Love Yourself First
By Genie Joseph, PhD
If you don’t believe you are worthy of love – it is not going to be easy to let love in. Why should someone be willing to push through your resistance if your heart’s door is not open? You do not have to be a perfect person to find love – you have to be perfectly willing to love – yourself anyway!
We all have this hope that a perfect partner will just arrive at our doorstep, ignore our fear and self-loathing and see the wonderful person that is inside us – and just love us up! Well, it doesn’t seem to work that way. You have to believe and trust that you are worthy of love – in short, to love yourself first. If that feels like a stretch – start with what you like about yourself.
We all have baggage, which are hurts from the past which we haul along like trophies. And we all have parts of ourselves that we think are unlovable. But if you want love in your life, you have to make a real strong decision to let the past go – and to make peace with the parts of yourself you have decided are imperfect.
You do not have to be a perfect person to find love – you have to be perfectly willing to love! And the person you have to be willing to love is you. Love yourself first! If there are things about yourself that you need to change, or things that you are willing to change – then get busy changing them! But fundamentally you have to come to the realization that your core nature is lovable.
Without this feeling, it will be hard to accept someone else’s positive attention toward you. You will resist, consciously or unconsciously, the attention of another if you don’t truly feel you are worthy of that love. So, it is an inside game. You need to begin a process of reclaiming your worthiness – each day find one thing you can like about yourself.
Love Yourself Exercise
We offer clients the Alphabet Self Love Game to help them ignite positive feelings about themselves. It sounds incredibly simple – but it has a simple magic because it begins to rewire your thoughts and even seems to allow you to begin to reprogram your subconscious. It goes like this, for each letter of the alphabet you find one positive attribute about yourself. For example, here’s what Sam did:
A: I am Aware of other people’s feelings.
B: I am Brave when it comes to trying new things.
C: I am Consistent with my feelings of love.
D: I am Devoted to my dog.
E: I am willing to Engage at a deeper level of intimacy.
And so on until you get to the end of the alphabet. If you can’t find examples for a few letter such as X – make it the “ex" sound such as “I am Expecting good experiences. You can skip a few of the letters such as Q,Y,Z, but do your best to get all the rest. As simplistic as this exercise sounds, it gets you saying positive affirmations to yourself that all begin with “I am… and add a positive quality. They can be small things, but if you do this exercise while you are riding on a bus or train or car, or walking, and you will find that when you arrive, you are feeling just a bit better about yourself. Do it daily or whenever you need a lift.
Loving yourself first may sound hard at first, but it is the pathway to allowing someone else in. You didn’t learn to not love yourself overnight – and it may take a little time to undo this old habit. But it is worth it. You are worth it. So, go ahead, get started on your love yourself first campaign!
Why? Because it feels so good!
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