5 Steps to Radical Self-Love
BY MARGARET BELL
A healthy relationship starts with you and how you feel about yourself. Too often in life we try to fix ourselves through others. We date people like us or like our parents and then we wonder why it doesn’t work out. Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
How do you stop the insanity? How do you stop doing the same thing over and over again? You’ve got to change your approach. But, first let me define what I mean by radical self-love. Radical self-love is the foundation on which you can grow all your relationships, including the one with yourself. It begins with love.
It’s not going to be easy. I am asking you change how you talk to yourself and how you treat yourself, so you can begin to fix your relationships.
It’s time to stop putting other's needs first, to stop taking responsibilities for other people’s problems, stop self-sacrificing to the point you feel taken for granted, used, abused, and like someone’s door mat. You have to learn a new way of relating in order to have healthy, happy, and loving relationships.
You must be real with yourself. Start asking questions. Why do you put others first? Why do you take responsibility for problems and feelings that don’t belong to you? Why sacrifice so much of yourself? Is it for: Love? Validation? Proof that you are worthy? Attention? Now, how do you give all of that to yourself?
5 Steps to Radical Self-Love
1. Forgiveness. You need to start by forgiving yourself. Each time you make a mistake and the result is guilt and/or shame. You need to forgive you. If you are at fault, then apologize to the other person. If they are at fault, it’s not your place to take responsibility for their mistakes. You can apologize for your role in the situation, how you handled it, and even how you reacted. The key is to take responsibility for your role in the situation, but nothing more. Don’t hold a grudge against yourself or beat yourself up. Find the lesson. Learn, forgive, and move on.
2. Love and compassion. You have to start by treating yourself the way you want to be treated. No more talking down to yourself. No more comparing yourself to others. No more tying to be someone else. Love yourself with the devotion you easily give to others. Would I treat my boyfriend, best friend, or mother, like this? If the answer is no, then why do it to yourself? Treat yourself like you are in love with you. Honor and appreciate your unique qualities. yourself. It may feel weird at first, but we are working on becoming healthier so your relationships with others can improve.
3. Validation. So often we seek validation from others. We look to them to sing our praises or to tell us we are good enough, worthy enough, or deserving of good things. This can be a slippery slope, because the more we focus on the happiness of those around us, the more we sideline personal happiness. It’s time to start validating yourself. Remind yourself that you are worthy enough, deserving, good, and loveable. Yes, it’ll feel awkward at first. But, over time your outlook, self-language, and self-confidence will grow. If you use affirmations, add these to your daily routine. “I am worthy. I am good enough. I deserve love.” Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy, have the power to create your own happiness, and that your happiness does not depend on someone else's definition of you.
4. Worth. Your value and worth does not hinge on someone else's opinions or judgments about you. Too often we seek confirmation of personal worth through others. We look for approval from parents, achievements, degrees, friends, certificates, and family. We look outside ourselves to be shown our value. Self-worth can only come from within. It’s about who you are, your unique talents and gifts. No one else is more valuable than you. Remind yourself that you are worthy.
5. Attention. How do you receive love? I am talking about how we love is accepted and felt through the actions of others, either by words, gifts, physical touch, a nice date or doing something nice for us. We often accept love in individual ways. Some love being told, we are loved and feel love through words, such as compliments and affirmations. Others love hugs and cuddling. For others it is gifts. And still others feel love when someone does something nice for them, including chores around the house. So, give yourself the attention you deserve. How? Tell yourself you love you, give yourself compliments, buy yourself a special gift, or honor your body with lotion or a massage. Be respectful of your living space too. It will remind you that you deserve good things.
What are you waiting for?
Start loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved. When you make yourself a priority, you are creating an environment for a healthy relationship. A relationship that doesn’t compromise your values or leave you feeling less valuable than your partner is worth the changes. When you love yourself, life is that much sweeter!
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: http://www.forwardkindheart.com/