How to Love Yourself

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, February 09, 2010



Kali Munroe, a Psychotherapist, offers a few tips on Resources to Healing.

1. Ask for a list of things people like about you.

Sometimes it can be hard to find things we like or love about ourselves. So -- ask other people to tell you all the things they like about you. Ask a friend, a lover, a therapist. This isn't a replacement for your own love; it's a first step in learning to love yourself. You may need to hear the things other people like about you before you can value them in youself.

2. Make a list of the things you like about yourself.

Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. Be as honest as you can. Fill a special notebook with your list, or create a set of cards. Make the notebook as beautiful as you can - - make it something that makes you feel good when you look at it. Look at this good-things- about-yourself book as frequently as you can. It may seem silly, but repetition really does make a difference.

3. Love yourself like a friend

Close your eyes and think of a person you deeply love and trust, and who you know loves you as a friend. Think about all the things you love and appreciate about him or her. Notice how that love feels inside you, how it makes you feel good. Now turn it around the other way -- be your friend, feeling that same deep love for you. Trust in their love for you, and just feel it. Let yourself see your self through gentle eyes, with compassion and love the way your friend does, even if you can only do it for a moment.

4. Have compassion for yourself.

If you're feeling really judgemental about something you've done or said, try to understand where the judgement is coming from. Not the immediate, surface answer, but an answer deep down inside you. Are you afraid of something, or are you feeling insecure? It is important to be forgiving of yourself.

5. Recognize that the love has to come from you.

It can be hard to give it to yourself at first -- after all, if you didn't receive love as a child, or if some of that love was torn away from you by violence, self-hate may have built up inside you. But you have the courage and strength to love yourself, if you've survived this long. And you do deserve it!

6. Use Affirmations

Write out strong, loving things to say to yourself, even if you don't fully believe them. Some examples are:
"I utterly and completely deserve love and kindness,"
"I am a very lovable person,"
"I am kind, compassionate, intelligent, and wise." (or subsitute the words for loving words that you feel best suit you.
Now put up those affirmations in places you'll see them every day -- on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on your bedside table, next to your favorite chair, on the kitchen wall next to where you cook your food or eat a meal. Don't forget to read them.

7. Counteract Negative or Critical Thoughts About Yourself

Write down all the negative or critical thoughts. See if you can figure out who first said them to you (or said something of that nature). Then write out a response that counteracts each of those messages, one by one. Make the counter messages as strong and loving as you can.

If you're having trouble writing out counter messages, see if you can connect to a deep, wise part inside of you. Or write out what you would say to a friend if a friend said those things about her/himself

8. Do Comforting and Nurturing Things For Yourself

Allow yourself to do comforting and nurturing things for yourself. Let yourself feel how good you feel when you do those things -- and tell yourself that you deserve to feel that way, to feel good. Gradually you'll find that the more nurturing and comforting times you have, the more you'll seek them out -- and they will help build a good feeling inside you.

9. Ask Yourself What You Need to Do

Some of these things will work really well for you, while others may not quite fit you. So try taking a moment to get quiet, and ask yourself, "What can I do to help myself feel more compassion and love toward myself?" Don't force an answer -- just let the answer bubble up from inside you. If you find it hard to hear the answer that way, try writing out your question, and then your answer. See what you come up with. You know best what works for you -- and you have great wisdom inside you.

Above all -- have compassion for yourself and for where you're at. Remember that you are a truly loveable person -- and that you deserve only kind treatment, especially from yourself. :)

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