How To Start Loving Yourself

How To Start Loving Yourself
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This morning, a lovely lady named Anne commented on the Blessing Manifesting Facebook page.
“How do I start to learn to love myse.”

I then realized that out of the over 300 blog posts here at Blessing Manifesting I don’t think any of them accurately cover what that question asks. After a little bit of thought I came up with what I believe is the best way to start the journey and to begin loving yourself. You can also read about my Self Love Journey in the Self Love Planner!

Get to the root of why you don’t love yourself.

First step.

What about you is so unlovable?

When was the first time you can remember feeling that way?

There are so many reasons why you might have trouble loving yourself, why it isn’t your default setting like it is for other people.

Mental illness.

When your depression is constantly like a cannonball in your life it can dampen everything. It can stop you from achieving the things that you want to achieve which affects your self-worth. When you’re sad all of the time it’s hard to find something loveable and happy about that. It can affect your relationships. It can give you the wonderful side-kick called Intrusive Thoughts where there’s this never-ending record of “You suck” playing in your head.

The first step is focusing on your mental health. Fight like a freaking warrior. For the longest time I thought depressed + anxious was my default setting. I lived by those waves of depression. Sometimes it got better, but it was rarely from something I was actively doing. I just lived with it.

And then I decided I couldn’t anymore. Literally.

I tried everything (aside from medication because at that point in my life I was stubborn and scared of the stigma. I’ve since learned better). I learned to advocate for myself. Self-care became my thing and I tried nearly everything I read about that could help me feel better and even though it took years to get to a really great, stable, place it was something I actively fought for and worked toward.

Trauma.

Relationship trauma or trauma in your family. Someone telling you that you weren’t good enough or someone’s actions who made you feel small and worthless.

Work through those feelings. Find a way to seperate yourself the baggage that someone else piled on top of you. Some people aren’t capable of loving us in a nourishing way. It’s about them. Their issues, their mental health, their lack of empathy and compassion – and it has nothing to do with your worthiness as a person.

You were always worthy of being loved and feeling good about yourself.

Selflessness

You’ve been so busy loving everyone else and taking care of everyone else that you forgot you’re a human too who deserves the same love and attention as anyone else.

You’ve got to learn to turn those feelings toward yourself as weird and strange as it feels at first.

Fix what needs to be fixed. Accept what needs to be accepted.

Right now I could tell you that you should love and accept yourself just how you are, and that’s true to some extent. You are deserving of love just as you are in this moment, no matter how flawed or broken you perceive yourself to be.

But…

To really love yourself, you gotta be someone worth loving, in your own opinion. I’ll tell you a little bit about me. Before I started my self-love journey I was extremely depressed, I had so many anger issues, and I had terrible impulse control. I was a big ol‘ meanie. Was I worth loving anyway? Absolutely, but I couldn’t do it.

So I fixed what I needed to fix. I started trying alternative methods to improve my moods, I researched anger management, I did the work and when I started to see the results and the subtle changes not only did I feel proud, but I felt the love.

I’m not saying that you need to change yourself, to love yourself by any means. I think the first step is to look at yourself and look at your life and ask yourself:

What’s stopping you?

Sit with that answer, feel it out, and ask yourself if what happens next is change or acceptance. There’s no ‘right way’. I have tons of flaws, believe me, they are there and sometimes they are glaring, but none of them stop me from loving myself. They are a part of who I am. I know that I am not perfect and I know that I don’t need to be.

Realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved.

Truer words were never typed. If you wait until you are perfect to love yourself you will be waiting forever. If you aren’t a parent, imagine you are, the minute you see your child, you fall in love with them simply because they exist.

You probably have someone in your life that you love unconditionally don’t you?

Why do you love them? Because it’s worth it, because they are worth it. Not because they are perfect. Reflect that back to yourself. No matter what, you’re worth loving. You hold so much awesomeness right inside of you, so much love for other people, so many big dreams and hopes and if all that isn’t worth loving, then I don’t know what is.

Get to know yourself.

Seriously! Figure out who you are and what you want. Discover what you believe and know what your values are. It’s just like dating someone new, you really have to figure out who they are before you fall in love.

So often when we don’t love ourselves we kinda just take on the things we love about the people around us – like a chameleon. We see what they like and because we want to please them we decide that’s what we like. We’re not living our lives for ourselves but in an effort to please someone else. Discover who YOU really are.

Forgive yourself.

Let go of the past, let go of your bad deeds, let go of your shame, let go of those things that you think about in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. Live your amends. If you’ve done something bad, then live your life in a good way, in a positive way. Putting that out into the world does more good than hating yourself ever could.

Forgive other people too, if you can – if it feels right. If someone put you down, if your parents or an ex-spouse or partner made you feel like you weren’t good enough, or you weren’t worth loving, let that go and forgive yourself. Holding on to that serves no purpose for you or anyone else. Letting go of that baggage is so (veryvery) hard, but it’s worth it. Cross my heart.

Practice Self Care.

Make time to do things for yourself. Making time for the things that you love and the things that make you feel good is so important. It’s putting into action what you are already feeling. Self Love and Self Care go hand in hand, one is the feeling and one is the action. It’s the equivalent of a big ol’ hug, or a passionate kiss, to yourself. You wouldn’t love someone who never showed you affection or did anything nice for you now would ya!?

Don’t give up.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re just now starting your journey, it might be rough going for a little while. You might get frustrated, you might feel like giving up, or that it’s too much work, or it’s stupid, or you’ll never be good enough, or it’s not important enough but let me tell you a secret:

If you don’t give up, you WILL start loving yourself.

It’s worth your time.

You are so worth the time and the effort.

What’s your #1 Self-Love tip to start loving yourself?

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