What do we repeatedly teach ourselves when it comes to the love of self? Do we speak about ourselves in a way that suggests we aren’t good enough? That we aren’t worthy? One may think that it is a skill to love yourself, and just like any acquired skill, you need to learn it going through some form of schooling or training. But I think quite the opposite.
You don’t need to be taught to love yourself; instead, you only need to learn how to stop hating yourself.
I think there is a huge difference between the two ideas. We’ve all become pretty good at hating ourselves. We do it daily through our words, actions, and even with what we choose to eat. You can try teaching someone to love themselves but until you remove the factor that is feeding the flow of self created negativity you will always be fighting the current. You don’t need to learn how to love yourself because the love is always there and it comes naturally, so long as it is allowed to. The problem is you suppress and push aside the love of self because you’ve been taught to favor the opinions of others about you instead of your own opinion of you. We are drowning ourselves in self created negativity as if to keep love underwater. But love is something that can never be kept underwater. Believe it or not, it floats! It’s like trying to keep a life jacket underwater – you can force it down and continuously apply opposing pressure which may keep it below the surface, but the second the resisting pressure is removed the life jacket will rush to the surface to reveal itself. You need to learn to stop putting resistance on yourself to keep your love underwater. Allow it to come to the surface to be seen, shared, enjoyed, and experienced.
But why can’t we do it? What’s stopping us?
We have learned to deny ourselves, hate ourselves, reject ourselves, and to feel we are never good enough. We’ve been taught about the survival of the fittest, that enough is never enough. We’ve been taught that life is a win-lose experience, and that to be prideful of ourselves is wrong. We’ve been taught we always need more, more, more, because some is not enough! More love, more cars, more money, more security, more friends, more acceptance. We’ve been taught this our whole lives and it seems it is becoming easier to apply those teachings to any and all areas of our life, including that of how we view ourselves.
We are constantly beating ourselves up, often times for no reason except to deny ourselves as being “good”. I’m sure you know someone (or you yourself are one), that always finds a way to put themselves down, or at least sell themselves short, in any situation. Do they ever accept a compliment? No. Do they ever feel they did a good job? No. Do they ever feel successful and happy? No. They feel that nothing they are, or nothing they do is ever good enough. They feel they are always wrong and always less than acceptable.
We all do it to some extent. I do this just as much as anyone else, probably more than I notice I do. My wife constantly tells me how wonderful I am, how incredible I am, and how perfect I am, but I often think “What? Pssh, yeah right!” I might even verbally express those negative thoughts about myself by flat out disagreeing with her, or simply say she has some thick ‘rose colored glasses’ on and only says those things because I am her husband. In reality, I’m only insulting her and embracing my own self targeted insults. Ouch for the both of us.
How do you feel when you compliment someone and they reject it immediately and throw it right back at you? It sucks right? They are basically telling you your views, opinion, sense of judgment, and outlook are false, inaccurate, and most likely only given to be nice, or because you are supposed to. Do you feel you were taken seriously or that your opinion is important? No. Are you a little insulted? Yeah, probably.
Now, how insulting are you towards yourself? How do you feel when you try to compliment yourself? Or do you even try to? Do you allow it? Would you even accept it if you did try, or would you throw it right back saying “yeah right, I don’t believe that”? How often do you take the words of another over the opinion of yourself and replace your own truth for something you were taught to believe instead – such as you aren’t good enough, skinny enough, or important enough?
I bet you do it in more ways than you would realize. It seems the only things you will accept from anyone (or yourself) are subtle (but strong) thoughts, ideas, and comments that support the illusion that you are not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not important enough, which sadly falls right in line with how our society is based and how we are all taught to think. How often do you quickly deny good thoughts, ideas or comments about you, but quietly accept the bad thoughts, ideas, and comments about you? Quick to deny the good, quietly accept the bad – how effective is this style of thought? Well, take a look at your own life and see how it has worked for you.
If you don’t like where your life is at, you might consider trying a new approach and making a change to the way you think. All responses and actions first start out as thought. And unless you take control of your mind, it will run wild just as a garden will run wild with weeds and thorns if not maintained, monitored, and cared for. [see Being the Gardener of Your Mind]. You need to monitor and control what thoughts you create about yourself, but also what thoughts you allow yourself to believe whether they are created by you, or another. You have full and total control at all times as to what affects you in your life, as well as how it affects you.
Stop speaking badly about yourself. Stop thinking badly about yourself. Stop believing others if they speak badly about you. Learn to trust your own voice instead of the voice of others. It’s not something that can happen overnight so be patient with yourself as you learn to stop hating yourself. Give yourself time. When negative thoughts arise, simply stop, and try again. [see How to Stop Wrongful Thinking].
You can learn to stop hating yourself. The most important part is that you have to truly want it. You have to truly want to make the change, otherwise, you will never get anywhere. You have to be fed up with the mindset you now carry, and desire to create a new one. Once you get something set in your mind, you can do anything. So get it set that you will no longer be negative towards yourself, then follow through with it.
“In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night…”
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