Generally when we think of love we think of romantic love and the faces of our loved ones. Seldom in that delicious reverie do we include ourselves. Why, you ask? It is from not knowing how to love ourselves that we tend to just skip that part and pretend we do.
If you were to go down the list of ways to love yourself you may find the following:
• Take time to do things you enjoy
• Engage in activities that use your talents and gifts
• Reward yourself
• Spend time in the company of those you feel good around
• Learn something new so that you can feel accomplished
• Do something nice for others
While this is not an exhaustive list, it will help you feel good and even warm and fuzzy about yourself. However, the list seems to lack what most “love-yourself” instructions do and that is how we talk to ourselves. Imagine you are doing things you enjoy from the list above and you run into someone who constantly makes you feel inadequate. Suddenly, you are into the most negative tirade of self-talk you can muster.
One of the most uplifting activities you can do to raise your spirit from the ashes of verbal self-flagellation and find peace within is to stop self-judgment and self-criticism. When you criticize or judge, you create a greater sense of unworthiness and insecurity. If you are committed to feeling good about yourself, first you must feel “good enough” inside.
Here’s a quick exercise you can use to create a judgment-free zone within your head.
• Step 1: Become aware of when you use judging and criticizing self-talk.
• Step 2: Once you are aware you can stop and/or re-phrase with a positive statement before you start. The statement may not sound true in the beginning, but after continued use you'll be amazed at the results.
Loving yourself in this manner will add a greater sense of joy, security, and peace to your spirit.
What will achieving a greater sense of self-love look like for you?