Monday, July 4, 2011

Loving Ourselves Unconditionally By Melody Beattie

Love yourself into health and a good life of your own. Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person. Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy success, and contentment.
Love yourself into all that you always wanted. We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way. If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, it’s time to stop. Other people have treated us that way, but it’s even worse to treat ourselves that way now.
Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times. People may accuse us of being selfish. We don’t have to believe them.
People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them. People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.
How do we love ourselves? Buy forcing it at first. By faking if necessary. By “acting as if.” By working hard at loving and liking ourselves as we did at not liking ourselves.
Explore what it means to love yourself. Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self-love.
Embrace and love all of yourself---past, present and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.
If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.
Pat yourself on the back when necessary. Discipline yourself when necessary. Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.
Sometimes, give yourself treats. Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder. Learn to be good to yourself. Choose behaviors with preferable consequences---treating yourself as one.
Learn to stop your pain, even when it means making difficult decisions. Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself. Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.
Stop explaining and justifying yourself. When you make mistakes, let them go. We learn, we grow, and we learn some more. And through it all, we love ourselves.
We work at it, and then work at it some more. One day we’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual. We’re now living with a person who gives and receives love, because that person loves him- or herself. Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.
Today, I will work at loving myself. I will work hard at loving myself as I have at not liking myself. Help me let go of self-hate and behaviors that reflect not liking myself. Help me replace those with behaviors that reflect self-love. Today, God, help me hold my self in high esteem. Help me know I’m lovable and capable of giving and receiving love.

--An excerpt from Melody Beattie’s Language of Letting Go

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