For those of you who are familiar and comfortable with the idea of loving yourself, the state of not loving yourself might seem like a foreign land that you’d have to be crazy to visit.
This is not a perception built on judgement but based on a recognition that no other starting point, other than loving yourself, is a useful and easy route to happiness.
So how do we encourage the state of loving yourself?
Perfectionism; at the root of many people’s lack of self-love is a desire to attain perfection. There are two problems will this: firstly perfection is never actually achievable, as no matter how perfect the result, we are always left will the sense that it could have been a little better.
And secondly to be perfect is to be ‘God’ like, and if you’re human then you will never achieve this; trying then to achieve the unachievable, and then being disappointed, and beating yourself up for this flaw, is a recipe for unhappiness.
Remedy this by starting to be compassionate and forgiving to yourself, especially in those times when you failed to meet your own high expectations. Instead remind yourself that you are not god and it’s okay to get things wrong. If you find yourself arguing this point with yourself, again be kind to yourself for the fact that you’re arguing about it. Showing yourself this kind of limitless compassion is the only steps you need to take to achieving a sense of loving yourself.
Happiness itself does not come from outside sources; perfectionists know this, as when they are complemented authentically by others it doesn’t really make them feel good about what they’ve done. Only you can truly make yourself happy; loving yourself is the first step. Interestingly loving yourself is not only the first step to happiness, it also seems to be a first step towards wholeness, which is essential for health.
For more on these ideas please visit www.duing.org
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P.s Emily this is especially for you!