How to Love Yourself When You Think You Can’t

heart-abstractWe know it’s important to love yourself.

You’ll be happier and healthier and you’ll have better relationships. In fact you’ll have more success with everything you do and every day will be more fun :~) But knowing is one thing, doing is another. If you struggle with the idea of looking at yourself in the mirror and saying: “I love you,” you’re not alone.

Jumping from where you are now to full-on loving yourself can be a challenge. When you look in the mirror and say, “I love you,” all the things you don’t love about yourself come flooding up and it’s hard to believe yourself.

But believing is an important part of change. Believing that you can change. And in this case believing that you can love yourself. So if saying, “I love you,” feels unbelievable then start with something smaller, start with a baby step.

It’s a short hop, skip and jump from accepting yourself to loving yourself, so we begin with acceptance.

In fact, we start with accepting one thing at a time.

Believe In Yourself, written on an yellow sticky note on a cork bulletin board

Take one thing you find unlovable about yourself and accept it. Here are a few examples of what that might be like:

You look in the mirror and see someone who’s too tall…

You’ve never liked that about yourself. You wonder how you can love yourself when you’re too tall.

(Too tall for what? And anyway, who says how tall is too tall?)

When you accept your height you accept that you can’t change it and you decide to stop tying up emotional energy by disliking what you can’t change.

You decide to put your energy into something positive.

You experiment with letting yourself be all of who you are and that includes being fabulously tall :~)

You look in the mirror and see your clothes are getting tight…

You think: “How can I love myself when I’ve been eating badly, not exercising and now I don’t even fit into my clothes?”

Ask yourself if you can change the past. The answer is no, right?

Accept that there is nothing you can do to change the past. Not with resignation, but with understanding that you made certain choices and you’re willing to be responsible for them. Starting today, make different choices if you want things to be different.

And then think of something you love about yourself right now, no matter what.

You look in the mirror and see someone with a chronic health issue…

You don’t know how it will ever resolve. You wonder, “How do I love myself with this going on?”

You accept it because it is so. You didn’t choose it, but here it is.

You accept that it gives you an opportunity for growth (I know, we never like hearing that, but it’s always true.)

Accept that the future holds possibilities for healing even if you can’t see them. Choose to be open to healing, even as you live in each moment with whatever is present in that moment.

And now think of something fabulous about you that’s true right now.

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