Honestly, I didn’t learn to love myself until I met a partner who loved me unconditionally. Here is what I’ve learned from him, on how to love myself as much as he loves me.
Give yourself permission to ease up on your “should’s”
In the past, I tell myself I should sleep no more than 8 hours a day; watch no more than 2 hours of TV; exercise at least 3 times a week; eat no more than a handful of potato chips. I should… I should…
When I fail to follow my “should’s”, I feel ashamed. My partner, on the other hand, never judges me for how much I sleep, eat, watch TV or exercise. Where do these “should’s” come from anyway?
Now, instead of letting my “should’s” be my guide, I let how I feel moment to moment be my guide. I let myself enjoy TV, sleep, snacks etc. as much a I want without guilt, trusting that my body will tell me when I’m sufficiently re-charged.
When I am well rested and happy, I actually binge less on TV and snacks.
Ask yourself lovingly: What “should’s” can I let go of ?
Say “No” to people who don’t light you up
I value friendships greatly and want to meet up with my friends often. However, my partner points out how my self-esteem changes after I hang out with certain people. It took me a while to make the decision to stop spending time with people who don’t light me up. It’s not that certain friends are not good people, it’s just that some people brings out the bright side of me while others don’t.
This decision has enabled me to feel good about myself more consistently, which enables me to give my best self and gifts to others.
Ask yourself: How can I spend less time with people who don’t light me up?
See yourself as glass half-full (not half-empty)
“I’m not good enough” is a consistent voice in my head. I used to ask my partner why would he want to be with me because I don’t know what he sees in me.
However, if I am more objective, I know I have many great qualities. Every one of us has something uniquely great to offer, but we are often blind to our own gifts.
Now, I remind myself each morning during my meditation of what makes me good. I also do a run through of the previous day in my head, and think of all the moments when I embodied my values. For instance, yesterday I connected with a new friend and helped him with his career aspirations. I took initiative to connect with a mentor to get clarity on a issue that has been on my mind. I went to Zumba class and experienced joy.
I was loving, curious, engaging, and joyful. That is me.
Ask yourself: What values/qualities did I embody everyday, and why I love that about me?
How sweet would the world be if we are all more loving to ourselves, and focus on seeing the good in us?
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