So many people, myself included, struggle with self-acceptance, let alone loving themselves. But learning to love oneself is really important because it really is the foundation of our love for others.
Love your neighbour as yourself.
Life also becomes a lot easier when we learn to love ourselves.
So Love Yourself!
For many of us that is easier said than done but it is possible!
Here are the three steps I followed when learning to love myself in a sincere and authentic way; self-love, not vanity, mind you. I hope you find it helpful.
First, I followed Louise Hay's advice and started saying her mantra "I love and approve of myself" 300 to 400 times a day. The mantra rang hollow, I could not feel the love, just resistance. But I persisted.
Second, I used the mantra like a flashlight to search for the root of my resistance. Why did I find it so impossible to love myself?Every time I said the mantra I heeded the sensations in my body, trying to find where my resistance was located and what was causing it. I began to question if I had ever understood what love meant.
Third, after a few weeks of probing with these daily mantras, I realised that I did understand one kind of love, my love for my children. That's an unconditional love! A love where nothing my children could ever say, think or do would would stop me loving them (it is unconditional, after all). I understood that kind of love.
And, by loving my children, I was also loving myself; the unique bond a parent has with their child; my DNA is part of their DNA.
So I created a new mantra;
"I unconditionally love and approve of myself. The measure I measure to my children is the measure I measure to myself".
Boom! Complete breakthrough into a deep and authentic self-love. I now say it every day albeit not 300 to 400 times a day, maybe 50.
And now I am discovering that the unconditional love I measure to my children and myself, is but a dim reflection of the awesome love that God has for me and all of us.
Who do you love unconditionally?