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What Do You Have To Do To Love Yourself?

Updated on May 23, 2020
Anne Matthews profile image

Anne has a bachelor degree in Behavioral Science and has worked in Human Services as an Outreach Worker.

Spiritual Teachers Instruct You To Love Yourself. What do they mean?

Recently I have been watching a lot of social media that includes Astrologers, Tarot Card readers, Psychics, Hypnotherapists, and Spiritual teachers, and many of them all say the same thing: " you need to love yourself". I have listened to them and thought, "Okay, I will love myself." and then wondered "why?" and "how?" There are several good answers to "why".

1. If you do not love yourself you will not trust that anyone else can love you. You will doubt that your partner can see anything in you or about you that is lovable. You will go through your life sabotaging your intimate relationships.

2. If you do not love yourself -- if you do not feel worthy you will attract negative experiences to yourself to teach you to love yourself.


Loving Yourself Starts With Deprogramming That Inner Voice

Many psychologists have taught us that we are programmed at an early age by the comments and ideas of our parents and other caretakers during the ages from birth to seven. The Jesuits have a saying: "give me a child until the age of seven and I will give you the man." which is a truism. From birth to the age of seven our brainwaves, the electrical charges between our brain cells, are functioning at a particular hertz frequency that is similar to a hypnotic trance, and we are very susceptible to being programmed while in this state. The critical comments of our caretakers take up residence in our heads and when we are adults they replay like a constant inner monologue of judgements. Our parents may have been loving people who felt a need to shape us with critical feedback, or they may have been verbally abusive, but to some degree or another they have implanted their view of us in our heads. Did they build us up or drag us down?

Deprogramming Yourself Takes A Little Effort

To deprogram ourselves we need to examine our core beliefs about ourselves and try to remember our interactions with our parents. We may need to take a notebook and pen, or open a word-processing app on a laptop, to write down what we remember being labelled as. Can we remember being called a good girl or boy, or a bad girl or boy. Does some part of us think that we are "bad?" or "naughty?" Did we have some physical feature that was commented on, mocked, or derided. Here we might move away from parental comments to how we experienced daycare, kindergarten or first grade in elementary school. Were we bullied by other children and did not realize that it was bullying?

Techniques To Reprogram Yourself

So when you have a list of thoughts about yourself from your early childhood, what are you going to do about them? Well, first of all just simply acknowledging these forgotten core concepts brings them from the darkness of being buried in the subconscious mind to the light of the conscious mind and takes away their power. The subconscious mind is very powerful and it is somewhat comparable to an artificial intelligence running a matrix program that is running our lives. I am comparing the subconscious mind to an artificial intelligence in that this part of ourselves responds to symbolic images but not verbal input and is very rigid and literal like a machine. The subconscious mind is like a machine running a script.

Talk To Your Inner Child To Deprogram Yourself

Another technique to change your core concepts and to eradicate feelings of worthlessness is to picture yourself at an earlier age as your inner child, who lives now in your subconscious self, occasionally popping out and acting childishly. Sometimes you inner child is not childish but just emotional. So in your imagination sit your inner child on your lap and reassure him or her. I had a very strange experience of my own inner child when my mother died. I had to go back to my home town, where I had not lived in thirty years to go to my mother's house, and in my imagination I could clearly see myself at the age of seven running down the street beside me, running to keep up with me, and sobbing her heart out. Never in my life before had I encountered my inner child as a clear image to my inner eye. I mentally asked her, although knowing the answer, "why are you crying?" and she replied, " they've left me all alone, and nothing that they told me that would happen when I grew up was true! They said that I would marry my friend Tony, and it did not happen!" So I had to mentally speak to her and reassure her that her life had turned out differently, but well. But we do not have to experience the inner child coming out in stressful situations but we can talk to our inner child while in a meditative state, and perhaps be surprised by what the child says to us.

We Can Use Affirmations To Change Ourselves

The affirmations that we can use do not have to be long sentence like the classic, "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better!" If we can figure out what the blocks to self-love are, we can just affirm the opposite. If someone called us selfish, then we can just affirm "I am unselfish," and we can think about all of the unselfish acts that we have performed over our lifetime. Perhaps we were derided over some physical defect, and we can just affirm that we have changed and grown up and we no longer have whatever it was. Supposing we had red hair and everyone called us "carrot-top" or "ginger." Now we can say something like "I love my beautiful red hair!"

We Can List Our Accomplishments

Just by taking some time to list our accomplishments we are changing our view of ourselves. It is not vain or morally wrong to compile a list of accomplishments and positive traits. Many people are afraid of becoming conceited or that the children that they are raising will become conceited. Conceit often comes from a sense of insecurity rather than security. Conceit tends to develop in us when we compare ourselves to others and this often happens in families between siblings. This can also develop from parental attitudes to gender, intelligence, talents, whereby a girl gets a sense from her parents that female are inferior to males, or a boy thinks that males are more intelligent than females. This can damage a young girl's sense of worthiness and needs to be corrected by self-reflection and affirmations.

Finally, Self Love Can Be Self Care

What most of the Spiritual Teachers, Tarot Card readers, Psychics, and Hypnotherapists mean when they instruct us to love ourselves is simply to be good to ourselves by eating a healthy diet, getting rest and exercise, not beating ourselves up mentally, and forgiving ourselves for a lifetime of mistakes and wrong choices. If we do not take good care of ourselves, then we become a burden to others. We should not feel ashamed of putting ourselves first as this is the only way that we can be strong enough to help others if they need our help.

Comments

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    • Anne Matthews profile imageAUTHOR

      Anne Matthews 

      14 months ago

      I agree. I think feeling love for someone else , for me, is a motivator to get up in the morning.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like this, it has a lot of good stuff in it. I realize that we say love yourself first -- but in essence it is easier to start by loving someone we perceive as easier to love.

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