We spend so much time showing our love for others that we forget something really important. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot truly love another. When your feelings toward yourself are negative, you bring that into your relationships with others. You think of yourself as unworthy of love. This can lead you into relationships where you are not loved as you should be.
Self-love is not the same as self-centeredness or narcissism. You do not have to develop over-inflated self-esteem. It’s more about accepting yourself and deeming yourself worthy of the love of others.
It might sound like an easy task. You can stand in front of the mirror, look at yourself, and say, “I love you.” But would you truly mean it? If you’ve spent years feeling unworthy or being made to feel unworthy of love, there’s a long road ahead.
Here are some ideas on how to get the ball rolling to fall in love with yourself:
- Acknowledge where you’ve been
You cannot deal with what you don’t acknowledge exists. This can be a painful process, but it will be worth it in the end. Go back through time to find out where your unresolved issues were brought into existence. When and where were you made to feel shamed, anxious, inferior, or unloved? What happened and why did it make you feel that way? This is important so that you don’t allow it to happen again.
- Let it go
When you’ve examined what happened and why you felt so bad about it, you need to let it go. Forgive those who have wronged you. Not for their sake, but for your own. Reassure yourself that you’ve learned what you needed to from the experiences, and now you can put them behind you. If you can’t do this, it will inhibit your ability to love others. Your love for them will always be competing with the hurt and anger you hold in your heart.
- Rediscover yourself
When you’ve made a conscious decision to let go of the things that have caused you to feel hurt, you’ll immediately see a change in yourself. You’ll start to feel more confident and comfortable with who you are. This allows you to open your heart and let others in again. When you allow yourself to love again, the feelings come naturally.
- Make some changes
If you see your weight as a barrier to truly falling in love with yourself, do something about it. You will never be able to love deeply again if all you can do is worry about what the person thinks of your weight. Don’t be afraid to admit your shortcomings and address them. There are things you may have done that have contributed to your declining self-esteem. Be critically introspective and choose to work on yourself.
- Make yourself vulnerable
When you’re feeling more love for yourself, you’ll be able to make yourself vulnerable to someone else. This allows you to love that person close up, not from a distance. In permitting yourself to show your true self to someone, you are giving them the go-ahead to show you their true selves.
- Move forward with intimacy
There are many different types of intimacy. But for as long as you cannot accept and love yourself, you will struggle to be intimate with the people you love. You will be unable to make yourself available to them because that element of self-doubt will always be bubbling under the surface.
- Look forward
When you’ve learned some of the basic skills to love yourself, look forward to finding new people to love. The world is full of people who deserve and need your love. You are worthy of receiving love back from them. Once you’ve conquered the struggles of the past, don’t look back at them again. Look forward, travel onward, and let yourself love again.