When did you start loving yourself?
Or maybe I should ask, have you started to love yourself?
We have been taught from our birth to look outside ourselves for love and acceptance. And that has been ingrained generation after generation after generation. Look to your parents and grandparents. Did they love themselves? Did they take care of themselves? Maybe a little.
Or maybe as they grew older and realized that it was past time to look to themselves for love and acceptance, because unconditional love and acceptance was so very hard to find from others.
We were always taught to be good, do whatever was asked to receive a bit of love. We tried so hard to be perfect in this physical world.
I don’t know of any person who is perfect.
Yes, we are perfect as spiritual beings, but when we have this physical cloak we call a body and live in this dualistic world, there is no perfect human.
SO, today, Rev. Mark Anthony Lord is asking us to “Love Yourself Madly.”
Think about how you were growing up. Didn’t you try to do what was asked of you, even if it wasn’t what you wanted? Now I’m not talking about being nasty or a trouble maker, breaking the law.
What I’m asking is, did you follow what was expected of you? Let’s say you grew up in the 50’s & 60’s like I did. Were you encouraged to be whom you wanted to be or was it expected that you follow the traditions of your sex and class?
I was told, “Girls don’t do that.”
That was sports, or hang out or go into town alone. And our town was small.
To this day, I don’t know how I got my parents to agree that I could go to college, even tho I had to pay my way.
Eventually, many of us realize that our needs are important too, and it is up to us to see to them. We realize that we too, are worthy.
Instead of abandoning bits of ourselves to satisfy others, we come to realize that it’s our turn to be whom we were meant to be.
How long has it taken you to realize that you have been downplaying your wisdom and accomplishments in order to make others feel comfortable?
It is past time for us to be ourselves.
Our society is outmoded; self-respect is considered selfish. It’s not. If you don’t honor yourself, who will?
We don’t have to be someone else to be loved and appreciated. “Imagine what the world would be like if everyone truly loved themselves and sourced their own affirmation, recognition, and respect from within.”
“Every time you look outside yourself for love, recognition, or approval, you are abandoning yourself.”
Think about that…how does that feel to you?
We’ve heard this many times already, you must love yourself to be able to love others. And I would think many of us would refute that. “How could you say I don’t love my friends, family…?
It made me wonder if I was loving with conditions?
“A Course in Miracles” talks about ‘special love’ and ‘holy love.’ Special love is what we would normally think of when we talk about loving a friend, or spouse, or even a pet.
Holy Love is in all of us. It’s always available and has no contingencies…any person, place or thing. Holy Love can be shared without possessing and it includes everyone.
Our healing comes in casting a net of holy love over our entire self that allows every single, separated part to come home into the light of acceptance.
Here’s the reading I choose for today:
I bless others and I bless myself.
Do you bless others but never think of blessing yourself? Do you forgive others, but do not think of forgiving yourself? Do you obey the commandment to love your neighbor, but do not think of loving yourself? It is time to remember to bless yourself.
Bless yourself today. Bless your body; it is Gods holy temple. Bless your mind, heart, and soul. You are a child of God and your capabilities are unlimited.
Sometimes memories come back of happenings wherein you wish you had acted or spoken differently. You cannot change what is past but you can know that God has turned it into a blessing and forgiven you. Bless yourself with the balm of forgiveness.
Bless yourself and love yourself. You have done some fine things in your life. The Father has many important things for you to do. He can do so much more through you if you love, forgive, and bless yourself.
Carl Jung: “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
Are you fearful of your true self? Ask yourself WHY?
Our minds have pounded us with enormous amounts of self-recrimination and judgment. We must begin to listen to what we are thinking and saying to ourselves in a nonreactive way.
We can’t change the past but we can realize that it has no real power of its own.
Byron Katie would ask, “Is it true?”
If you are present, in the NOW, it is not true….it’s in the past, in the story you are telling yourself.
When we love ourselves, we have an appreciation for our own worth or value. We don’t need affirmation from others and we don’t need them to tell us that we are good enough, smart enough, attractive enough—we simply know. As a result, we have positive views about ourselves and feel good about who we are most of the time. We also tend to have higher levels of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
“Finding yourself is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winters coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “Finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. Emily McDowell
What does loving yourself actually mean? Deepak Chopra
Loving yourself means loving all of yourself (your quirks, flaws, imperfections) and accepting every single part of you that you cannot change. It means finding peace within your body and soul.
Step 1: Make Contact with Your Inner Self
This implies paying more attention to self-care. Through meditation, self-reflection, or contemplation, and the experience of quiet at least a few minutes every day, you make contact with your inner world. You learn to appreciate and enjoy it.
Step 2: Honestly Face Your Inner Obstacles and Resistance
Most people don’t like to face their weaknesses and flaws because they judge against them. But you are human, and you will find that your sense of insecurity and anxiety represents feelings from the past that can be healed. In fact, they want to be released if you will give them a chance.
Look inside and let the process of releasing begin. Healing can proceed along many avenues—from therapy and support groups, to energy work, massage, mind-body programs, and various Eastern medical approaches.
Step 3: Deal with Old Wounds
One could also call this advanced healing. As old residues of negative emotions are released, you find that you are stuck with resentments, hurts, and scars that must be dealt with. Beneath the scar such wounds feel very fresh. It takes help from someone else who understands the situation to go into these dark places—it could be a close friend, mentor, confidante, priest, or therapist. The work can be done safely, without anxiety, and once you start, there’s a tremendous sense of exhilaration, even triumph in the process. Just find someone who has walked the path successfully and sympathizes with you fully.
Step 4: Forgive Your Past
You shouldn’t jump too quickly into forgiveness. It’s all too easy to pretend to yourself that you forgive old hurts and abusive treatment, when in fact what you are eager for is to escape the pain. The absence of pain, achieved through healing, gives you the right foundation for deep, lasting forgiveness. Self-acceptance is required first, and the realization that you—and everyone around you—has been doing the best they can from their own level of awareness. This can be quite a challenge when someone has hurt you deeply, but you can’t fully separate from wrongdoing until you accept that others are trapped inside a reality they can’t escape.
Step 5: Accept where You Are Right Now
This, too, is a stage you shouldn’t jump into too quickly. The present moment isn’t free of the burdens, memories, and wounds of the past. They must be attended to before you can look around, breathe easily, and love the moment you are in right now. A good beginning is to catch yourself when you have a bad memory and say, “I am not that person anymore.” For the truth is that you aren’t.
Step 6: Form Relationships where You Feel Loved and Appreciated
The path to unconditional love isn’t meant to be lonely. You should walk it with people who reflect the love you see in yourself. You are likely to look around at some point and realize that not everyone among your family and friends are in sync with your aspirations. Without rejecting them, you have the right to find people who understand the path you’re walking and sympathize with it. They are more likely to appreciate you for who you are now and who you want to become.
Step 7: Practice the Kind of Love You Aspire to Receive
We all wish to be loved. But the only way to realistically find “the one” is to be “the one” yourself. Like attracts like, and the more you live your own ideal of love, the more your light will draw another light to you. This single point, I am told, has helped most people find their love.
Here are some steps to loving yourself:
- Use daily affirmations. Affirmations work to help boost your self-esteem, which in turn, contributes to your goal of fearless self-love.
- Stop your negative self-talk. Adding fuel to the fire of unhealthy thinking patterns is the habit of negative self-talk.
- Challenge social expectations. While working towards fearless self-love, we need to be mindful of social influences.
- Build your strengths. If social influence plays a role in how we shape our motivations, we run the risk of focusing our attention in areas not honoring our unique gifts.
- Focus on your success. We each have a tendency to focus on the negative events in our lives before remembering the positive.
- Practice self-compassion. One of the most vital ways to grow self-love is through the act of self-compassion.
- Live gratefully. A grateful heart brings a joyful spirit. Gratitude is more than affirmations and positive self-talk.
- Find the humor in life. Life is hard and if we spend too much time thinking about all those hardships, we are bound to suffer.
- Don’t forget to smile. Seeking a fearless self-love should include smiling. Loving yourself is striving to reach your fullest potential.
- Ask for help. Allow others to lighten your load so you can focus on the most important tasks.
- Set boundaries. If we don’t set the standard for how others treat us, then other are allowed to treat us however they feel.
- Stay home when needed. If you struggle with holding boundaries with yourself and others, maybe your self-care is lacking.
- Share your true feelings. Self-love asks us to be raw and honest with ourselves. Honest with your true values, morals, wants, and needs.
- Surround yourself with goodness. Seeking a fearless self-love is a full-time job. All aspects of your life need to stay focused on your ultimate goal – self-love and happiness.
- Remember that you are loved. Affirmations, boundaries and positivity can help to increase your self-love.
None of these two lists, however, remind us to take care of our bodies. We have heard it many times, our bodies are the temple housing our Christ Spirit.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”
Self-awareness begins with you here and now in this moment, in every moment of your life. Kriyananda Swami
Acording to Mr. Activated, these need to be eliminated:
Envy prevents you from focusing on yourself
Ego prevents you from learning from others
Anger prevents you from seeing clearly
Ignorance prevents you from making good choices
Fear prevents you from seeking opportunities