Valentine’s Day is only days away. Why not make a commitment now to start developing a loving relationship with the most important person in your life? YOU.
Do you scoff at this idea? Do you think it’s egotistic or morally repugnant to focus on loving yourself? Know that loving yourself is not about selfish egotism or narcissism. It’s about a deep and knowing love for who you are, as you are. The truth is, narcissists are actually people who loathe themselves and compensate for this internal feeling by becoming selfish bullies.
It’s a truism but it’s true: if you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love another. The love you can feel will be that much more limited, not just for your family and significant others, but for the world. Don’t believe me? Do a little experiment. Work seriously on loving yourself for a few weeks and find out how much more you start loving others.
Maybe you are saying, “Of course I love myself!” But are you sure? Try doing this: pick up a mirror, look deep into your eyes, smile, and sincerely and with all the heart you can muster say, “I love you. I really really love you.”
How do you feel? Is it awkward? Do you cry a little? Can you even bring yourself to do it? And how do you feel about beginning each day by doing this? If you have any qualms about it or think it’s silly, it’s time to get to work. And even if you don’t, know that incorporating this simple little exercise into your life will change it for the better.
Why is it so hard to love yourself, anyway? Societal messages are one explanation, but more important are childhood experiences. Within you are carried every criticism, every “should” imposed on you, parental neglect or abuse (both physical and mental), and a host of other reasons for feeling bad about yourself. It is also the natural inclination of any child to blame themselves for whatever is going amiss in the family, whether it be discord or misfortune. We may forget about it all as we grow older and learn to cover it up with busy-ness, but it still lies buried deep within. It is stored in our memories and often within our bodies as aches and pains and dis-ease.
But these memories are just thoughts and feelings about yourself. They can be changed. They are habits of being, and just like any habit, they can be broken. You just have to make an effort.
Why is this so important? How can it help you in practical ways? Well, if you’ve read my book Active Consciousness and are interested in becoming a person who can actively create his or her future, know that working on loving yourself will help you remove many of the blocks that inhibit your progress. As the Huna wisdom teaches, prayers sent to the High Self can be blocked by the subconscious self doubts and self-limiting beliefs of the Basic Self. For example, if deep down inside you fear or feel undeserving of achieving your conscious desires, all of your efforts to achieve them will bear weak fruit. But when you “prep the soil” first by working on loving yourself, you help to remove these blocks.
Author Anita Moorjani, whose book Dying to Be Me describes her near-death experience from terminal cancer and her miraculous and quick recovery after she returned, says that her discovery in the afterlife was this: self love is the key. She says that our mission here on Earth is to learn to love ourselves completely and to let our light shine as brightly as it can. I’m slowly learning that she is right.
I am currently working on Louise Hay’s course, Learning to Love Yourself. Already I feel a difference in my life. Although this online offering is free in its current form, I decided to buy it. Much to my amazement, my husband Steve is now doing the course too. I hope my children will too.
Steve and I are in our 60s. Most people will never do this kind of work. They simply accept that they must go through life in anger, resentment, guilt, and fear, never suspecting that a bit of self-love might be the answer. I figure, better late than never for me and Steve. I hope that many of you, who are much younger, can begin now to change your lives for the better! Give yourself the best Valentine gift you can possibly imagine: learn to love yourself.