How To Love Myself? Six Steps to Loving YourselfBy Dr. Margaret Paul
March 23, 2020
Practicing these Six Steps are essential for learning how to love yourself and share your love with others.
Imagine that you have a baby and you want to be a loving parent. One of the things loving parents do is keep a baby monitor on when their baby is sleeping or in another room, so they can immediately attend to their child as soon as he or she cries.
Step One – Your Inner Baby Monitor
Step One is having your inner baby monitor on, which means that you practice being present in your body, which is where your feelings are, rather just focused in your mind - so that you know immediately as soon as you have a feeling that needs attention. This is especially important right now with all the challenges we are facing on our planet.
All our feelings have important information for us. Our anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness, emptiness, jealousy, and so on let us know that we are abandoning ourselves emotionally and/or physically. We call these feelings our wounded feelings, because we cause them when we are operating from our ego wounded self. But those are not our only painful feelings. As a natural part of life, we also experience loneliness, grief, heartbreak, helplessness over others and outcomes, and fear of real and present danger. These can be called life feelings, and they let us know that we that we may need to attend to what is happening with a person or situation, and that we need to bring much compassion to these painful feelings of life. They are telling us that we may need to take loving action, such as avoiding a person or situation.
Being willing to be present with your feelings and take responsibility for them - by exploring what you are doing or telling yourself that is causing your wounded feelings, and by compassionately attending to your painful life feelings and taking necesssary loving actions - is the essence of loving yourself. You will not feel loved, peaceful and full within when you are ignoring your feelings by staying focused in your mind rather than your body, or by judging yourself rather than being compassion with yourself, or by turning to addictions to numb your feelings, or by making others responsible for your feelings of worth and safety. Staying tuned in to your feelings - your inner guidance - can help you to stay healthy in these challenging times.
Step Two – Open to Learning
In Step Two, you breathe into your heart and make a decision that you want to learn about what you are doing that is causing your wounded feelings, even if that learning is difficult. Decide that you want to learn about your underlying false beliefs that are leading to abandoning yourself. Decide, also, that you want to learn about the truth regarding your beliefs, and what is loving to you. You invite the love and compassion that is spirit into your heart by simply saying, “I invite love and compassion into my heart.”
Step Three – Exploration
You ask your wounded feelings, “What am I telling you or how am I treating you that is causing these wounded feelings?” and you allow the answer to come from inside – from your feelings. Once you understand how you are treating yourself that is causing pain, you go deeper, exploring your ego wounded self, asking, “What do you believe, that is causing you to judge, avoid, control and protect against your feelings or try to control a person or situation?”
You ask your painful life feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, helplessness, or fear of real and present danger, “What is happening with a person or situation that is causing these feelings?”
Step Four – Truth and Loving Action
Once you understand what you are doing and what your false beliefs are, you open to your higher self (whatever that is for you), and ask, “What is the truth about these beliefs?” You open and allow the information to pop into your mind. Then you ask, “What is the loving action I need to take?” and again allow the information to pop into your mind. When you are truly open to learning, you will eventually receive this information.
This second question is also appropriate to ask your painful life feelings: “What loving action do I need to take in the face of what is happening?” It's very important to remember to do this throughout the day.
Step Five – Take the Loving Action
Taking loving action is essential for loving yourself. Without loving action, nothing changes, nothing heals. The action can be physical, such as eating better or getting enough exercise. The action might be something nurturing to you, such as holding a doll or stuffed animal that represents your inner child and giving yourself the nurturing you need. The action might be speaking up with someone, opening to learning with someone, or disengaging from someone’s unloving behavior. The action might be looking to change jobs or getting more training. Or it might be to do service and help others. A good habit to get into is to consistently ask your higher self, “What action is loving to me right now? What is in my highest good right now?” I hpe you can see that asking these questions throughout the day, especially now with all the challenges we have, is vitally important.
Step Six – Evaluate
Once you take the loving action, tune back into your feelings. If you have indeed taken a loving action, you will feel some relief from the pain, and you will begin to feel full and peaceful inside.
These steps take practice. If you learn to stay in Step One, being present in your body, then you can do these steps any time you feel anything other than peace inside.
You will gradually find yourself feeling loved, full, joyful and peaceful inside as you practice Inner Bonding, and you will now be able to share love with others. Loving yourself leads to loving others, loving animals, and loving our planet, including caring about our environment. It all starts with learning how to love yourself.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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Today notice, WITHOUT JUDGMENT, if you are primarily a taker - expecting others to take care of you, or if you are primarily a caretaker - taking care of others in the hopes they will love you and connect to you. Since neither taking nor care-taking are loving to yourself, both are aspects of the ego wounded self and are symptoms of self-abandonment.
By Dr. Margaret Paul