Laura Clark Barefoot, Ph.D.
Barefoot Chaplain Intervention Services
December 30, 2015
One of the most difficult challenges in recovery and in our lives is the struggle we face with loving and accepting ourselves; completely, with all of our self-proclaimed imperfections and shortcomings, embracing who we are. Why can’t we believe we are good enough, for ourselves and good enough for others? Perhaps, more often than not we don’t believe we are worthy and lovable. Rather, we believe the negative self-talk inside our heads that reminds us of our shortcomings, rather than our strengths. Do we know what it means to love ourselves?
To love ourselves, we would have to appreciate and respect ourselves as we are, to begin with. We must come to accept the aspects of ourselves that we cannot change. We must stop issuing conditions that we have created like, “I will love myself when I lose 20 pounds,” and choose to embrace the positive and negative, the mistakes and championships.
Loving yourself isn’t a task to set out to achieve at once in order to complete it. Loving oneself is an ongoing process which begins with realizing it’s not about self-love; it’s about tearing down and discovering the walls you’ve built against yourself.
Things to consider:
1. The toxic influences in our life.
2. Invest in time to do the things you would like to do.
3. Be active.
4. Complement yourself.
5. Step out of your comfort zone.
6. Make a list of what you like about yourself.
7. Practice focusing less on winning the approval of others.
8. Forgive your past “mistakes.”
9. Practice gratitude for who you are and what you have in your life in the present moment.
10. Do something each day that makes you happy.
Events in our lives change daily, the people, the time, and the places. But, a true love for yourself will always remain within you if you nurture it. The key is to be open to learning more about yourself and embracing who you are. It is an ongoing journey, not a destination.