are imprisoning yourself, poisoning your spirit and making it to hard to reclaim the joy that is your birthright.
And remember to forgive yourself for what you think you did or what you wish you’d done. You’re never going to be perfect, nor am I and it really is okay. We’re human and we’re flawed and make mistakes.
Own it. With love.
4. Self-love experiment
See yourself with compassion. Validate yourself. Stop seeking outside reassurance if you’re feeling insecure.
Begin to practice great self-love.
Tell yourself over and over, “I love myself”. And you’ll free yourself from anything that’s not good for you; all those things and people that aren’t good for your health and well-being.
When I began this practice a little while ago I was astonished at how much resistance I felt to the repetition of, “I love myself.” And it made me more determined than ever to continue.
It was clear that I wasn’t my own best friend, because loving my friends was a lot easier than loving myself.
A strange thing happened, my love of others grew exponentially and I discovered that genuine love of self is healthy, respectful and nurturing and it’s healing for everyone in our orbit.
5. Self-love and empowerment
So I say to you my lovelies, empower yourself. No-one else can soothe any emotional wounds you may have.
Validate yourself. Seriously.
You’ll find yourself making different choices in food, in people, in situations.
And you’ll start to draw towards you things that bring you joy and happiness. Things you love to do that give you a happy heart. And more, much more, you’ll do them in your own authentic style.
I’m leaving the final words on our need to love ourselves more to the late Princess Diana who once said the biggest disease in the world was that of people feeling unloved. And sadly she also said, that people never realized that she was crucifying herself inside because she didn’t think she was good enough.
Encourage one another.
Image of Princess Diana courtesy of Mononc’ Paul