Falling in Love with Your Self | The BridgeMaker

Falling in Love with Your Self

By on Jan 23, 2011


Love yourself, for if you don’t, how can you expect anybody else to love you? – Unknown

Article written by BridgeMaker contributor Lorraine Cohen. Please visit her at Powerfull Living.

If you were asked these questions:
– What do you love about yourself?
– What makes you fabulous, wonderful and lovable?
– What do you value most about yourself?

What would you answer?

Fear and unworthiness are two main issues that powerfully affect self-confidence and self-esteem. How we feel about ourselves affects every aspect of our lives: business success, relationships, happiness, health and wellness.

When we lack feelings of self-worth and self-love, we don’t allow ourselves to receive the good that is being offered to us in so many ways.

You might automatically answer things like: your accomplishments, personal successes, things you do for others. Many people identify more with what they do rather than who they are. Those are great answers and I invite you to look at who you are in addition to identifying with what you do!

So, what would you answer?

If you have some difficulty answering, you are not alone. We often associate our value and lovability with our roles, our jobs, our responsibilities and how we serve others.

Too often we focus on what we most need to change and what is wrong with us rather than seeing what is right and valuable about who we really are. If I had a $1.00 for every time I heard people’s pain about feeling inadequate and worthless, I would have quite a bit of money.

Self-love, compassion, forgiveness are qualities we withhold from ourselves without realizing it.

My good friend Anita Pathik Law has asked me, “Whose rules are those?” when she heard me being too tough on myself rather than being forgiving.

I had never considered myself a perfectionist so it was a surprise to discover that there are times when my standards and rules about who I think I should be sets me up for feeling awful if I fail to live up to them.

We came into this life filled with love and wonder. Life circumstances, cultural conditioning, relationships, has wired us to question our true value and to feel we are not good enough.

We are not broken.

We do not need to be fixed. We need to wake up and remember who we really are.

That’s why one of my themes for the 2011 is love and compassion especially, with “me.” Below is an adapted exercise from my new 12-week program, Awakening Your Courageous Heart beginning February 2.

I invite you to acknowledge what you do and celebrate who you are:

  • What I love about myself is (acknowledge a quality, strength, or gift about yourself that you are proud of and willing to own)…
  • What makes me fabulous, wonderful, lovable, and valuable is…
  • What I am most proud of is (I invite you to brag. Yup, you heard me – its crowing time. Stand up and tell it like it is, baby!)…Use extra paper to fill in your answer!

Begin each day by looking at yourself in the mirror and say out loud:

  • (Your name) , you are fabulous, lovable, wonderful, and valuable!
    Turn it into a declaration. Stand strong and say out loud
  • I am fabulous, lovable, wonderful, and valuable!
    Say these statements with ownership, pride, passion. Breathe into the words, and take them into you heart and body! Let go of feeling foolish or self-conscious. It’s time to own the truth about who you really are!

Let’s keep going!

Here are five ways to be more self-loving with yourself (and others):

  1. Notice when you are being too harsh with yourself.
    Your natural state is love. Pay attention to your thoughts, self-talk and how you speak about yourself to others. Listen to the words you use to express in your head and out loud. Do your words, thoughts and actions reflect love compassion, forgiveness, patience? Look for opportunities to soften your heart and allow the love to flow. Do you speak or think of yourself like a loving friend or a critical parent?
  2. Treat your body with love and respect.
    Do you mistreat and abuse your body by ignoring what you know will help you to feel vital, vibrant, and alive? You might ignore when you need to rest, exercise, eat healthier, take breaks, pamper yourself, and meditate. Do you withhold love by choosing to do things that might negatively impact on your health and well-being? Do you prioritize your self-care? Look for ways to honor your body and your needs as the treasure you are!
  3. Do something every day that brings you pleasure.
    I said every day. What makes you feel good and brings you joy that is positive and uplifting? Do you pamper yourself and do things that make you smile? When you value yourself by doing loving things consistently, your life will be much happier and everyone in your world will reap the benefits.
  4. Commit to the relationships in your life that lift your heart and feed your soul.
    This year look for opportunities to be more engaged with the people you love. Ask for help and allow them to love in return by being there for you when you really need support. Allow the nature flow of love to be both given and received.
  5. Engage in daily spiritual practices to connect you with your “Essence” and Divinity.
    Prayer, contemplation, inspirational reading, walks in nature, meditation opens our heart to be in loving communion with who we really are and God/Source/Higher Power as we walk though life’s challenges and blessings. Cultivating the relationship with The Divine invites us to look at life through the eyes of love – to embody love with ourselves and those lives we touch.

Now it’s your turn to be the recipient.

Invite others to celebrate YOU! In the next 24 hours, email close trusted friends for feedback. Ask them:

    What do you love about me?
    What do you think is wonderful and fabulous about me?
    What do you value most about me?

The first time I did this exercise I had to breathe quite a bit to take the love in.

This exercise invites you to receive love from others that you might be deflecting and discarding. Give yourself the gift of feeling and receiving love – from yourself and the people who are crazy about you.

If you do not love yourself, how can you truly love another? And how can you expect others to love you?

Now go do something loving for you!

You deserve it.

More from Lorraine

Check out my12-week program, Awakening Your Courageous Heart beginning February 2. If you are ready to strengthen your inner foundation, experience healing opportunities to resolve the past, experience more love, and deepen your connection with who you really are and your relationship with Source, join me in making 2011 a year of miracles!

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Lorraine Cohen is the CEO and founder of Powerfull Living. Join Lorraine on May 15 and 17 for two FREE calls: Awakening to Love: Revealing Your Courageous Heart in an Insane World. You are invited to register here.