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How can I Love Myself?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

How can we love ourselves? Wouldn't it be nice to not have to criticize ourselves all the time, to stop questioning whether we are good enough, to stop banning ourselves for mistakes or to worry about what others think of us?

We all have some degree of darkness within us. A darkness rooted in feelings of inadequacy. This inadequacy can be painful to deal with or even feel. We can go to great lengths to hide inadequacies from ourselves and others. Often this is expressed in comparing ourselves to others, competing and having to be the best, becoming excessively self-critical or tying our worth to our performance or reputation.

To deal with this, we need to deal with feelings of inferiority. We need to let them go. We can only do that if we stop backing down from them.

A good start is therefore to accept that we have these feelings of inferiority within us. Say what you will, but that's how it is, right now.

Based on this approach, we can tell ourselves that it is ok. It's ok to have dark thoughts, it's ok to feel what I feel. I allow myself to feel the way I feel. Sit down quietly with your eyes closed. Let the thoughts and feelings be exactly as they are - no matter how dark they are. Consider them. Don't fight back. Imagine them disappearing into a fire. It becomes a meditation. Do it at least 10 minutes daily.

The practice leads over time - let it take time - to the perspective to change. Bit by bit, self-acceptance sets in. This acceptance opens new doors in life. Suddenly we dare to say "yes" because we are no longer so afraid of failure. Suddenly we dare to say "no" because we are no longer afraid of being judged as weak.

Our vulnerability has become our strength and a new dynamic is emerging. Other people open up to us. We discover that we are not alone in our feelings of inadequacy, and what we once sheltered within ourselves has been transformed into a togetherness and a bond. Our life has now taken on a new shape and depth. We no longer act defensive or prickly, and we have stopped trying to project a perfect image of ourselves.

We can now begin to see ourselves as we are, nothing more and nothing less. And that's ok. From this place of acceptance of ourselves we find peace and an opportunity to see ourselves and other people in something other than the light of our own shortcomings. This is the prerequisite for loving ourselves and other people.


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