Self-Love is Difficult for Many
When you’re also a survivor of a past trauma such as domestic violence, child abuse, poverty or addiction, learning to love yourself can be challenging. But it’s also one of the most important parts of your healing journey.
Self Love is Doing the Work
When you practice self love, you are continually naming and claiming all of who you are — even the scariest parts. It’s about developing your capacity to be aware, authentic and intentional in every aspect of your life. In doing so you’ll build greater self compassion and also enhance your ability to offer compassion to others.
Journal Prompts to Assist You in Developing Self-Love
- What values, beliefs, personality traits, interests or outlooks have defined who you are in different stages in your life? Are there any common threads that seem to weave through every chapter?
- Which of your core beliefs, traits, interests or outlooks did you adopt for the sake of others, and which did you choose for yourself—in other words, who are you when no one is looking?
- Think about three times in your life when you felt a significant amount of joy, peace or accomplishment. Do these experiences have any elements in common? What might that say about you as a person?
- What parts of your past cause you the most embarrassment or pain? How does that relate to the values you named above? Does it confirm or challenge what you believe about yourself?
- Think about the relationships you have with other people. Which relationships feel the easiest? Which ones feel more difficult? What is the connection between these relationships and the beliefs you hold about yourself?
Beyond Journaling: Daily Steps to Self-Love
- Stop Caring How You Look: your appearance does not define who you are and should not affect your actions or choices. Never define yourself according to others’ opinions or judgments.
- Let Go: let go of the past, stop harboring old pains and disappointments, and free yourself of the burden. We’ve all been let down. We’ve all had that someone who didn’t message back, or stood us up on a date, or treated our hearts like dirt. We’ve all been left feeling exposed and vulnerable and weak, our trust abused and our egos bruised. We need to forgive. We need to move on. We need to let go.
- Win Yourself Over: you are perfect as you are, you are a catch, you are a winner, you are important, and you deserve to be happy. So take the time to do what you love, especially when you’re feeling less than cared for.
- Don’t Compare Yourself: everyone is different, with different aspirations, goals, dreams, thoughts, and actions so never will you be where someone else is. So stop comparing yourself to them! You will never be them, you will always be yourself. So find ways to be happy with you instead of worrying about what someone else has or has done.
- Build Strong Friendships: physical relationships can be impermanent and fleeting while emotional relationships can stand the test of time. Having friends to lean on when you need and providing support for them when they do provides so much more spiritually and emotionally than just sex and physical contact.
- Get Healthy: caring for your body and nourishing it with healthy food, exercise, and meditation have nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with feeling good and being able to do the things you want. You cannot be successful at life if you are unhealthy or sick all the time. You cannot enjoy life if you are physically unable to go and do the things you love.
- Be Alone: get out and away from work and life’s daily tasks and wander alone. Spend time by yourself. You will never learn who you are over the chatter, judgment, and competition of others. Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to be yourself without worrying about what others think, feel your own emotions without becoming emotional in public, and hear your own thoughts without someone else telling you they’re wrong.
- Know What You Deserve: you can only accept what you think you deserve so when your standards for yourself are low you will never get what you actually deserve. You deserve someone who makes you feel beautiful, someone who makes you feel special. You deserve to be someone’s first priority. First and foremost that person you deserve should be you!