Why Is it So Hard to Love Ourselves?

woman looking in mirror

Unless you are a narcissist, you probably have moments about yourself that make you want to vanish off the face of the earth whenever you remember them. The specifics about what makes a person cringe because of themselves is as unique as we all are, but the experience of that embarrassed feeling where you wish you could crawl (or fall) into a hole is truly universal. Why is it for many of us we can never get past the cringe and forgive ourselves to be able to love ourselves?

It's almost like that Mary Lambert's song, "Secrets." In her immutably quirky way, the songstress points out the quick answer as to why it is so hard to love ourselves in the chorus:

"They tell us from the time we're young. To hide the things that we don't like about ourselves, inside ourselves."

Although delivered in the artist's tongue-in-cheek style, the lyrics are not all the way wrong -- she makes a point. From an early age, we are taught to hide our weaknesses and focus on our strengths, and few of us are taught to realize the strength in our weakness.

Each of us have our own challenges to overcome in order to be able to come to a place where we can love ourselves. For some of us it is just a small float above that is maneuvered easily, for others it seems as if it is a mountain of near impossibility. For many, self-love is elusive and when finally found can be lost easily. For some of us self-hatred is easier than self-love. Self-love is not an unnatural state that is always elusive, rather, according to many belief systems it should be our normal state.

Self-love is not an easy thing to manufacture, but what of any value is? YOU are worth the investment of time, energy and effort required to create self-love. Something I often say in my Oranum FREE CHAT is that if you cannot be something to yourself, you cannot be anything to anyone else. In order to be able to receive love from someone else you have to be able to give it to yourself in proper measure. Another way of thinking about it is: How can you give something to someone else that you do not have for yourself?

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Just because something is difficult does not mean it is impossible to achieve. If that were the case then man would never have walked on the moon.

So, can you turn things around? Can you find a way to fall in love with who that you are?

Yes, you can! You really can. Just like man walked on the moon, it takes a little time and energy and you have to commit yourself to your future, but you can learn to love yourself.

Can you find a way to love yourself even though you of all people know exactly all the goofs you have committed and know every single detail of all your dirty little secrets? Is there a way to turn those fears and doubts around? Can you really turn self-hatred into self-love? Yes! Yes! Yes! You can! Here are some tips about how you can start loving yourself and take charge of your happiness.

Be real about who you are

None of us is perfect yet all of us are perfect in some way. Be real about who you are as a person. Forgive yourself – look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful and that you love you! Know your strengths as well as your weaknesses; and focus on your strong points, they will help you realize how truly amazing you really are.

Be real with what you can do

Set realistic expectations and goals for yourself and then celebrate yourself when you achieve those goals. Do not forget to set new goals because we are happiest with ourselves when we are pursuing a goal that has meaning to us. Stop flagellating yourself for not being perfect and celebrate the things that you can do.

Allow yourself to see how others love you

It is very easy to forget that others love and care about us. Make sure you take time to remember and appreciate that. Take a few seconds and realize by reliving it what it feels like to be told you are loved by someone you care about. It says a lot about you that others love and care about you and that can help you see the good in yourself.

Accept both your perfections and imperfections

We all have both positive and negative traits. Accentuate the positive and derate the negative. Celebrate what is good about you and stop feeding your own negative thoughts about yourself. They really serve no purpose. If you feel you can make improvements, do so; but do not waste energy for hating who you are when you have all the power in the world to change it.

Fake it 'til you make it real

It took your entire life for you to get to the point where you feel about yourself as you do. You are probably not going to change that overnight. However, if you "fake it til you make it" while working through 1-4 above (repeat as many times as necessary) until you find the beautiful and precious person that you truly are!

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