Why is it so hard to love ourselves?
When along our life paths did we decide we were not lovable? We are often afraid to let people see our real selves, because we believe we are not enough so better put on a facade or mask that we think others will like better. As a therapist I see self-love as the biggest obstacle to happiness, positive change and attaining our soul’s purpose. We all have been fed a diet of shoulds, continued judgments, comparisons, evaluations and enough guilt to knock out an elephant. We lose our self confidence. The funny thing is that none of this is true. Most of us take years to figure this out. Some never do. The solution: Don’t believe everything you think!
Valentine’s Day is upon us again–a dreaded day for many. Who is loved? Who is not? The proof is there for all to see. Who has a date, what flowers are being delivered to your office or classroom? Did you at least get a heart shaped box filled with chocolate candy.? It takes a strong soul to stay firmly grounded and even without validation from others.
As children we require love. As soon as we start to see which behaviors fail to produce a loving reception or get us chastised by our primary care givers we learn which behaviors are not acceptable. We bury them and condemn ourselves. As children we have a hard time differentiating between our behaviors and our identities as people. So now it becomes “I am not acceptable as I am”.
What if for just one day we could pass no judgment on ourselves? If we could look at our strengths and be grateful for our unique gifts, how would that feel? Mark Twain remarked that “Comparison is the death of joy.” We do not have to compete or compare ourselves with anyone else. We all have something special to offer.
Just for today notice what you find wonderful about yourself. Check your thoughts and keep only the positive ones, setting the intention that today will be the day where you shine brightest. To quote: E. E. Cummings: ” To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”