What Keeps Us from Loving Ourselves?

What stands between us and self-appreciation, self-compassion, self-love? We behave as though our thinking is real.

What if we didn’t believe everything we hear in our head about ourselves? What if we didn’t believe our judgments of others (projections about ourselves)?

When we hear in our heads:

  • You shouldn’t have . . .
  • You should have . . .
  • There you go again . . .
  • You’re so _________ (you fill in the blank).
  • When are you going to change _________ (again, you fill in the blank)?

What if we didn’t engage with those repetitive, dead-end, self-loathing thoughts and instead used them as a mindfulness activity?

We could:

  • Take a few deep breaths and compassionately remind ourselves we are always doing the best we can.
  • Pause and notice the habitual nature of the thoughts and simply give them some space.
  • Byron Katie style, question the thoughts. “Is it true I should . . .?” “What is a turnaround for that thought?” “Who would I be without that thought?”
  • Take a few seconds to appreciate that we noticed the thoughts and didn’t engage.
  • Take ourselves lightly, smile and go on about our day.

What keeps us from loving ourselves? The human thoughts that tell us all the reasons we shouldn’t.

Orange Daisy Gerbera

Ah, to recognize our own beauty and divinity as easily as we recognize
the unique beauty and universal divinity of this daisy
. . .

Why might we love ourselves anyway? To honor the spiritual truth about us: that we ARE love.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)

2 comments to What Keeps Us from Loving Ourselves?

  • Ann Strong

    Ken, it just occurs to me that truly knowing we are love means we would naturally no longer judge. When I think about that, it about breaks my brain. And, I can sometimes feel it, experience it. Not sure about enlightenment today, but you never know . . .!

  • Ken

    Wow! To really “get” that, to really embody that we ARE love, might be the ultimate enlightenment.

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Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.

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