I realize that I am idealistic and it’s simple to think that I can make the world a better place. That being said, I do believe it to be true. With a healthy perspective of love, because we all know there are very unhealthy ones as well, we can begin to slowly shift the paradigm. I think about this from my own experience of self loathing. Before I learned how to love myself, I searched for love and acceptance from all the wrong places. I was hurt many times and lashed out in many different ways that I am not very proud of. However, when you come of a place of love, you are much more tolerant of yourself and others around you. You set an example of what self love can look like. I am not perfect, but I tried for many years to be perfect and we all know that perfection is a perceptive illusion, disguised by order and control but is really immersed in chaos.
My father was a perfectionist, not only in his own work, but also in people. Especially with those who were closest to him. This caused chaos for all of us as we tried our level best to achieve this unattainable goal. The scars of his behavior and need for perfection ran deep in me for many years. When I finally broke free from the need to please him, I was able to learn how to develop a relationship with myself.
As I am cultivating this relationship with myself, I am seeing my world through a very different lens. One of patience, kindness and tolerance although let’s be honest I am not those things all the time, oh yes that’s because I’m not perfect. Judgement is certainly the biggest obstacle to overcome. When you have been judged all your life based on your action or inaction, you automatically judge others with the same measuring stick and if we are going to heal any wounds at all, we are going to have to start with our own. This then begs the question, how do we begin to love ourselves? As a concept, it seems simple enough, yet it is what the majority of us fundamentally struggle with. Here are 5 steps you can take to either begin to love yourself or love yourself more fully:
- STOP SEEKING OUT PREFECTION because it doesn’t exist, look at the Mona Lisa for instance, have you ever noticed that she doesn’t have eyebrows or eyelashes , yet she is considered to be one the most sought out art pieces of our time.
- UNDERSTAND WHAT IS WITHIN YOUR LOCUST OF CONTROL AND WHAT IS NOT. Basically you do not control other people and their behavior, just your own.
- LET GO OF PAST TRANSGRESSIONS. You have to let go or accept the bad things that were done to you or that you have done and decide that you are not going to live there anymore. Trust me when I say this one’s a biggie and it will rear its ugly head over and over again if you let it!
- STOP JUDGING AND CRITICIZING. We are all flawed so get over it! I know it’s easier said than done, but it is a freeing experience if you can rid yourself of the need to gage others according to your own compass; our differences make us interesting and unique and set us up for a lot of fascinating adventures and relationships.
- BE NICE TO YOURSELF, especially when you look in the mirror! Honour what is good in you. I have always been an excellent communicator and collaborator. This is what makes me a good Life Coach, but I can’t help to compare myself to others at times and this can turn into self deprecation very quickly if I let it. So just be nice and kind to yourself and revel in what’s awesome about you! Children do this very well, so take a clue from them.
Well folks there you have it! A few things you can start doing to being the love affair with yourself. A small disclaimer here, none of these things are easy to do and will take a sometime to implement. But work on one thing at a time, get better and implementing it and you will achieve small changes over time. In a world that seems to be driven by hate instead of love, lets each take a small steps towards loving who we are so we can make bigger positive changes in the world.
Written By: Nina Ganguli