Loving yourself isn’t something that happens overnight. It can take quite some time to recognize the limiting beliefs and thoughts you hold you back. However, it doesn’t need to be a long, drawn out process.
Don’t get me wrong; learning to love yourself isn’t an easy task by any means.
There are a lot of ups and downs when you are following a path that asks you to be objective about who you are. We all have made mistakes or found shortcomings on our part that make us uncomfortable when we remember.
I know I have made a lot of mistakes and cultivated many limiting beliefs that at the time gave me an excuse to act in ways that were not of truth and love. There are many situations that make me cringe to look back on.
For example, I used to be rather impatient and unkind, especially in stores. When someone would be in front of me in the checkout line, I would think terrible thoughts about how long it was taking them to put their items up to scan. If it was a mother with an unhappy child, I was rude in my thinking about the child’s actions and attitude. I would be openly annoyed about having to wait my turn, and convince myself that I had more important things to do.
Now that I have grown as a person, thinking of how I used to treat people in this situation makes me feel awful. But rather than put myself down for who I’ve been, I’ve established a set of actions that help me to release the guilt and transform into a better person.
Here are the steps I take to begin my path of self-love and appreciation:
1. Being honest with yourself about the situation
First and foremost, you have to be truthful about what it is you’re feeling bad about and why. Was it that you were unkind, or that you chose an action that harmed someone else? Did you allow someone to take actions that made you feel inadequate or unworthy?
In the situation I mentioned before, I had to be honest about the way I was acting in the checkout line. I was treating others unfairly and allowing my ego to convince me that my time was more valuable than the person ahead of me in line. I was also being impatient with children who may have had a long day out.
Being truthful in this way isn’t easy. It requires you to look at yourself from an outsider’s point of view, and to accept yourself as you are. Don’t try to change what happened or explain why, simply look at what it was and let it be.
2. Recognize what caused the situation
Now that you’ve seen the situation at face value, try to be compassionate towards yourself. Why did you choose to act in this way? What sort of emotions, challenges, and life changes were you going through at the time that might have caused you to have a warped reaction to what was happening?
At the time I was feeling especially cruel towards others in the checkout line, I was very unhappy in my relationship and the way my life was going. I held a lot of guilt for other things I had done, and was likely trying to rush home so I could be alone and wallow in my depression. I didn’t have patience or understanding for myself, so I couldn’t offer it to others either.
3. Forgive yourself for your actions and reactions
This might be the most important part: forgive yourself. Even in situations that someone else has offended you, in situations that you felt that what you did was horrendous and unforgivable, remember step two, and forgive.
It can start out as simply as stating, “I forgive myself for this choice.” You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel, just by saying this one sentence. From there, you can begin to allow the emotions, memories, and other linked events to come up to also be healed through forgiveness.
In my checkout line example, I realized why I was acting this way, and made the conscious decision to forgive myself. This helped me to release the feelings of guilt that I felt for being so unkind, and it also made me feel that I no longer needed to act in this way for any reason. It makes no sense, but I felt that if I had once done something a certain way, it must always be done that way. Forgiving myself for a small thing led to this realization, and the ability to forgive and heal this deep limiting belief.
4. Love yourself as you are
As you continue to forgive yourself, you may start to notice that the normal feelings of discontent or unhappiness with who you are begin to fade. Begin telling yourself every morning,
“I love you, you are worthy, I forgive you, I love you.”
This mantra, coupled with forgiving yourself for actions that you don’t feel proud of, will create space for true healing on a soul level.
Of course, you will want to meditate daily, do self-Reiki to help in the release, and make sure to remain mindful of recurring thought patterns. Remember that healing takes time, and you may need to forgive and love your past self’s actions over and over again. This is normal, expected, and all a part of your personal path.
The key? Take it one event at a time.
Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to do it all at one time. Be gentle with yourself as you go through the steps, and don’t be discouraged when you see things coming up for healing multiple times.
If you are having a difficult time navigating self-forgiveness and love, consider checking out the services offered by Star Shaman Aubrie!