You may be thinking geesh, that’s a silly question, of course I am!
But really, how many times do you push gifts away and say, “I can’t take that”, “you shouldn’t have”, or worse, reject compliments by saying, “you don’t mean that”, “that’s what you say to everyone”, “stop lying”. If this sounds familiar to you then it’s time to love yourself more. And that is no easy task.
We may have received messages from our family, friends, culture or religion that we are not worthy of love. That we are innately flawed and that we need to do more, and be more, in order to be loved. That we must fit in a tight mold in order to be loved. That love must come from accolades outside of us or from other people. This belief is destroying us. It’s destroying our relationships, communities and our families. People in our life want to love us, but if we don’t love ourselves we will reject their expressions of love (i.e. gifts, adoration, kindness, wanting to spend time with you, etc.) and they end up feeling hurt and rejected.
The mere fact that you exist means you are loved, and we simply must practice deeply loving ourselves. That doesn’t just mean booking a massage in the middle of the day. It means looking at how we treat ourselves. It means looking at the quality of our self talk. It means looking at our reactions. It means looking at our habits or addictions, whether they be eating, drinking, exercise, or work. It means looking at why we push good away, why we can’t take in a compliment.
It’s so easy to be critical of ourselves or others and becomes downright habitual. When was the last time you challenged your thoughts or beliefs?
Why do I feel unworthy of that? Why can’t I just say thank you to a compliment? Why do I believe I don’t deserve………..? Why do I think they deserve it more than me? Why am I jealous they got it?
So this Valentine’s Day let’s focus on loving ourselves profoundly by trying some of the following;
- Write a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself. Then on the same paper write a list of the things you do like about yourself. Which list is longer? How would you feel if this is what a friend that you loved and cherished list looked like? You might feel compassion, love, empathy. Can you feel that way towards yourself?
- Write down the messages you received throughout your life that contributed to the belief you are not good enough to be loved. Were they subtle or direct? Subtle would be listening to your mother body shaming herself. Direct would be listening to her body shaming you.
- Spend some time doing eye gazing with yourself. Find a place you can feel comfortable and begin to look at yourself in the mirror and watch what messages or thoughts arise. You can even write them down. Then look at yourself as if you are looking into the eyes of your younger self. What are the messages that arise now?
- I would even encourage you to do some of these items in tandem with someone else. Find a friend who will do them as well and share what you’ve discovered.
I wouldn’t tell you any of this if I haven’t done it myself. Loving yourself is not an easy road, but if you are truly committed to wanting better communication, better relationships and feeling more grounded in your life, I highly recommend it.