The Power of Self Love
“If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.” Fritz Perls
“I’m not good enough.”
You are your own worst judge.
You focus on becoming instead of being.
You begin to value others based on the same perfect standard, hiding from yourself in shame.
How you view yourself is how you view the world. If your not good enough then neither will anyone or anything else be.
Self-love is compassion and unconditional acceptance for yourself. It’s taking care of and meeting your own needs and allowing non-judgemental thinking. Its viewing yourself as essentially worthy, good, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
Yet, the largest barrier to a lasting and loving relationship with another person are the unloved parts of ourselves. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to do it for you.
Self-love goes beyond brushing and flossing your teeth, working out at the gym, and saying a dozen affirmations a day.
“We are poignantly aware that there is something missing in us — that something that creates the kind of motivation that would cause someone to say no to a piece of cake, to get up at 6:00 in the morning in order to get to the gym before going to work, to leave an abusive partner. The missing something is self-love.” Beverly Engle
We run around desperately looking for someone else to love us. Maybe they will give us the love we need, fill in the empty spaces where our unlovable selves exist.
Unable to love the parts of ourselves that’s unlovable, we spend the rest of our lives seeking out validation and approval. Beverly Engle writes how seeking validation and approval from others only encourages abandonment and rejection.
“Most of us have spent our lives seeking validation and approval from others. But the truth is, if we cannot accept ourselves, we cannot expect others to accept us. And without self-acceptance, we will live in fear of being rejected.”
And if we are lucky enough to confront our unloveable self, we discover its fear.
Usually it’s a particular fear such as fear of abandonment. It was in many of my relationships before I became aware that a fear of abandonment was the driving force of my behaviors. When you are afraid of being left alone, you’ll either cling to people dragging them down with you, or keep them distant to avoid the pain if they leave.
You can fear being smothered, worried that your individuality and freedom will be lost because of too much togetherness. You deny your need for intimacy and seek out partners who are themselves unavailable. Unable to love yourself and open your heart, you sabotage relationships when they get too close.
“Fear is excitement without the breathe” ~ Fredrick Solomon Perls
Reading Gay Hendricks’s, “The Big Leap — Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take your life to the next level” explains what Perls meant.
Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it. On the other hand, excitement turns into fear quickly if you hold your breath.
When I focus on the breath, fully inhaling and exhaling, fear subsides and allows me to love myself and showing kindness and self-compassion.
Love yourself, warts and all. Loving yourself, treating yourself with compassion and kindness frees you from shame based beliefs that prevent you from forming lasting and loving relationships.