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Not a third-party action

I once thought loving myself was a third-party action. Loving yourself felt like something I had to prove worthy of or something I needed to work towards. For example, I would feel this sense of self-love if I made more money or got the right job title. And due to this belief, for the longest time I couldn’t love myself. I didn’t think I was a horrible person; I just kept looking and searching for this love from the outside world. I was expecting other people to love me more than I loved myself.

It’s not selfish to love yourself, however it’s selfish to expect other people to do it for you.  When you expect other people to fill this void, you will always be left unsatisfied and unfulfilled. No matter how exceptional you are to others, the people pleasing approach for self-love is one that’s fleeting and will never fully satisfy you. It will always keep you guessing the next morning – what if they forget why they love me? Do they still love me? When you are solely expecting other people to fill your need for love, you will always be left chasing and chasing. This people pleasing approach is like sand slipping between your fingers.

And so I finally realized it did not make a difference what I did. Self-love was not dependent on what I was able to accomplish. It didn’t matter how much I gave to charity, or how successful I was, or how many times I went out of my way to help friends. Regardless, I just felt there was a hole inside my heart, and I realized that hole was mine and mine alone to fill. I recognized that love was an inside job and that it wasn’t a third-party action. Oddly, society makes us feel that we have to do something or be something to love ourselves. But we are already love. We’re born that way.

Remember when you were a child

Think of us when we were children. We were automatically and innately filled with love and joy until the world convinced us otherwise. We didn’t question it or give a thought. Even look at someone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand the complexities of the world around them; they carry on with love and joy in their hearts. And so that love does exist innately within us. But we bury it. So to love yourself does not require you to do something, but instead requires an undoing.

I want you to imagine that you have a little boy or girl inside of you and they live in a room inside of you. As you grow up, you would open the door and say something like “you’re fat” or “you’re stupid”. With that bricks or blocks with these words were created, and these bricks of negativity begin surrounding and consuming this boy/girl. As these bricks accumulate, they begin creating a wall. This wall blocks the shining light of this little boy or girl. The happiness, carefree innocence of this boy/girl gets blocked by this wall. We can then no longer feel the joy or love that already exists within ourselves.

Now we are left to try things to help us feel better. We go to therapy, counseling, we try medication, or see a motivational speaker. We feel better for a bit, but it’s not sustainable. The problem is we are looking for the solution externally. The answer is within you. We need to tear down the wall of bricks that we’ve created within ourselves. Instead of looking at that brick and wondering why you believe you’re fat, it’s far more valuable to get rid of that brick. Remember the shining light you were as a child. It still exists within you.

Why is it easier for us to love others?

If you have children, you just love them. Think back when you were a child – you just loved your parents and your siblings. You don’t think about it. It takes no effort. It takes no effort to love someone else. So why does it take so much effort to love ourselves? The problem is for ourselves we often try to seek this love from the outside. But when you recognize that love already exists from within you, it no longer takes effort to love yourself. You can just be and there’s nothing really for you to do or accomplish.

Remember, we’re human beings, not human doings. So there is nothing to do to love yourself. To love yourself there are no steps or a checklist to follow. There’s only one thing – ACCEPT THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE. The solution has always been inside each and every one of us. If you open up your heart and accept the person you are, you will come to love yourself.

Most people seem to be harder on themselves than they are on others. There are many people around us that have made a lot of mistakes, but we accept them because they are human and humans make mistakes. So why don’t we take the same approach and mindset when it comes to ourselves? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we beat ourselves up?

We have a much easier time loving others because under this lens we realize every human deserves love and to be loved. But we forget this reasoning when it comes to ourselves. We beat ourselves up and berate ourselves, and think we must jump through hoops for love. Stop bullying the little child inside you. There are no hoops to jump through. Start nurturing yourself the way you would a real child.

Black Sheep Thinkers realize that their most important relationship is the one they have with themselves. If you need help making that friendship your best, contact me for personal development coaching.

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