Where is your attention every day?
1. On Work, Children, Parents, Spouse/Partner, Friends, Making Meals, Exercise, Eating, Playing games, Watching movies/tv, Reading, Facebook, Internet, News?
2. Action: Make a list of what you attend to during the day, and write down how much time a rough guess you give to each.
3. Then label those times you are paying attention to yourself.
You are investing in what consumes your time and energy in each day. If it’s not you, what does it say about how much you love yourself?
Your culture may have taught you that Doing in the world to prove yourself is how you get love. Or that being Busy is the normal way to be. Can you love yourself in your busyness?
You may have been taught that being concerned about your own needs is being “selfish,” a very damnable trait to have.
Action Steps: Commit at least 30 minutes each to yourself to journal about how you are doing, what you dreams are, how satisfied you are, etc.
How do you see yourself?
1. Action: Right now, pen and paper out (often so much more comes when we physically write than hit keys on the computer).
Write two lists: first, what I like about myself. Second, what I don’t like about myself.
2. If your second list is longer than the first, keep adding to the first list until it is longer.
This exercise can shine a light on your relationship to yourself.
When you see yourself in mostly from appreciating yourself, it’s easier to love yourself. But if you found the negative list longer and difficult to add to the positive list, you need to understand how this came about.
How can you expect others to love someone with so much negative about her/him?
How can you love yourself when you see yourself mostly as a negative?
Interview 3 friends to learn your positive aspects. At least 3.
Item Three: What did you learn from your family, school, your community, and culture about how to see and treat yourself?
1. Describe how you learned and who taught you about what is important to you: what did your parents, grandparents and those around model for you?
2. What’s important for you in life?—fortune, earning lots of money; achievement, getting recognition for what you do; winning, competing–coming out on top; kindness, empathy, compassion, cooperation, collaboration, community
Deepak Chopra in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success describes how he raised his children. They were told that they don’t have to concern themselves about earning a living, or how well they did in school. Their focus should be: asking how you can serve humanity and asking yourself what your unique talents are.
Imagine the kind of parenting you would have from someone like Chopra.
In contrast look at the conditioning you received.
You probably weren’t taught about looking forward your unique gifts or finding the ways you can serve humanity, and certainly not about self-love.
Implied in what Deepak Chopra taught his children was deep respect for who they are. It was a given that they were valued and had much to offer.
Contrast this with what one client reports: constantly hearing the critical voice of her mother in her head about how worthless and hopeless she is.
The voice in your head should be compassionate, kind, and loving. It’s part of loving yourself.
Action: Describe the voice you hear in detail. It’s probably the Judge that Don Miguel Ruiz describes in the early pages of The Four Agreements. You might want to journal on this to become aware of how much influence this voice has.
Who has loved you best?
1. Think of everyone in your life, especially from birth to age 5: who treated you best?
2. How did you show their love?
3. How many in your current life that love you in a way that makes you feel good?
Anyone who has given you love gave you a huge gift. With that person you felt that all is okay. That you are okay.
It’s a love that made you feel safe and protected, and connected to something more (Source, Spirit, the Divine) even if you didn’t realize it. Love is that way.
Action: Describe all the ways you have felt loved. Sit and absorb the love from those experiences.
Who do you need to be, what do you have to do to get the love you want?
1. What did you learn as a child before the age of 5?–
Did you think you were important? Were worthwhile?
What did you believe you deserved?
2. What were your strategies or patterns to get what you wanted and needed?
Being a perfectionist, a people-pleaser?
Learned to stay out of trouble?
Being invisible? Or a class clown?
Being an achiever? The top of your class?
Action: Write on the beliefs and strategies of your wounded inner child
The wounds of childhood caused you to make sense out of your situation of feeling unprotected, alone, and uncared for. You “concluded” that you weren’t important, were flawed/bad, not good enough. In short, undeserving of love, and unconnected to love.
You created strategies to get what you needed—love in any form that made sense to you whether it was the path of the conformist, the rebel, the clown, the winner, etc. Lost in the patterns, you were out of touch with yourself, not knowing that you could find the love you wanted inside.
Healing early childhood wounds neutralizes the negativity, releases the burdens of childhood, and provides the connection to your original innocence and connection in the heart to Truth and Love.
You can know Self-Love.
Greatest self-love is knowing that you are Love.
*You can be a best friend to yourself—connected to your heart and embracing the emotional responses of hurt, anger, sadness. Learning to move toward what is positive, safe, and nourishing, and moving away from what hurts.
*Connected to your truth and accepting your unique gifts, you find your place in the world.
*You are at peace.
*You are spontaneous, free, and joyful.
The Source of Emotional Maturity and of Spiritual Well-Being is an undefended heart. A heart that has healed the wounds of young childhood.
Please let me know if you’re curious about how I personally made it. And how I might help you on this journey of healing your heart. You can make a Strategy Session appointment with me at: https://calendly.com/anneue/