We all want to be loved, unconditionally, without reservation or judgement, with all our flaws, shortcomings and strengths, virtues and peccadillos. Self-love is essential for a healthy life and healthy relationships with others. Self-love begins with self-acceptance, accepting yourself as you are right now, not when you are your perfect weight or have the perfect partner or job or anything else.
Do we really need to learn to love? Does love not come naturally? It seems to me that life is all about learning, not only about who we are, how best to nurture our self and others but also about how to trust in our self, others, our environment and the Universe as a whole. It is a lifetime’s work. Love is infinite. The more you love yourself, the more you can love another and the more likely you are to attract more love into your life.
Self acceptance begins with accepting your self exactly as you are, without judgements or criticism. It is unconditional. When we start accepting ourselves as we are, we begin to develop more self-compassion and a deeper understanding of who we are today. We also begin to like ourselves more and see that we are deserving of love. It does not mean we go into self-denial about our less attractive traits, but instead accept them and forgive ourselves for being less than perfect.
Self-acceptance is a process of being willing to acknowledge our truths and experience our feelings without the need to either minimise or exaggerate them. This makes it much easier to let go of whatever has been keeping us stuck in negative behaviour patterns and self-limiting beliefs. It enables us to move forward from a place of strength rather than weakness.
When we love and accept ourselves unconditionally it is easier to live in the moment. We are more likely to nourish our body with healthy foods, get outside for a walk or a run and generally take better care of ourselves. We are also less likely to ruminate over the past or stress about future events. Self-acceptance and self-love increases our self-esteem and self-motivation.
Positive affirmations work.
Louise L. Hay’s most famous affirmation is: “I love and approve of myself.” Try adding: exactly as I am right now. Positive affirmations are a way of re-programming our minds, they need to be repeated, often and like we mean it, until they have over-written the negative belief.
Thoughts are the seeds of action.
The best book I’ve read on the power of thought is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It is a small book, easy to read with a profound message. You can read it here on Cornerstone books.