“Learning to love yourself is one of the most important things in the world,” says bestselling author, and Hay House Publishing founder Louise Hay. “And when I talk about loving yourself I am not talking about vanity – because that is fear. What I am talking about is accepting and cherishing the incredible miracle that you are.”
The truth is, unless you learn to fully love and accept yourself, you cannot truly love and accept others. Learning to love yourself then is a vital ingredient for living a joy filled and happy life.
The focus of my work as a Heal Your Life Workshop Facilitator and Intuitive Life Coach is to help people to stop abandoning themselves and to instead learn to love themselves. However, one of most common statements I hear from my clients on the subject of learning to love yourself, as well as from my workshop participants is this – “I don’t know how.”
I respond with the following question: “Tell me – what do you think a child needs to feel loved?”
More often than not they have no problem sharing with me what this would look like. They may even be loving parents to their own children, and pets, but can’t conceive what it would look like to love themselves — to love their inner child.
So how do you go about learning to love yourself? Below are seven actions that will make you feel deeply loved if they come from a genuine place in your heart:
1. Take the time to tune in to your own feelings. Many people easily tune into the feelings of the people around them, yet have no idea what they actually feel. When you ignore your own feelings you are cutting off a huge piece of your own self-care. If you ignore a child’s feelings, that child will feel unloved. Ignoring your own feelings has the same result — your inner child feels rejected, abandoned and unloved by you.
2. Be kind and gentle with your feelings. Be compassionate with the feelings you experience moment by moment, whether or not you think they are ‘bad’. Don’t judge or censor what comes up for you. If you judge your feelings, and tell yourself you are wrong for having them, your inner child will feel rejected and abandoned by you. However, if you are kind, gentle, tender, understanding and accepting of your feelings, your inner child will feel loved and supported by you.
3. Be willing to learn what your feelings are trying to telling you. A child feels loved and understood when you are compassionately interested in why he or she is hurting. In the same way your inner child will feel loved when you are willing to explore what your feelings are trying to tell you. Every one of your feelings are containers of valuable information. Just as physical pain alerts you to a problem that needs your attention, so does your emotional pain. Painful feelings are telling you that you are abandoning yourself, or that someone is being unloving to you, or to themselves or to others, or that a situation is not good for you. Lovingly, and gently exploring your feelings, by being willing to learn what they are trying to bring to your attention, and then taking action steps to remedy the situation, will make you feel loved and nurtured on a very deep heart level.
4. Regularly tune into and connect with your Spiritual Source of Love, Wisdom and Comfort. Love is not a feeling you generate from your mind. It comes from the heart when your heart is open to your Source of Love. When you regularly tune in to and experience your own higher source or power of love, loving yourself and others not only seems to be easier, but also more love begins to flow into your heart and into your daily life experiences. This creates a very powerful feeling of inner peace, sprinkled with love.
5. Choose to be around positive, loving people. OK, let’s be honest shall we? You don’t always have a choice — such as in work relationships — but when you do have a choice — such as in personal relationships – make a conscious choice to be around positive, supportive and accepting people will make you feel loved. If you do not make such a choice, and consistently engage with unkind, judgmental or abusive people, the message you are sending to yourself is that you are not worth loving! Making a conscious choice to being around positive, loving people will not only set you free, but also remind your inner child that you deserve only the best when it comes to love.
6. Treat yourself and others with respect and love. Show loving kindness and respect wherever you go. When you are around someone who is being unkind to either yourself or others, lovingly speak up for yourself, letting the person know that you don’t like being treated that way, and then either open to learning about what is going on, or politely disengage from the interaction. Allowing others to treat you badly sends a message to your inner child that he or she is not worth loving.
7. Take time to create inner balance. Give yourself regular doses of rest, rejuvenation, and fun. All work and no play, or all play and no work, creates inner anxiety rather than inner peace. You need create balance in your life in order to feel loved and lovable. This means that you need create time to work as well as time to rest and rejuvenate. You also need to allow for regular intervals during your day or week to nurture your body and soul through activities that bring you joy.
Expecting others to make you feel loved while you are abandoning yourself will never lead to feeling loved and lovable. Taking responsibility for loving yourself fills your heart with love, which you can then share with others. And sharing love is the most fulfilling experience in life.
Above all remember that you need to be filled with love in order to have love to share; and that learning to love yourself first will open your heart and soul to experience overflowing love in all areas of your life.
© 2015 by Dar Payment for Heal Your Life Workshops Worldwide, www.HealYourLifeWorkshops.com. You may reprint or share this article in any form provided that you do not alter it, and that you keep the bio line intact.