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Self Healing – Overcoming Obstacles to Self Love

self love. It almost makes you feel uncomfortable just reading the sentence, doesn’t it? We know that we should be kind and compassionate to others. But love yourself? Isn’t that… well, kind of a little bit egotistical?

It is. And that’s the point. There are times when “selfish” can be very, very good. When you’re in the midst of a healing crisis…trying to work your way out of it and return to full, radiant health and wellness…that’s one of those times.

One of my regular blog readers recently asked a great question: “How is it that so many of us don’t embrace self-love?” What I got out of her question was a request for some suggestions on how to make self-love more accessible. With that in mind, we’re going to explore a few key tips.

  1. Learn the subtle difference between self-love and self-centeredness. In my world, loving yourself means taking care of yourself as you would a loved one. You create a nurturing and safe environment for yourself, attend to your physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and place yourself in the presence of those who support your highest good. From a place of self-love, you are healthy and balanced enough to let your grace and light flow to those around you and spread the joy. Contrast that with selfishness, which means that your mind is “really all about you.” Not healthy, not balanced, not nurturing and certainly not extra grace for the guy next door. Let’s just back off and forget we mentioned it.
  2. Learn how little creatures become big. They are Not the bad… The developmental part of me takes over for a moment. When babies are born, their brain development is not yet complete. Babies can sense when something really big and important, sometimes even traumatic, is happening. You cannot put this event into context. So when something upsetting happens (which is inevitable), a baby assumes it you are the problem. That they are bad or unlovable or dangerous or not worth the trouble. Not true! Feed your spirit with this thought: God made you. It wasn’t a mistake.
  3. Bless your birth family and move on. If you happened to be born into a family where nurturing wasn’t high on the checklist, understand that your parents undoubtedly raised you as best as they could with the resources at their disposal. It’s natural for a young child to interpret their parents’ actions to mean it’s all about them (see previous tip), but that’s not generally the case. Your parents’ actions are about your parents. If they seemed too critical, too distracted, too strict, or too indulgent, understand that any other person born into your family on the same day would most likely have faced the same situation. Parenting style often has more to do with the beliefs and resources of the parents and less to do with how an individual child is as a person.
  4. Make an independent choice in how you would like to experience your cultural environment. Some cultures use criticism and fear to control the mind and soul of their members. Think of the stories you’ve heard about restrictive, fear-based cults. While you may not have grown up in such an extreme situation, consider that some of the fear that deliberately surrounded you had more to do with controlling you than with the truth of who you are. Everything’s fine with you. People who try to control you with fear are most likely insecure. Love yourself enough to put yourself in a safe place and bring more supportive people into your life.

While a short article like this is inevitably just an introduction, the topic of self-love is critical to your health and well-being. You teach other people how to treat you. Until you can treat yourself with generosity and compassion, you will face a bumpy road. Professional therapists, counselors, ministers, and teachers or coaches are available to support your transition to a healthier state. If you are struggling to reach a place of self-love, please find someone you trust to support you on your journey.

Thanks to Elizabeth Eckert

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