A lack of self-love can take you on a path of darkness, a path that no one would willingly choose; yet, it seems to be the road that is traveled by many. If you are looking for ways to find self-love, then first of all, you must tackle one important obstacle: your thoughts.
The way to leave that dark path and take a fresh ride on a free highway – free of accusations, doubts, lack of self-worth, not ever feeling like you’re “enough” – is not that easy and it may take some serious maneuvering, but you don’t need to be a skilled driver to perform a spectacular exit. A determined driver can turn that wheel just as well.
Changing your path takes time, and it will not happen after one day. It takes commitment and the will to leave the darkness behind.
Lack of Self Love – What is the Cause for You?
Whether your darkness was created by burnout, abuse, or wrong choices, the methods I’ll suggest can bring relief in different scenarios.
Although my website was created to deal specifically with burnout, the assignment I provide in this article may apply for other darkness too. After all, the common goal is to re-connect with yourself and find your self-love. Just bear in mind that it can be a long term process.
The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself. You must love yourself fully before you can love another. How can you expect someone to love you as you are if you cannot love yourself? What you feel (or think) you project, and this lack of self-love is projected to the world.
So, the first relationship we must work on is the one with ourselves. Do you agree?
Before we begin, I need to insert a quick disclaimer here. I am not a doctor, nurse, or a psychologist. Everything I share on my website is based on my own experiences. I went through burnout from 2016 to 2018. My burnout was caused by several factors, not only an unmanageable workload at work, but also years of dealing with many deaths, terrible diseases, and cruelty during my work in animal rescue, and thirdly, also suffering abuse by others.
So, although I am not a healthcare worker, I have been through similar things that you may or may not have experienced, and I found a way out. What worked for me may not always work for everyone, but I believe in sharing this to help others and I also believe that where there is a will there is a way.
If some of my suggested exercises work for even just one person, then helping that one person, is already a wonderful achievement.
Assignment 1: Choose How You Perceive the World Around You
In this exercise, you can witness your thoughts and see their power. Thoughts are creative and they create much of our reality.
I know, no one in their right mind ever thought “I want to have a job that wears me down and absolutely kills me every single day”. Or “I choose a friend who always makes me feel guilty whenever I cannot do what he/she expects me to do,” said no one ever, right? Of course, that’s not how this works. Nonetheless, other thoughts may lead to certain realities.
Let’s try the following. In the morning, find a quiet spot, perhaps in your garden. If there is no garden, then find a space in your house that is your own, somewhere where it’s only you and no one else. Then, sit still for a minute and listen to the silence.
Think about those questions:
- How have I been unkind to myself?
- How have I hurt myself with my thoughts and actions?
- How have I chosen my actions?
- When was the last time I did something for me?
This may not seem like much. You’re probably thinking, “what, these four questions? That’s it?” No, that’s not it, but as I said before, healing takes time and it is an ongoing process. It is a path that is taken day by day. You can’t solve years of burnout, or abuse, or whatever reason brought you here in just one day. If that were possible, then many psychologists might have to consider a change of career 😉
Remember the famous saying, “Rome wasn’t built in one day.”
Moreover, these are deep questions, and not that easy to answer, especially when other people have hurt you. So, for this assignment it is important to leave the memory of those people and their actions out of your mind, and focus on YOU. Think about these questions, write them down and also write the answers. Then, read them out loud.
How does it feel when you hear yourself recite your written words? Whatever emotions come up, accept them. Do not fight them or judge them, just accept.
Do not judge yourself for what you wrote. Leave judgment out of it, and if its creepy voice rises in your mind, just ignore it. We are not here to judge, but to heal. To heal we need love, not fear. Doesn’t judgment come from fear? Fear of what “it looks like”, to “please others”, “not being likable enough” or “oh dear, how could I have been so …”?
Fear will not heal you, but love will.
Some emotions may be uncomfortable, but it’s OK, as long as you allow yourself to experience them without judgment.
After the Assignment
For the rest of the day, focus on anything that brings you joy and love. Choose what you see.
For example; I choose to see the birds that live on my land, feel the summer breeze, cuddle with my dogs, listen to my music, cook a wonderful meal, …As mundane as these actions may seem, experiencing them with all your being, which is love, helps you re-connect with YOU. Perhaps you don’t like cooking or you don’t have a dog, it could be something else, anything that brings you joy; you get the idea 😉
When you see something that is not of your choosing, just accept. You are responsible for what you see, so choose the feelings you experience .
This is not vague or “out there”, this is working on yourself to ignite your self-love. In upcoming articles I will share more assignments that have helped me and which I will hope will help others too.
One quote I would like to leave here today is this:
“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”
12 thoughts on “How to Have Self Love”
This was a good thing for me to read at this point in my life. I’m glad I stumbled upon it, because I’m going through a bit of a burn-out phase myself, right now. I’m really hard on myself, but it’s because my goals are so high and I wouldn’t dream of lowering them. The only solution I see in sight is to become the person who can accomplish these things and therein lies my frustration with myself. I could probably remedy all this with more sleep, but it’s very hard for me to get enough as it is. That tends to create a viscous circle where I lose motivation because I lack the energy, which is caused by a lack of sleep, which is in turn caused by the frustration at myself for lacking energy. At this point, it doesn’t even matter whether the chicken came first or the egg. I need to interrupt the pattern somehow and reset.
I think it’s ok to set yourself high goals, but give yourself the time to accomplish them. A continuous lack of sleep is already affecting you and your performance, so it is as you say, you have to interrupt this pattern. In my article about work burnout and how to deal with it and another How to Deal with a Burnout – Symptoms and Solutions you can perhaps find some ideas on how to do that. I hope that helps.
I really enjoyed your post. Excellent portrayal on how to get through burnout. I myself suffer from dark times and certain mental health issues and your website is a very refreshing reminder that it’s not all doom and gloom. Great work.
I’m so glad you found this useful!
Thank you for your comment! 🙂
This article is great and I can feel your heart poured out in it. Self-love is so important for our overall life success. It is our first motivator before anything else. Thank you for the tips you shared. I simply wish you could reach more and more people with this. You might need to learn how to generate unlimited organic traffic by reading this post:
Thank you, Charles! I hope to reach more people with this. I thought that my website was too new to start thinking about newsletters, but maybe I should start that now. I will look at your link, thank you for sharing.
You have a very thoughtful article here. It is true that you can’t love someone else before you love yourself. My disastrous relationships have shown what trying to love without self love can do. I am doing more what I want to do now. I am trying to make money by what I love, namely dogs. This fulfills me much more than being a cashier. Doing what you love includes not going to a job just because it pays you a lot of money, you’ve got to love it.
It’s important to do what you we love, and it’s wonderful that you’re doing that. I love dogs too, and I wish you all the best with your new business! 🙂
Hello! This article resonates with in me! I have gone and have been going through a lot of emotionally damaging things and the only thing that has helped me is the power of self love! Starting this journey, the first thing I did was figure out what worked for me in terms of building self love and it IS a constant battle.
I didn’t exactly do this with the questions, but I did keep a journal and it was a stepping stone to feeling awesome about myself and I am glad it helped you out!
Thank you for a great read!
Keep Being AMAZING
A journal is also a great way. There are so many things that can work for each individual, and a journal is deifintely one of them. I have also done some journalling and it has helped me too. I will write more about that in one of my upcoming articles.
Thank you for your comment! I am glad that journalling helped you on your journey!
Thank you so much for this website. Self- love is so important and until you love yourself, you will find yourself projecting your feelings to other people. I experience this myself and I have started my self-development and self-love journey this year. One thing that helps me manage my anxiety is mediation. It helps to calm my soul and find peace within myself.
Meditation is a wonderful practice to find inner peace. I have not done it in a long time, I should take it up again soon 🙂
Wishing you the best of luck with your self-development and self-love journey, it is truly a journey 🙂