The Vital Skill of Loving Yourself


You may be good at loving your pets, family, friends, and nature.

But are you good at loving yourself? Without a powerful and lasting self-love, you will be limited, even paralyzed; unable to fully manifest your full potential, experience deep inner peace and contentment; or being able to create deep connections or constantly feel compassion for others.

What is self-esteem? It’s the ability to claim and accept all that you are, even the scary parts. To love yourself is to be truly authentic, to show yourself: no longer hiding your fears and your vulnerability behind a mask of false strength and confidence. It means understanding and forgiving each other. It means being willing to learn from your mistakes rather than sacrificing yourself or living in continual regret. Self-love means that you reward yourself not only for your accomplishments, but simply because you exist!

Everyone deserves love: there is good in all of us, regardless of our history. And loving yourself opens the door to the good you have within you, to the gifts, the creativity and the joy that our world desperately needs. By loving yourself, your love for others grows.

If you find that your self-esteem meter is negative, consider these changes:

L. Change your self-talk: start by recognizing the critic in you who scolds and belittles you. Engage with him and insist that he becomes a constructive rather than a destructive voice. And develop the loving voice within you, changing your self-talk from attack to praise and encouragement.

2. Heal Your Emotional Wounds: Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, regression therapy, partial labor and tapping are some of the many ways to heal the wounds of childhood abuse or trauma that programmed you to believe negative ideas about yourself and about life.

3. Forgive yourself: Reframe mistakes as powerful life lessons you can use to improve your life. So release poisoned regrets and remorse.

4. Reward yourself! Take time to play, laugh and have fun. Make sure it’s not food, but rather something that brings more joy, beauty, connection, love, maybe peace into your life.

5. Lean on inspiring friendships: These people are gems, because they see your true adorable self. They are not afraid of your passions, nor do they envy you. They can encourage you when you’re feeling down or affirm your new path.

6. Identify and change false beliefs: that you are never good enough, that you are not worth loving, etc. If you find it difficult to love yourself, you have been programmed negatively. Until these misconceptions turn into truth – that you deserve love and a happy life, regardless of your mistakes – you will feel unhappy and dissatisfied with life.

7. Follow a spiritual path: Connecting with a higher power will help you realize that you are loved, accepted, and perfect just the way you are, warts and all.

8. Listen to Inner Guidance: Whether you call it your Higher Self, Inner Wise Woman, or Healer, there is a wise and loving part of you that will guide you to increased self-love. Listen to it through imagery, journaling, meditation, and self-hypnosis.

9. Create a plan to deal with setbacks or negativity: Use deep relaxation or meditation to move from self-blame to assessing what went wrong and how to remedy the situation. So take action.

10. Expand your life! Visit the zoo, go camping or bird watching, watch foreign movies, try cooking new cuisines, whatever piques your interest.

11. Make a list of your positive qualities and reflect on them daily: your embarrassment will disappear as you own your value.

12. Gratitude is at the heart of self-love: think of at least three things a day for which you are grateful.

As said in the Desiderata, “You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars.” You deserve love: and the greatest gift of love you can give is to yourself.

Gail Raborn, CHt. is a clinical and medical hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, intuitive and interactive imagery therapist and workshop facilitator. She offers sessions by phone: 707-827-3615 [email protected]


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