So, here is a question for you today..
How many times in a day you say ‘I love you’ to yourself?
Okay, it might sound cheesy to some people. Let’s do this! How many times you have appreciated yourself looking in the mirror for the kind of person you are? Or how many times have you patted your back for doing something extraordinary? May be helping a stranger?
Honestly, I never did it.
Though, sometimes I appreciated the person I looked in the mirror, but it wasn’t because of the ‘person’ I am, but because of how I looked or how I dressed up.
Couple of years ago, I had friends at my place. We started playing a game where each one of us would have to talk about three positive, and
three negatives things about each other. I remember waiting desperately to listen about the ‘negative’ things. Next day, I asked my husband, ‘Did you just see how many flaws I have?’ To which my husband replied, ‘Do you believe them all?’
I nodded my head in agreement.
‘Do you believe in the positive things too, said about you?’, He asked.
My reply was ‘No’ this time!
Honestly, I never believed in my goodness. And when you keep criticizing your inner child, it starts believing the same! I could see my negative beliefs turning into reality at my work, in my relationships, and my health too. Couple of years ago, I realized that I needed to change this! I had joined an amazing team with a decent salary. Things were pretty good initially. There were number of times I was appreciated for my work. However, my manager changed after few months.
And soon things started changing too.
My new manager had started criticizing my work though I would work harder and harder to prove myself. I would sit late in office to finish the stuff in my plate, and very soon there would be more! Once, I took extra efforts to help her, and in return she told me that ‘I am incompetent. I should have done this faster!’
I remember sitting with her in her office and feeling pity about myself. I should have replied but I chose to keep quiet, and listen to her. Because, somewhere I believed it to be true. That moment was a set back for me. I started analyzing my behavior. And I found that it was me who was the culprit! I did not take stand for myself because in believed what she said. I believed that I was good for nothing.
It was the high time I needed to change.
Here are the things I did, and I am still doing to love myself.
- Meditate:- I believe every personal growth starts with recognizing the thoughts. Until and unless we are not able to distinguish between ‘Our thoughts’ and ‘Me’, we can not make a difference in our belief system. I started meditating for 10 minutes every day. Most of the times, it’s a simple meditation wherein I would imagine a black screen in front of my eyes, and would capture any thoughts or images on that screen. If you want to learn easy ways to meditate, here is my blog on Quick tips for meditation beginners.
- Visualize:- At the end of meditation, I visualize myself standing in front of my eyes repeating this to myself, ‘I love you, and I accept you exactly the way you are!’ Initially it felt weird, my heart would not accept this ‘new found love’ for myself but, with time it started improving.
- Talking to childhood picture:– Childhood is the time when we create our belief system. We are fragile and so are our emotions! We believe whatever is said to us.We can learn to love ourselves or we can hate ourselves for what we are! Most of the times, it takes great effort to change the beliefs created in our childhood, but it can be done with a simple exercise.That’s why I used to keep a childhood picture of myself in front me, and say ‘You are the best!’ number of times a day. Though I don’t do it now, it has shown great effects especially when I am mad at myself.
- Mirror work:- This is something I read in Louis Hay’s book, ‘You can heal your life’. According to this technique one has to stand in front of mirror, and say ‘I love you’ number of times. Though this technique never worked for me, I have heard that for many people it worked amazingly well. If you are one of those, comment below. 🙂
- Patting my back:- Every time I do something good, I pat my back. It can be a minor thing like helping my husband paying the bills’. After I help him, I take a moment to say ‘Good job!’ to myself or, take a moment to feel good about what I have done. We do so many things worth appreciating throughout the day, but we miss taking a moment of recognize it.
Self- love is similar to self-discovery.
You have to discover what works for you. Its important to remember that self love is a journey. You just can’t work on a technique for few days and expect yourself to be perfect. We humans are made of layers of emotions. As we peel one, we find a new one to take out.Take it easy. If you are trying too hard, that is again opposite to what self love is. Healing is never a liner path. As soon as we learn it, we will start accepting it with all the flaws it brings.