“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.” – Jo Courdert
We all need gentle reminders that we deserve love, not only from others, but from ourselves. Here are a few that sparked for me during our call. I hope some of them will help you in your journey as well.
1. Accept yourself, flaws and all.
I used to be very self-conscious of my body because I was raised to believe that I was “too thin.” I spent so many years actually trying to gain weight and not appreciating my unique shape. As I got older, I decided to love my body no matter what because it’s the only body I have. What we perceive as flaws are not actually flaws at all, they are just our twisted judgments based on comparisons with others (like the airbrushed model images we’re bombarded with daily.) The truth is that we are ALL beautiful in our own way. Everything else is a lie.
2. Stop arguing with God.
You were created for a reason, so you already have what it takes to pursue your dreams. God has already given you everything you need to fulfill your purpose. So, when you use words like “I can’t,” what you’re really doing is arguing with God. When you refuse to take risks on yourself, what you’re really doing is acting on your fear instead of acting on your faith. But once you let go of the lie that your goals are impossible to attain, the universe will begin moving mountains on your behalf. Don’t let your excuses take away the power you’ve been given to live your ideal life.
3. Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Stop beating yourself up for things you did or said (or didn’t do or say) years ago. The past is already over, so don’t waste your life replaying it like a movie, over and over in your head. When you constantly focus on what went wrong in the past, it’s very difficult to enjoy what’s right in the present moment. Candace recommends that you actually write down the words “I forgive myself for…” and make a list of every thing you’ve done in the past that you believe makes you unworthy of love and success. This could be mistakes you’ve made in your family and romantic relationships, finances, health and even your career or business. Releasing self-blame will give you the freedom to heal, move forward and try again.
4. Let go of all the harmful thoughts you have about yourself.
Using Byron Katie’s powerful process called “The Work,” you can choose to drop all the thoughts that insist you are not enough and don’t deserve the best in life. It’s one thing for other people to disrespect you, but you have full control over whether you disrespect yourself! Ask yourself the questions in The Work and you will see firsthand how the turnarounds can change your viewpoint from statements like “I am a failure” to healthier ones like “I am successful.” When you let go of all the negative thoughts you have about yourself, you also become less likely to accept harmful treatment from others.
5. Be who you really are, not the person you think everyone wants you to be.
You are the only person who knows what’s best for you, even when certain people in your life think otherwise. I remember when I decided to go natural, I received a lot of criticism from my family as well as my boyfriend at the time (who ended up dumping me, no less!). When the people closest to you don’t support your goals, it’s disappointing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep marching to the beat of your own drum. This is YOUR life and you’re the one who has to live with your choices. And if you choose to conform to the image that your family, friends, colleagues or significant other want to see, you will likely end up regretting it. I’ve heard way too many older women reminiscing about their lives, wishing they had done what they really wanted to do and been who they really wanted to be.
6. Give yourself permission to take care of YOU.
For some reason, many of us experience feelings of guilt for taking a vacation or simply relaxing. We live in a country that rewards hard work, yet most of us already work hard and STILL don’t give ourselves the reward of a break! You shouldn’t feel bad for prioritizing your own self-care. Challenge yourself to carve out at least one hour each week for “me time” where you do something by yourself and for yourself, even if it’s as simple as taking a long bubble bath, getting a manicure, reading a good book or taking a quiet walk around your neighborhood. On my calendar, I have a few hours set aside every Sunday for “relaxing and self-care” color-coded in pink. That’s my “me time” and it’s an actual appointment with a reminder!
Our society makes such a big deal out of seeking love from others, as you can see by all the relationship books, movies and “experts” out there. But the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Because when you truly love yourself, receiving love from others simply becomes icing on the cake.
Leave a comment: What does self-love look like for you? How can you begin to love yourself more on a daily basis?