Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

How to fall in love with yourself.

18 Comments

cardHow does one fall in love with oneself?

In my years of coaching, working with street teens, working in the homeless sector, learning what it means to live as ‘an artist’ of my own heart, running art programs, teaching story-telling and delving into the power of Love and writing about it, there is a common thread that runs through our psyches, no matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done, how we’ve gotten to where ever we are at.

Shame.

We are burdened with shame and gratitude depleted.

Brené Brown writes about shame. She studies it, researches it and expresses its debilitating effects with great clarity in her may books on the subject.

She writes:

“Shame works like the zoom lens on a camera. When we are feeling shame, the camera is zoomed in tight and all we see is our flawed selves, alone and struggling.”

“Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

We can be shame driven or heart full.

We can be shame full or heart driven.

Or,

We can be heart driven and heart full and in the fullness of living from our heart-centered wholeness, we can set ourselves free.

It’s all in where we put our attention. Whatever we put our attention on becomes stronger in our life.

When I focus on avoiding shame, my avoidance grows stronger giving shame little chance to flow free.

When I put my attention on how unworthy I am of love, how undeserving of grace or kindness or tender loving care, my story becomes all about how unworthy, undeserving I am. It also gives me an excuse not to change, not to face my fears and step through the threshold of my shame.

It is easier to hate myself when I’m constantly telling myself how much I hate myself, my life and the world around me. The story of why I have the right to feel this way, to tell myself this is true, is a powerful story. Staying connected to the story I’m telling myself, even when it hurts, is safer than letting it go.

Change your story. Change your life.

How do you fall in love with yourself?  Stop hating yourself.

Here’s an exercise.

  1. Go stand in front of a mirror and look into your eyes. (It’s okay. You can keep your clothes on. You’re looking into your eyes, not at your body – and it’s not about judging what you see. It’s about being open to looking in). Look deeply, yes deeply, into your eyes and repeat OUT LOUD 10x (slowly, breathing between each repetition) “I love you.” (repeat 10x) Remember — Keep your eyes open and look deeply within them, not at them.
  2. Breathe. Yes. Breathe. It’s okay. Telling yourself you love yourself is a good thing to do. It’s a place to start. Sure, you may feel silly, stupid, uncomfortable. You might even tell yourself ‘well, that’s a lie’. But, think about it. Is the statement “I love me” any different than “I hate me”?  You are your thoughts. If your thoughts are all about hating yourself, that will become what you believe to be the truth. So, start gently, lovingly, even if you’re afraid, by changing the message you tell yourself.
  3. Repeat many times, every day, until it comes as naturally as breathing. Eventually, dispense with the mirror. Just keep telling yourself, I Love You. I Love Me.

Think of the alternative. Do you want to tell yourself 10x in the mirror, “I hate you.”?  What if you chose instead to just love yourself, even within hating yourself?

Do you want to keep repeating out loud how small, useless, unworthy, undeserving you are?

Even if that feels like the truth, it’s not. It’s just your attention has been on hating yourself for so long, there’s been no room to allow the truth of Love to appear in your eyes.

And yes, I have most definitely simplified the process of falling in love with yourself. It is a journey, an adventure, a grand expedition to choose to fall in love with yourself, even when your mind is telling you ‘Well that’s dangerous. Don’t go there. You’ll get hurt. Let down. Betrayed. Destroyed….”

You have to begin somewhere. Why not here?

Loving yourself is not for sissies.

It’s for everyone. Each of us. All of us.

Loving yourself takes courage. Passion. Fortitude. Hope.

Loving yourself takes heart.

Namaste.

 

Advertisements

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

18 thoughts on “How to fall in love with yourself.

  1. Ellgeeee,

    well, I don’t disagree

    but I have ‘an additional’ idea on how to do this

    consider you love someone else; what do you do to show them, to win them over, to take the one-way caring forward to become a reciprocal and satisfying love relationship?

    … invite them to dinner
    … serve something chocolate for dessert
    … send flowers
    … send nice notes
    … and tell them that you care for them, tell them what you think of them – perhaps acknowledging some flaws or shortcomings, but mostly shining light on their skills, attributes and character traits that deserve a light shone upon them

    … now do that for you, just as you would for someone else. And, sometimes, let others do that for you too – just as you do for them

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jump over to YouTube and listen to this fab children’s song”I just love you”by Julianne Whitney 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to disagree. I don’t choose to focus my attention on not loving myself. I do all I can to ignore it, reason it away, bargain with it, shove it down. I don’t want to think about it at all. I don’t want to have to think about “love” at all, in any capacity, either. (I don’t need to. I’m not in a relationship or looking for one.)

    Self-hatred comes on without prompting & can stick around in a nagging & parasitic way. It’s like when a creep decides to relentlessly pursue me at a party or something and I just have to deal with it until one of us leaves. The first thing I do is assertively say no. Then, avoid & throw diversions his way. There we go, self hatred is a creepy guy who is an oblivious stalker.

    I don’t know the “love” equivalent because I haven’t experienced it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • have you considered you are ALWAYS in a relationship .. ‘with yourself’. Make it love, hate or something else … but wherever you go, there you are?

      Like

      • I’d rather not think of that. I don’t identify with relationships. I feel that would perpetuate self hatred. I don’t want to go looking for it, nor do I want to encourage it. The last thing I need is to feel trapped in a relationship I can never get out of.

        Like

    • “Self-hatred comes on without prompting & can stick around in a nagging & parasitic way.” WOW! Well said Kerri.

      Your self-awareness is inspiring Kerri — and your ability to deter self-hatred is profound.

      Your energy around the word ‘love’ is strong — is there another word that doesn’t create as much energy? Is ‘like’preferable?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you.

        “Love” seems like a fictional utopia to me. Sounds great, but unattainable to me. That makes me sad. Whenever I’m brave enough to give it a chance, it dissipates & I have to wonder if it ever was at all. So, yeah. Strong feelings about the word.

        I have no problem with the word like because it has a different meaning.

        Like

  4. It can take a lot of work and commitment to be happy with who you are and that leads on to loving who you are, it took me a long time, ok when I was young I liked me but then after some people putting negative thoughts into my head I started not being happy with me but have come back to liking and loving who I am but it is a constant battle

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great exercise. And so true, loving self is key.

    Like

  6. Thanks for this. It has been truly beneficial to me today.

    Like

  7. This is fantastic, Lousie! Thank you so much for sharing. I will absolutely be suggesting the exercise with a few of the students that I have – it’ll be perfect. Hugs and love to you – my goodness have I missed reading your posts. So glad to have carved out some time for it this morning! xo

    Like

  8. Re-posted this on my blog. Thanks for this! Its beautiful!

    Like

This conversation needs your brilliance to shine. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s