Saturday, December 10, 2011
What's love got to do with SELF LOVE?
Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Why do I feel this way about myself? Why do I need this to feel a certain way or why do I want that? Why do I need to fit in with this crowd? Many of the answers to these types of questions in most cases are connected to experiences or situations we may have been confronted with in the early stages of our lives that we don’t know how to address. The root issues connected to these types of questions affect how we love ourselves and in most cases determine the type of standards we set in our lives. I firmly believe that who we are on a daily basis is a reflection of how we were shaped through our relationships with our parents or guardians at home and how we process through life’s situations and circumstances. Many of the unresolved issues about our self-image that we carry around daily started developing at home.
This is the place where our heart or mind took its first steps. The heart I’m speaking of isn’t a physical thing. What it symbolizes is a central or vital place in our mind where everything we experience whether it’s good or bad is recorded.
It’s from this very emotional place in our mind that all of the issues of our life flow be it good or bad. Whether we admit it or not we all have emotional needs for security, identity, acceptance, and affirmation.
We develop based on how these four needs are met. Sometimes when we are confronted with confusion or disappointment in these four areas that go unanswered or unresolved it causes chaos in our minds and sometimes our emotions spiral out of control. Instead of clearly assessing the situations that confront us we begin to attack ourselves by developing negative thoughts and attitudes about our life. It’s at this moment that we begin to internalize anger and self-hatred, which causes us to develop a NEGATIVE SELF IMAGE.
Unfortunately, in our culture today image is everything! When we begin to dislike ourselves sometimes we go through life seeking after people, places, or things to identify with what we believe will add value and significance to us. Self-hatred causes us to live in pursuit of new identity, acceptance, security, and affirmation that cause us to live daily without restraints or boundaries. We will have sex, smoke, drink, steal or even kill to fulfill a need for these four things. Self-Love is about understanding who we are, what makes us uniquely different and being comfortable with saying “No.”
Self-love causes us to live our life protected by boundaries and standards that we set for ourselves. It causes us to live driven by a purpose or cause that challenges us to live disciplined and under control. We have to begin to love ourselves enough to know and accept who we are and fully appreciate what makes us uniquely different based on the very special purpose we were individually created for. Self-love is a state of mind that must be maintained and developed in our lives on a daily basis because life will challenge the way we think and feel at times.
Just like self-hatred I believe self-love is developed based on how our emotional needs are met starting in the earliest stages of our life. If you look around in your neighborhoods you may notice that whenever there is a building or house that has been battered and worn down over the years it’s restored or torn down if it’s damaged beyond repair. Much like a damaged building some of us need to be restored in our thinking about ourselves. Regardless of where you are right now in your life your new beginning is only one decision away.
Your new beginning starts with learning to love you. Stop running away from who you really are. Stop running after the crowd! There’s a valuable treasure inside of you called purpose and destiny. It will bring more value and significance to your life than the person, image, place, or thing you may be chasing right now. You are not who they say you are! You are not going to be just like your father. You’re not stupid! You’re not going to be in jail or pregnant before you’re twenty. You’re not a pimp, ho, slut, or bitch. No you are not the ugliest person in the world. Who told you that? You see its statements like these that leave us wounded and bleeding for years emotionally, before we realize how we have been affected. Regardless of where you are you can begin to love yourself today. I am not trying to say that we don’t need to be concerned about the well being of others because we do. We just have to be healthy to help others.
The very nature of love is to guard, and protect. I say that because we guard and protect what we really love. How do I know when I hate myself instead of loving myself? We know we’re living with low self-image when we live our life never exposing our real self because we are afraid that we won’t be accepted by the in crowd. When we keep people in our lives that add no value to us and we know they’re pulling us down but we just can’t cut them off were not loving ourselves.
So Eric how do I begin to love myself?
1.Self-love starts with being willing to let go of some of the hurts and disappointments of our past that cause us to think negatively about ourselves or we must be willing to accept wise counsel to help us process through them.
2. We have to love ourselves enough to say no to people, or things that aren’t good for us and we must love ourselves enough to rebel and revolt against negative thought processes, and attitudes that entice us to live self-destructive lifestyles.
3. We must be willing to reform our circle. Our circle is a support system that’s formed by the most significant and influential people in our lives that we allow to hold us accountable in all areas of our life. We will only be as great as the people we have in our circle. If the people in our circle have no vision for their life we most likely will live without vision or they will tear our hopes and dreams down. Love yourself by building relationships with people that guard you and themselves with restrictions and boundaries in life.
4. Whether you are in a relationship with a significant other or single take time daily or weekly to do things that care for you. Pick one day a week or one week a month to step away for a moment to breath, sleep, pray, write, read,or redeem time for a girls or boys TIME OUT with close friends. Go swimming, travel, do something fun for you. Do something to refresh yourself. Do some self evaluation. Do some self work. Find someone you can talk to about you. Too often through our journey in life we fail to get a tune up and we end up living messy and unproductive lives. Take care of you.
I could keep going but if we start here I really believe we can really get the ball rolling in the right direction. This is a place I'm working on in my own life. I say these things not as a Know it all expert but as a person pressing through a constant process of Change, Growth, and Maturity
Think on these things...........................
Eric T. Little