Updated: Jan 26, 2020
Full disclosure: I was the queen of self-loathing and shame. It was passed down through generations of females on my mother’s side. And it felt normal. However, the self-loathing ultimately showed up in my body through endless physical ailments, and I never truly felt happy or fulfilled. Self-loathing, even when unconscious, breeds unworthiness and is a saboteur that prevents us from knowing how amazing and lovable we are at our core.
Shifting your automated negative self-talk patterns to feeling and expressing kindness and love to yourself is the first step to allowing well-being, joy and happiness in your life. Loving yourself is the magic medicine for your body, mind and soul.
So how do you begin to give yourself love when it wasn’t a learned or modeled behavior when you were young? Self-love can feel very uncomfortable, depending on the extent of your inner emotional protection, and the more uncomfortable something feels the more likely it is to be avoided. You might already suspect that you harbor some resistance to loving yourself perhaps through undesired habits, patterns or behaviors that seem to linger year after year.
Let’s dig deeper so we can get to the inner dynamics of why you might have resistance and sabotage yourself by creating inner obstacles. There were early influences (parent figures) in your life that became your inner self-talk through how they spoke to you and to themselves. Their voices became the distorted beliefs and unreasonable standards you place upon yourself via your inner critic. The positive impact of giving yourself love, or the negative impact of criticizing yourself, provide very different results.
Make an intention to build your observer muscle. Next time you catch your inner critic in action, take a deep breath, and then reframe the way you speak to yourself. Find a positive role model, perhaps a grandparent, a friend’s mother or a celebrity, and let their loving voice become how you communicate to yourself. Imagine how they would affectionately build you up and give you unconditional love.
Your inner child, the one with the wounds and distorted beliefs, needs your love, approval, acceptance and healthy parenting so she or he can truly heal and feel lovable. Implementing a daily ritual of sending love to any part of yourself that needs it will open up a brave new world.
Self-love is a superpower, and is at the heart of creating a healthier, richer, and more fulfilling life. You are worth the investment to create inner self-talk habits that are filled with compassion for all you been through, as this gift to your soul will lay the groundwork to reveal more of the incredible light that is you.