Learning to love yourself can change your whole life and here is why?
How do you normally react to stress at work /home, challenges in relationships, or any other difficulties you encounter in day to day life?
Do you (like most people) blame yourself when things go wrong or you make a mistake?
“What wrong with me? How do I always make a mess of situations? What a disaster!”
Is your default mode harsh, critical and judgemental?
This tendency towards critical self-talk and harsh judgment sabotages us and makes everything we experience more difficult and our lives an uphill battle. We undermine ourselves and create a self fulfilling prophesy.
Why learning to love yourself makes your life less difficult…
What would it be like if you took a moment to calm, comfort and love yourself in those stressful situations. For no other reason, except that you were in difficulty and felt bad, much like you’d do for others? Would this not be a more intelligent and helpful response?
Love yourself and Feel OK even when challenged
Loving yourself is a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm. The harm that we inflict on ourselves everyday by criticising ourselves and judging ourselves. This just leads to perfectionism, self absorption, isolation, over eating / drinking, addictions …
Love yourself and be healthy and well
Impressive scientific evidence shows the link between self compassion and emotional wellbeing. When we can incline towards ourselves with affection, we recover more easily from disappointment, we give ourselves a break and this allows us to admit our short comings. Being ‘real’ lets us respond to ourselves and others with more humanity, kindness and respect. After all, everyone makes mistakes and deals with difficulties and pain!
Radical Self Acceptance and the ‘trance of unworthiness’
Tara Brach in Radical Self Acceptance says that “all people experience a sense of separateness ad vulnerability” and this feeling of being “fundamentally flawed” is especially common in Western society. Certainly, my experience of facilitating Mindfulness courses leads me to see how desperately people need to learn self kindness, self compassion and how to love themselves. As she explains:
“in our culture, there are standards you have to meet, like … be attractive, be bright, be successful, be athletic, be even-tempered, be rich … so our basic sense of well-being gets hitched (to) meeting these standards, and … if you don’t meet the standards, you can be rejected and isolated, and your whole life goes down the tubes. So we have a lot of pressure on us”.
Learn to Love Yourself and Open Your Heart to Loving Others
Yet, there is hope. We can learn to stop torturing ourselves with stories of shame and fear … start living in belonging rather than perceived separateness … be open and allow the intimacy and unconditional love we long for in, and discover that despite difficulty and loss, our fundamental situation is joyful.
or Check out our ongoing Mindful Self Compassion Courses where people learn to develop a new relationship with themselves.
“Extremely beneficial. I am so glad that I did this course. I only wish it could go on longer! I have become more loving, gentle and kind towards myself and as a result this has positively influenced my life and relationships with my family and friends. I am less hard on myself and more compassionate and understanding. I have gained a deeper awareness of my defaults and I am more curious with myself eg.. questioning why I feel certain ways”
– MSC participant Dec 2014
This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness at Work
For more information
Please don’t hesitate to contact Joanne if you have any query?