In the previous post, I taught that love is the collection of thoughts you have about another person. The same is true when it comes to your relationship with yourself. When your collection of thoughts about yourself is positive and generous, you love yourself. Judgmental and critical thoughts prevent you from generating love and hold you in a negative space – for example:
· Someone else could do this better
· I shouldn’t have started
· What’s wrong with me?
These thoughts will keep you stuck and unable to fully love yourself. My brain liked to disguise this as perfectionism. If I wasn’t doing something “perfect”, it was wrong. If I didn’t say the “perfect” thing, I screwed up. I would ruminate and allow my brain to tell me all of the things that were wrong with me, which took up a lot of brain space and prevented me from generating love toward myself.
I invite you to start listening to what your brain is offering for you. The thoughts that are repeated become your beliefs about yourself. If your beliefs about yourself are negative and full of self-doubt or criticism, it will make it difficult to generate the feeling of love, not only toward yourself, but also toward other people. Love truly starts with ourselves, and once we know how to generate that feeling internally, we can extend that love to other people. When we lack in self-love, we turn toward other people for support, validation and acceptance. Lacking in self-love does not make you bad or negative or broken. It just means you haven’t learned the skills yet. Here are some questions to journal as you work on loving yourself:
· What do I love about myself?
· When I make a mistake, what am I thinking about myself?
· What tone do I take with myself – am I loving and kind, or harsh and critical?
· When I change my mind about something, how do I feel?