I believe learning to love ourselves fully is the most important work we will ever do.
It is the crux of everything. Worthiness. Believing we are good enough. Having a sense of belonging. Giving ourselves permission to ‘fail’. Trusting ourselves. Trusting the universe.
All of it.
Loving ourselves fully means deeply knowing that whatever we do in the world, whatever we achieve or don’t achieve, we are already ‘enough’.
And treating ourselves accordingly.
Who does she think she is?
When I was growing up, any talk of ‘loving yourself’ was viewed in a derogatory way. If you said: “She really loves herself” about somebody, it was not a compliment. It was generally used to describe somebody considered over-confident, arrogant, vain and ‘full of themselves.’
Even today, talk of ‘self-love’ can feel a bit gushy. It’s something of a taboo subject. We don’t really talk about it.
What does it mean to love yourself fully?
Bring to mind a person you love completely – perhaps a child, a sibling, maybe a really close friend (maybe even your husband!)
How do you think about this person and treat them when they are afraid, lonely, tired, hesitant, hungry, lacking in confidence?
What feelings arise when you think of them being this vulnerable?
Perhaps unconditional love, compassion, kindness?
And as your loved one feels their way to figuring out and finding their place in the world, how do you want to support them?
Do you give them permission to take risks without fear of judgement? Permission to get it wrong and make mistakes?
As you think of their vulnerability, do you want to take really good care of them? Do you want to nourish them and make them feel safe?
Why is it so easy to have this kind of love and compassion for another person? And yet, be so hard on ourselves?
What if we could have this same love and compassion for ourselves?
I’ll be worthy when…
We believe that when we reach this goal or that, ‘then’ we will be worthy.
We will feel better about ourselves when we get ‘there’.
We believe we have to prove our worth. Prove that we are good enough.
We have to create evidence for ourselves and other people that we are worthy of love and belonging.
Do you make these mistakes?
Where are you on the Self-Loveability Spectrum?
On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being barely at all, 10 being totally got it covered), how well do you love yourself? Not sure? Answer the following questions to get some clues:
(1) How do you treat yourself?
How do you treat yourself when you make a mistake? When you don’t meet your own standards? When you ‘fail’ to achieve a goal? When you’re afraid to take action? When somebody criticises you?
Do you respond with loving kindness and compassion, knowing you were doing the best you could with the knowledge and information you had at the time?
Or do you beat yourself up with vicious, negative self-talk: (eg “You idiot, I knew you’d never do it, who do you think you are, who are you kidding, don’t even try, you’ll just fail and everyone will laugh at you… etc. etc.)
(2) Who’s in control of your self-image?
Are you in control of how you feel about yourself or have you given that power away to other people?
Do you take responsibility for feeling the way you want to feel, regardless of other people’s behaviour and circumstances?
Or do you feel good only when other people treat you well or say nice things about you? When you get a negative comment or your husband or friend forgets to return your phone call, do you make that mean they don’t respect you and then feel bad about yourself?
(3) How do you measure your worthiness?
Do you pursue your goals for the love of achieving them, because they are based on your core desires? Because you just have to do it, regardless of your results or success, because it’s part of who you are?
Or do you constantly set lofty goals and push yourself ever harder just so that you can ‘prove’ you are good enough, successful enough, whatever enough?
So, how did you score on the Self-Loveability Spectrum?
A Life Lesson
Learning to love ourselves fully is an ongoing life lesson for us all.
If this is an issue you are struggling with let the following three statements sink in and notice what thoughts come up for you as you read them:
- You are already ‘enough.’ Right now, in this moment, you are enough
- There is nowhere for you to get to and nothing for you to prove. You are already ‘there’
- Treating yourself with love and compassion unconsciously teaches other people to do the same
How might your life be different if you truly believed these statements?
What’s one thing you can do today, right now, to increase your Self-Loveability score by one point?
For me, it’s acknowledging that I am exactly where I need to be right now in my personal life and my business. It’s letting go of the frustration of not achieving certain things yet, not progressing fast enough, not becoming more.
I am exactly where I need to be.
I am enough.
And so are you.
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