Perhaps you are going through a time in your life where you don’t feel that a single person out there loves you. You don’t feel that any attention is given to you, and don’t feel that you are worth anything. Maybe you feel that you don’t even exist to anyone else. When it seems there is no one else out there giving you love, how easy is it for you to feel the love of self?
In those times you can struggle to keep your head up and thoughts can arise that support you in feeling worthless, hopeless, and as if there is no point for your existence. You can feel that you are not worthy of being loved, especially from yourself. After all, no one else seems to love you so how could you love yourself, right?
But wait – what is the problem here?
The question itself (how can I love myself when no one else does?) gives a clue as to where to look for the source of your own unhappiness. Instead of finding the love of self within you – you are seeking it elsewhere. You are basing your own worth and love for yourself on whether or not someone else loves you, (or at least displays love for you). You may think that if another loves you, the love of self will naturally fall into place. How many of you have ever thought, “If someone else loves me, maybe there IS something good about me, and I can feel better about myself.” This is a tremendous error in thinking and can have dangerous effects on your emotions and life.
Anytime I ask someone why they don’t love themselves, their answers always go along the lines of “I’m a nobody – I haven’t done anything important – I’m not good enough – I’m not pretty enough – I’m not talented enough – I’m too fat – I’m ugly” etc. The list could go on but it’s always something similar to that style of comments. But what are those comments? Those thoughts and comments are simply subjective judgments you created against yourself based on what another person might think towards you through their own standards, or the standards of society. Such people as your parents, family, boyfriend/girlfriend, wife, husband, or even co-workers and society in general. So basically, you are beating yourself up for what you assume another person will think of you. In fact, you may believe it IS what others are thinking about you.
Who You Are vs. Who You Are NOT
It seems that most just can’t love themselves – not because of who-they-are – but because of who-they-are-not. You may feel that because you are not something, you are equal to failure, unimportant, not acceptable, or unsatisfactory. You are not an athlete. You are not skinny. You are not smart. You are not a college graduate. You are not a model. You are not popular. The list could go on and on of things you define as to what you are not. And maybe in your mind being skinny, popular, tall, smart or an athlete is equal to what is “good”. So since your judgment is that you are not those things, you place yourself under the “not good enough” category. It’s also the same category to which you give no love to by the way.
Believe me – it is so much easier to be who you are instead of trying to be who you are not.
Many try for years to be someone they are not in hopes of gaining acceptance and love from others all while believing their act will lead to what they truly want – love of self. But eventually this act will fail. One can only go for so long while forcing themselves to be someone they are not. Eventually there will be enough internal conflict that the person will give up and quit trying to put on the show. This is where one can go deeper into a depressive state for not feeling acceptance through who they are, as well as through who they are not. One will then begin feeling helpless, lost, and trapped in their own emotional misery. Life is not fun at that point.
You cannot base your own love for the self on the validity and viewpoint of someone else. You can’t love yourself through the eyes of another. By doing so, you are trying to see yourself from the wrong set of eyes. The eyes of another’s expectations. Anytime you play the game of searching for love through the eyes of another you will always lose. Not because the love isn’t there, but because we will always give ourselves a low score if we are allowed to judge ourselves in any area of our life (and we do constantly). It’s not even that you don’t think highly of yourself because I promise you do… you truly do. The truth is you have been taught to not feel right about being yourself. You have been taught that seeking your own truth is wrong, not ordinary, unacceptable, and pathetic – and instead you have been urged to become something that seemed acceptable to your family, your parents, your religion, or society in general. We all had dreams of doing something when we were young. We all had our own tastes, styles, likes and dislikes but in one way or another, whether in a small or large way, direct or indirect, you were told that what you like, what you have, what you do, and who you are is all wrong. Who taught us this? Your parents, your friends, your religions, your schools etc.
You have been taught that you are not good enough as you are and as you choose to be. You have been taught to despise the “bad” in your life, reject it, deny it, and give it no love. Therefore after being conditioned for years and years to the belief that you aren’t good enough, you begin to reject yourself. You give yourself no love, attention, or time of day. You begin to take the words and ideas of others as your own truth. It is then when you learn to seek the love of others, to replace the lost love of the self – and quite an addiction it becomes.
You may have this idea that in order to be loved you have to “be” someone else other than yourself. And not just anything, you have to be something that someone else respects, admires, or looks up to, and anything other than this specific list of things is not acceptable and unworthy of love. So when it seems that others aren’t loving you, you take that as you are not meeting their expectations, and therefore, not meeting your own. And what happens when expectations aren’t met? Well, I think we all know how that feels (you may even be feeling it right now).
The first question I want to ask you is:
What Are You Focusing On?
Whatever you focus on you feel. But not only do you feel what you focus on, you become it. At any moment you can change your focus which in turn will change your feelings. From good to bad – from bad to good, it’s always a choice. The meaning you give to what you focus on has everything to do with the outcome. When you are happy you focus on different things from when you’re down. The point of focus controls everything. When you are happy, you don’t focus on negative things do you? No – you focus on happy things, therefore, keeping yourself happy. When you are down do you usually focus on happy things? No, most likely you focus on negative things, therefore, keeping yourself down.
What you focus on you feel. What you focus on you experience. What you focus on you become. So really, when you focus on the negative, you will experience just that. When you focus on the idea of being unsuccessful, unworthy, or not good enough, your feelings will match that. When you think about being depressed, alone, hurt, or miserable – you will be those things.
Your thoughts feed your emotions. Your emotions create your actions. Your actions create your life.
It’s all about taking control of your mind. When you are in control you can choose your path, and therefore choose your result. With any situation you always control the outcome. And by controlling the outcome of a situation, you in effect, control that situation. By not allowing negative thoughts to take hold and become your main focus point, you can control your emotions, and therefore, control your life.
I’ll probably say this in every article I write, but you need to learn to monitor and control your thoughts. If you don’t like how your life is at the moment, notice what your thought patterns are. Are you feeling happy and positive? That means you are probably thinking good thoughts. If you are feeling negative or down, you probably are focusing on negative things.
It’s a simple concept: Think positive = be positive. Think negative = be negative.
So when it appears that no others are showing you love, what meaning do you give that? Do you begin thinking negatively? Do you begin beating yourself up? Do you start focusing on all the wrongs you have done in your life, and all the reasons why someone wouldn’t love you? Do you focus on not being loved by another?
You will feel exactly what you focus on, I cannot emphasize that enough.
How Are You Acting?
Not only do you need to monitor your thoughts, but you need to monitor your physiology too. How does a happy person sit? How does a sad person sit? Do you think there are differences between those two people? Does a happy person slouch, walk slow, mumble, pout, avoid everyone, act tired or uninterested, frown, and appear to be a zombie? No. A happy person is smiling, laughing, excited, bouncy, lively, talkative, upright, alive, friendly, social, and warm hearted to name just a few. The way you carry yourself not only displays how you are thinking and feeling, it has the ability to alter how you are feeling.
What Are You Saying to Yourself?
You also need to be monitoring how you verbalize your emotions. Does a happy person say things like “I suck. I’m never going to accomplish anything. I’m not good enough. I’m a loser. I don’t do anything right”? No. A happy person says things like “I did a good job. I’m proud of myself. I know I can do it.” etc. A happy person doesn’t talk down on themselves or others, whereas from a negative person, that’s all you will hear is negative comments towards themselves and others.
So how do you love yourself when no one else does?
Use the stop-start system.
Stop focusing on negative things – Start focusing on wonderful, happy, positive things.
Stop acting sad, depressed, angry – Start acting happy, lively, and positive.
Stop speaking negatively about yourself – Start speaking positively about yourself.
It’s just a matter of creating thought and putting it into action. It may feel like you are being fake and forcing yourself, but do it anyways. Do what happiness does. Do what love does. Stop doing what depression and suffering does. You are incredible. You are beautiful. You are powerful and capable of making your life be whatever you want it to be – you simply need to make the choice for it to be so. Think good thoughts, do good deeds, and speak good words all towards yourself! It may be uncomfortable – you’ve been taught to not accept yourself. Break free from those chains and do what is natural for you to do, and that is to love. You are the most deserving of your own love.
Stop creating your life based on the expectations of others – Start creating your life the way you want it, no matter what anyone says. Do what makes you happy and always be who you truly are.
The biggest disaster in life is to become what another wishes for you to become – to mold your life trying to meet the expectations of another – to give up who you are in attempt to become someone else – and to base the love you have for yourself on whether or not another loves you.
You cannot experience love for yourself when you are seeking it from outside yourself. You can only find love for yourself from within. Stop expecting others to love you when you don’t even choose to love yourself.
“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” ~Buddha
The biggest secret of all is that you already do love yourself. You do! The issue is not learning to love yourself – but to find the strength, courage, and confidence needed to accept that you do.