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Tuesdays With Traci: Loving Ourselves Unconditionally

In Advocacy, Art therapy, Education, Outreach, Sexual Assault Awareness on June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

Love yourself into health and a good life of your own.  Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person.  Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy, success, and contentment.

Love yourself into all that you always wanted.  We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way.  If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, it’s time to stop.  Other people treated us that way, but it’s even worse to treat ourselves that way now.

Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times.  People may accuse us of being selfish.  We don’t have to believe them.  People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them.  People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, love the most.

How do we love ourselves?  By forcing it at first.  By faking it if necessary.  By “acting as if.”  By working as hard at loving and liking ourselves as we have at not liking ourselves.  Explore what it means to love yourself.  Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self-love.

Embrace and love all of  yourself- past, present, and future.  Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary.  Encourage yourself.  Tell yourself good things about yourself.  If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.  Pat yourself on the back when necessary.  Discipline yourself when necessary.  Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.

Sometimes, give yourself treats.  Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder.  Learn to be good to yourself.  Choose behaviors with preferable consequences-treating yourself well is one.  Learn to stop your  pain, even when that means making difficult decisions.  Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself.  Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.  Stop explaining and justifying yourself.  When you make mistakes, let them go.  We learn, we grow, and we learn some more.  And through it all, we love ourselves.

We work at it, then work at it some more.  One day we’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual.  We’re now living with a person who give and receives love, because that person loves him- or herself.  Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.

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