Learning to love yourself can sound so cheesy and like the most millennial thing ever. It's needed, though, and you will understand why self-hate only hurts all of your close relationships by the end of this.
When you take time to love yourself, it's not that you become self-centered. It's about looking in the mirror and being able to understand the value of life. If you don't understand the value of your own experience, how can you value another?
"Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves." - Princess Diana
What You Will Learn in This Article
Things That Prevent You from Learning to Love Yourself
Trauma is one of the biggest causes of people not loving themselves. This is especially true when its trauma that stems from not feeling loved. Maybe you were abandoned by one or both parents. When this happens, it makes you think that if even they did not see your value, how can anyone else.
Self Doubt is the second cause of having a lack of love for yourself. Self-doubt can stem from not being affirmed in a moment when you needed it. If you grew up always hearing messages about what you lack, it begins to destroy your self-confidence.
The problem with past problems is that they build up stories about how we see ourselves. Those stories can change, but we get stuck living the same traumas out repeatedly even as adults. It blocks so many healthy thoughts and self-love that you deserve.
Why You Need to Love Yourself
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Matthew 12:30-31
Everyone knows this bible verse. You are called to love God and then to love neighbors as you love yourself. Here is the problem. How can you love someone else if you don't love yourself. The verse assumes that you already love yourself because that should come naturally.
Loving yourself is a natural thing that gets corrupted by broken people who often don't know better. People don't always know they are putting kids through trauma that will stick with them. They usually don't realize that they are saying things to make you doubt yourself.
The best thing you can do is love God and love others. You will never be able to do this to your fullest potential until you learn to appreciate who you are.
10 Things You Can Do When Learning to Love Yourself
1. Feel Your Pain Fully
You are hard-wired to avoid pain and discomfort, and many times this causes you to run away from hurt. When things bother you or traumatize you, they often go unaddressed.
You let harsh feelings build without ever taking time to understand them. When you feel your pain, it may hurt for a moment, but joy comes in the morning.
2. Own Your Feelings
Your feelings belong to you. Only you can control how you feel. No one else has the power to do that. Once you own your feelings, you begin to see that you can dictate how you feel moment to moment.
You don't have to fear your emotions. They are yours, and you should own the fact that your feelings listen to you. The more you take ownership of this, the easier it all gets.
3. Commit to Learning
You are going into a learning mode. It's okay if you don't understand emotions or how trauma works. It is not okay if you don't ever take time to understand them or learn more about them.
Anything you're curious about, read on it, get a book from the library or find a podcast on it. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to learning to love yourself.
4. Correct Your False Beliefs and Narratives
You will quickly begin to notice how many false beliefs you have. Maybe someone told you that you are stupid, and you will not amount to anything. You have believed that even though you have amounted to be a person with value.
Whatever you believe that is not true, needs to be removed from your mind. You do this by replacing it with real stories that you replay in your head over and over. You remind yourself of the truth, and you buy into a new story.
5. Change Your Self-Talk
Anyone who does not know how to love themself will engage in negative self-talk. The hard thing about self-talk is that it's not done out loud, so only you will know what it looks like.
Self-talk often is an extension of how your parents spoke to you. If your parents were harsh, you are probably strict with yourself. If they made you feel inadequate, then you most likely talk to yourself that way.
6. Treat Your Mind
Do things regularly to take care of your mental health. This will look very different for every person. As an adult, I realized that I had been using workouts to keep my mental health in check, and I did not even know it.
For you, do anything repeatedly if you know that while doing it, your mind feels at ease. If anything brings your mind peace and keeps you feeling confident, do more of that.
7. Take Care of Your Body
Self-love is having the discipline and loving yourself in the long run. Don't believe that self-love is doing whatever feels right now because that can lead to alcohol, drugs, and other serious problems.
When you take care of your body, work out, and eat healthily, you remind yourself every day that you are valuable and worthy of being taken care of.
8. Date Yourself
If you like someone, you usually date them for a period to get to know them better. The problem is that you have never been told that you need to date yourself too.
When you date yourself, you set a scheduled time to go out and do something to help you get to know yourself. It's one thing to love you, but you also want to like you.
As you go through this process, you may realize that you have not forgiven yourself or others for specific situations. You will never be able to move on until you forgive those wrongs fully.
Forgiveness is not forgetting, but it's accepting a mistake and understanding that other people are human. You don't need to wait for an apology either because it may never come, but that should not put your life on pause.
10. Love Others Fully
Stop holding back from giving others the love that you want to. You are worthy of being loved, so you don't have to doubt whether others love you. Instead, step into love with everything you have in you.
How to Get Started On This Journey
Don't overthink this process. One of the best things you can do to take this seriously is to block off an hour on your calendar each day. What is more important than learning to love yourself so you can have healthy relationships?
If you give yourself an hour each day, you know you will have the time to go through the ten steps listed above. It does not matter if you have to talk it out with yourself, a friend, or write things down in a journal. Find the best way you process your emotions and get to work.