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16 Ways to Fall in Love with Yourself Part 1 of 3

Photo Credit: Fellipe Ditadi

On a recent call with a private client, she said, “I am falling in love with myself!”

I cannot tell you how unbelievably awesome that makes me feel! My heart is swollen with pride and love that I get to shepherd her on her journey to self-love. Mind you, that was only after four weeks of working with me!

What I want for all of my clients, and everybody in the world really, is that they grow to love themselves. Here are some tips for how to fall in love with yourself that have worked for me. They’re not in any particular order.

It will help if you think of it as building a relationship with yourself. If you were falling in love with another person, you’d do things to let them know you care. You’d treat them well, and let them know you’re thinking of them. You can do that for yourself too!

1. Get help for your addiction. If you’re addicted to a substance, whether it’s food, drugs, alcohol, or perhaps you have a process addiction like sex or gambling, get help. You will not have a high-quality life that you love when you’re using. You don’t have to go it alone. There are over 200 12-step programs, and there are tons of resources out there no matter your income level. Here’s a page on my website with some recommendations I have.

2. Stop judging yourself so harshly. Most people believe in being kind and loving to others and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we hold ourselves to a much higher standard. Here’s the thing, you are FLAWESOME! Just because you have flaws, doesn’t mean you’re not also awesome! Give yourself the same love and kindness you give others. Cut yourself some slack for a change. That self-judgment isn’t shaping you into a better person. You'd just end up battered and bruised.

3. Reparent yourself. Even if you think it sounds hoaky, give it a try. The deep and profound healing I’ve experienced through my reparenting journey, especially in this past year, has been astounding. I can’t tell you how much fear and emotional pain I’ve released. Not to mention forging a real relationship with my inner family.

Reparenting can be as simple as being good and kind to yourself like a loving parent would be. It can also be very complex where you create a whole cast of inner characters and recast your past. To get started, I highly recommend getting your hands on a photo of you as a child so you can look at it regularly and say loving things to the picture. You might also try to connect using non-dominant handwriting. Write to your inner child with your dominant hand, then respond using your non-dominant hand. I don’t know how it works, but it does! Somehow doing that bypasses the adult part of your brain. Start with “getting to know you” comments and questions and see where it goes.

4. Mirror work. This was super awkward, but also super powerful! Look at your eyes in the mirror and say loving things to yourself. When I started this, I was very resistant. But I was committed to changing my ways and that meant I had to try new things. I decided the thing I needed to say to myself was, “I love you just the way you are Barb.”

I didn’t mean it at first and I cried while doing it. And I kept doing it. That meant I was telling myself, “I love you even when crying ‘for no reason,’ even when resisting doing this work, even when feeling weird and awkward.”

Eventually, it got less weird and awkward. Eventually, I stopped crying. Eventually, I meant it. And now, I very regularly (at least once daily) catch my eye in the bathroom mirror and say, “I love you Barb, just the way you are.” Now, I’m typically grinning an impish grin when I do it.

5. Take care of your physical body. You are an animal. You’re not a machine. And animals need care. They need consistent sleep, food, water, activity, and relaxation. We were meant to move. So move your body, and stop ingesting things that were not meant for consumption by animals. Or at least start adding things that are good for you, whether that’s healthy foods, consistent movement, or sleep. Just treat your body as if it is beloved, even if you don’t feel that way just yet.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll share parts 2 and 3 with some additional ways to fall in love with yourself. Remember that this is a journey. Most people grow in love with others, they don’t really “fall” into love immediately. So be patient with this new lover of yours.

For most blog posts like this go to FridayFragments.news

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