A 6-Step Process For Learning How To Actually Love Yourself
It's so easy to tell someone "Love yourself" and much more difficult to describe how to do it. And while self-love is a popular concept, it looks a little different for everyone.
If you're unsure about how to start establishing self-love, learn and practice these six tips to gradually start loving yourself more every day:
Be willing to feel pain and take responsibility for your feelings
Step 1 is mindfully following your breath to become present in your body and embrace all of your feelings. It's about moving toward your feelings rather than running away from them with various forms of self-abandonment, such as staying focused in your head, judging yourself, turning to addictions to numb out, etc. All feelings are informational.
Move into the intent to learn
Commit to learning about your emotions, even the ones that may be causing you pain so that you can move into taking loving action.
Learn about your false beliefs
Step 3 is a deep and compassionate process of exploration—learning about your beliefs and behavior and what is happening with a person or situation that may be causing your pain.
Ask your feeling self, your inner child: "What am I thinking or doing that's causing the painful feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, jealousy, anger, loneliness, or emptiness?" Allow the answer to come from inside, from your intuition and feelings.
Once you understand what you're thinking or doing that's causing these feelings, ask your ego about the fears and false beliefs leading to self-abandoning thoughts and actions.
Start a dialogue with your higher self
It's not as hard to connect with your higher guidance as you may think. The key is to be open to learning about loving yourself. The answers may come immediately or over time. They may come in words or images or in dreams. When your heart is open to learning, the answers will come.
Take loving action
Sometimes people think of "loving myself" as a feeling to be conjured up. A good way to look at loving yourself is by emphasizing the action: "What can I do to love myself?" rather than "How can I feel love for myself?"
By this point, you've already opened up to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your feelings, and tapped into your spiritual guidance.
Step 5 involves taking one of the loving actions you identified in Step 4. However small they may seem at first, over time these actions add up.
Evaluate your action and begin again as needed
Once you take the loving action, check in to see if your pain, anger, and shame are getting healed. If not, you go back through the steps until you discover the truth and loving actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.
RELATED STORY: A 6-Step Process To Actually Learn To Love Yourself
Over time, you will discover that self-love improves everything in your life—your relationships, your health and well-being, your ability to manifest your dreams, and your self-esteem.
Loving and connecting with yourself is the key to being able to love and connect with others and create loving relationships. Loving yourself is the key to creating a passionate, fulfilled, and joyful life.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.