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Nov 23

Knowing Yourself = Loving Yourself

Tag: Happiness,Personal Growth,Self EsteemBeth and Neill @ 7:22 pm

Question

Catherine asked us this question: “How can I continue to strive to regard myself as worthy of [tag-tec]unconditional love[/tag-tec] in a relationship, just as I am?”

She asked this because, in her words, “I have been in two long-term relationships that ended with me feeling used and taken for granted. I came out of them thinking that I must be doing something that gives the impression I am not worth making an effort for — that I am perceived as the one who meets needs without requiring any reciprocal effort to meet mine as well”

There are many ways we could answer this question, but we would like to address how  Catherine (or anyone for that matter) can start treating herself like she’s [tag-tec]worthy of unconditional love[/tag-tec].

self_love

Artwork by Rita Loyd

Which might cause you to ask, “Easy to say, but how can I do that”?

You can start with these three beginner’s steps to practicing [tag-tec]self-love[/tag-tec]. By applying these self-love techniques you will automatically start treating yourself as the valuable being that you inherently are.

What are You Thinking About?

Step One: Explore your thinking.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, it’s the thoughts you think that generate the way you feel about yourself. The way you feel about yourself influences the actions you take. And your actions generate everything you create in your life.

Most of us have been raised in cultures that teach us to focus on what’s happening outside of ourselves as being responsible for creating the situations in our lives. “If only they wouldn’t…” “If only it hadn’t…” “If only you would…”  “It wasn’t me. It’s two other guys…”

When you primarily focus on what’s going on “out there” it’s very challenging to really know what’s going on “in here”–to know yourself, and to understand what’s most important to you.

So, if something happens “out there” that you don’t enjoy, and all you know to do is try and change those external circumstance, you’re bound to feel bad. Why? Because without first changing your internal reactions it is much harder to effectively change your external circumstances. Or, as Einstein put it:

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

That is why we suggest you start the practice of exploring your internal thoughts as the first step to treating yourself as worthy of unconditional love. You will know which thoughts are important to explore by using your feelings as an alarm.

The next time you feel uncomfortable in any way, try to identify what you were thinking about just before you started feeling uncomfortable. Then use the next step to change this level of thinking.

Identify Your [tag-tec]Personal Core Values[/tag-tec]–Who You are at a Deep Level

Step Two: Identify what’s most important to you.

The quickest way to start giving yourself unconditional love is to get to know yourself well enough that you can appreciate who you are–even when you don’t like how you feel.

Shakespeare said it best when he wrote, “To thine own self be true.”

Discovering what’s most important to you–what you most deeply value–is the best way we know to discover who you truly are.

These [tag-tec]personal values[/tag-tec] are sometimes well hidden inside your every day feelings. The stronger your feelings–the more important the value is that they express.

In step one you identified what you were thinking about just before you started feeling uncomfortable. Now that you’ve interrupted the thought, ask yourself questions such as: “What is so important to me in this situation that I feel so strongly about?” “What is missing for me that is so important?”

For example, underneath a sense of deep sadness, you might discover caring and consideration are very important to you, and those things are missing in the situation at hand. Hidden within confusion could be a strong desire for understanding. Beneath frustration, you could discover that you want to be more effective.

When you can get under your feelings to what’s deeply important to you—you will start to notice wonderful qualities about yourself. So rather then being stuck in the negative thoughts and the feelings they generate,  you can discover “thine own self”–a valuable person you can easily learn to love.

Knowing YOU is Loving YOU

Step Three: Get to know your best friend.

Although at times you may feel very sad, frustrated or lonely, once you learn to stop yourself the very moment you begin feeling uncomfortable, and then identify what’s most important to you beneath your feelings, you’ll find that you can always be there for YOU. You can listen to what’s important to you. You can figure out ways to get more of whatever you deeply value that is missing in your life.

Using these self-love techniques you are guaranteed to find the best friend you’ve ever had and will be well on your way to mastering the art of self-love and acceptance.

Never Settle for Less Again

Now we’d like to get back to the other thing Catherine said: “I have been in two long-term relationships that ended with me feeling used and taken for granted. I came out of them thinking that I must do something that gives the impression I am not worth making an effort for – that I am perceived as the one who meets needs without requiring any reciprocal effort to meet mine as well.”

[tag-tec]Loving and accepting yourself[/tag-tec] is the first step to creating unconditional love in all your relationships. This will make it much easier to experience the mutual respect and consideration you desire.  With practice at interrupting negative thoughts, and then discovering what you really want, you’ll gain the confidence to ask  for what you want and know that you’re worth getting it.

4 Responses to “Knowing Yourself = Loving Yourself”

  1. John Duffield says:

    Hello there Beth and Neill from a farmhouse in Ontario Canada. If I may, I’d like to tell Catherine a little story about self-worth. Here we go. Imagine for a moment that the entire world was like One big Tree. People and creatures and things in the world are like different leaves or fruits or branches on this amazing Tree of Life. Everything out there isn’t just “connected” then. Everything in the world is a different part of One whole. O.K., so now imagine you and I happen to be on the same branch, just a few feet apart on this Tree. I’m a big flower perhaps and you’re just a little bud. So there’s you sitting there listening to me. I’m saying you’re worth less than I am because you’re smaller and weaker and less rich in appearance. As a matter of fact, I’m pronouncing your Life “worthless”. And you? You realize I must be blind. Why? Because the Truth is, there is only One Life we all share. You and I are just different parts of One Life….so my life CAN’T be worth less than yours….much less “worthless”. So? So this. You are as “worthy” as any person anywhere anytime on this great Tree. You HAVE to be. Would you judge the life of a bunny’s tail worth less than the life of his ears? Of course not, because there’s only One Life there, and it’s Mr. Rabbit’s. Right? Same with each soul on earth. The Truth is, YOU ARE PRECISESLY AS WORTHY AS ANYONE. You have to be just as worthy of love as any soul anytime. And here’s the thing. This isn’t just a story. The real world we live in is exactly like this. To have an infinite sense of worthiness then, all you have to do is see it. Ciao. John Duffield

  2. Florin - Infinite Journey says:

    love the post and I have to agree that this really is the most important step in everyone’s life. Better, it should be thought in schools, because it’s simple, BUT kids love their games more than themselves and others.

    wish you all the best

  3. steven says:

    In my life I will remember this post!

  4. Daily Spiritual Tools says:

    I enjoyed your blog. The ability to know yourself and see yourself is a wonderful spiritual tool. I love the part in your post where you say “Get to know your best friend.” How true! I just wrote a post called “The “I” Who Observes Me” and would love your feedback. Namaste, Sherry
    Daily Spiritual Tools