“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
I believe that one of the most important things that we can do is learn to love ourselves, be compassion to ourselves and to accept ourselves…just as we are! It’s also one of the hardest things to do.
When I first started thinking about the concept of self-love and self-compassion, I thought that I already did that. Of course I love myself! Of course I believe in myself! How could I not? I thought that I thought I was a pretty awesome person. I thought I had it together. But when I really started to watch myself and my thoughts it became quickly apparent that I wasn’t loving or compassionate to myself at all. I didn’t really believe in myself. I didn’t really love myself. I was never good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough, right enough, etc. Everyone else was always better, everyone else was always right. No matter what; I wasn’t enough. I reminded myself of that way too often. I didn’t even realize that I was doing it.
We don’t come out as brand new babies thinking this way about ourselves. Something happens to us at some point where we decide we aren’t good enough, smart enough, etc. and we start being hard on ourselves. Negative self- talk becomes a habit. The more you do it, the easier it is to keep doing it. We don’t even realize it’s happening.
For most of us it’s probably safe to say that all of the negative things we say to ourselves, we’d never in a million years say them to someone else. Thinking about it that way was very eye-opening for me! It made me realize just how awful I had been to myself for so long. I also wouldn’t let anyone else say that stuff to me, so why would I tolerate it from myself?
After I had this realization I had no idea how to go about changing it. I had an idea to just mark down a tally in a little notebook every time a negative thought about myself entered my head. That’s all. I just noticed and kept count. (Holy moly! It was crazy to see it on paper just how often I was putting myself down. The negative self-talk was constant.) I did that for a day of two and then I decided to start implementing some change. Every time I found myself thinking a negative thought toward myself, I immediately replaced it with something positive and loving. It didn’t take much time before I started to feeling the difference.
The more I replaced the negative thoughts with positive ones, the more I noticed positive ones coming in on their own. My confidence started to grow. I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I was learning to LOVE myself. I realized that if didn’t accept myself and believe in myself and in my dreams, how could I expect anyone else to?
Learning to love myself and be compassionate with myself is still a work in progress. My self talk isn’t as negative as it used to be, but some days are harder than others! I do believe in myself now more than ever before and my life is changing before my eyes.
It is SO important that we learn to love & accept ourselves, to be compassion with ourselves, to believe in ourselves. I believe that living and breathing love & compassion towards ourselves is really the answer…to everything. You also can’t expect to love and accept anyone else as they are, the good & the bad, if you can’t love and accept yourself first. It all starts with you and your feelings and beliefs about yourself. Who are you? What do you want? What are your dreams?
Self-love and compassion isn’t just about saying nice things to yourself. It’s also about taking self-care, paying attention to your wants and needs, trusting yourself and doing what you need to do for you! Put yourself first. YOU are the most important person in your world! Self-love happens when you decide who you are and that what you want is important. Self-love grows as you decide it is all right to build a kind and meaningful relationship with yourself. Self-love involves deciding to connect with your dreams. It involves supporting yourself with positive and encouraging thoughts and then taking action to support those thoughts. When you love yourself you stop doubting your choices and disapproving of who you are. You can cultivate an ever-growing sense of balance, acceptance, respect and responsibility for yourself. By loving yourself you are saying that YOU matter.
I know from experience that this isn’t easy to do at first. It takes patience, time and practice. Just start by notice the things you say to yourself. Notice how you feel about yourself, notice what you think about yourself, what you believe. If you discover you aren’t so nice to yourself – you need to knock it off! Right now! Start being your own best friend. Love yourself. Build yourself up. Compliment yourself. Take care of yourself. Really believe in yourself. TRUST yourself. Change the way you think about yourself and realize that anything is possible when you really LOVE yourself.
Like Buddha said…you, yourself – as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Never forget that.