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I don't exactly know how I am supposed to love myself. What does that even mean? I've looked up the question here before, but it doesn't explain anything on how to love yourself. It never really explains on how to love yourself.

Can someone explain what it means to love yourself?

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That's actually a great question... and I've often wondered whether others have explored it, too. It's really valuable to do so.

I remember a day when I realized... not only was I clueless about what "loving yourself" meant... I didn't even like myself very much. And I pondered the same question.

I don't know if this will be helpful for you... my initial approach was to first explore what was up (for me) around the other relationships in my life where I knew, with some degree of certainty... that I loved someone. So I made a list of those I loved. Including my children... there were many people I truly... deeply loved. Unconditionally LOVED. Yet it was very clear to me that I was NOT on that list.

As I explored and pondered those other relationships... I took at look at both the FEELINGS I felt... and the THOUGHTS of admiration and appreciation I had for those on my list.

And I made a DECISION to move into a deeper, more honest relationship with myself. Part of that decision included a willingness to see if I could hold myself in a space of seeing myself as innocent and lovable... because these were two very powerful and important things I discovered about the view I held of my loved ones.

One of the things I very purposefully did was become more aware of the self-critical/negative judgement thoughts I would have about myself throughout the day. And every time I 'caught' myself having one... I paused and asked myself how I would FEEL and what I would THINK if one of my children had just done or thought whatever it was I was finding myself so "guilty" of. I asked myself what I would be telling them... or asking them, and how I would be BEING with them in this moment. And choose to BE THAT with myself.

As wacky as it may sound... it changed EVERYTHING!

Oh... it's taken time... and I still have a way to go. There are days I glance in the mirror and declare, "I want a divorce... from YOU... right now!"

Yet today those moments are relatively rare :-)

And the wiser, higher, more-connected me comes in with love and helps me bridge the gap between me and ME ;-)

All I can say is take the journey... whatever way works for you. Because I can promise you this...

YOU ARE LOVABLE!!!!
In order to truly Love yourself you have to understand Who you are. I have a long verson but right now I wll just give you the short verson.YOU ARE GOD AND GOD IS YOU. Think about it.
You are correct Leonard. This is the real key, meditating and reflecting on that you are Spirit Divine. When that is realized, nothing but Self Appreciation can exist.
I think it is to love your self if you can do as Louise Hay are suggest here.


How to Love Yourself by Louise L. Hay


1. Stop all criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.

2. Stop scaring yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It's a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, (mine is yellow roses) and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

3. Be gentle and kind and patient. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really love.

4. Be kind to your mind. Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change the thoughts.

5. Praise yourself. Criticism breaks the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.

6. Support yourself. Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

7. Be loving to your negatives. Acknowledge that you created them to fulfil a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfil those needs. So, lovingly release the old negative patterns.

8. Take care of your body. Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise can you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

9. Mirror work. Look into your own eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day look into the mirror and say: "I love you, I really love you!".

10. LOVE YOURSELF - DO IT NOW! Don't wait until you get well or lose the weight, or get the new job, or the new relationship.

BEGIN NOW - Do the best you can.
Thanks guys! That was really helpful! By the way, the I tend to understand things better that are longer and detailed. For this subject, a basic explanation just kind of confuses me.
Loving yourself is like breathing.
The moment you start to think about it, it becomes harder, while in fact it usually comes naturally.

Keep on flying !!!
Some more stuff to throw in here:

1. Think about this: if you could imagine a person saying to you and being everything to you that you desired, in your heart, so that you felt REALLY good and REALLY loved, then that's what loving yourself is. Being that to yourself.

Years ago, I was wondering what God really was saying to me, and how God saw me. I wasn't very good to myself. But proof that I KNEW what being good to myself was, is when I thought, if I were to have God tell me exactly what I needed to hear; what I wanted to hear that would soothe and encourage me, what would God say?

I realized, over time, because it FELT so good, that it really WAS God. It was my deepest Self. The part that knows this love, and IS this love, and knows exactly what I want, and can simply not make a mistake or cause problems or bring anything into my life that is not for my benefit, and helps me to see that EVERYTHING is in my life for my benefit.

2. This follows behind #1. Acceptance and love. Acceptance and love of EVERYTHING. Acceptance of your thoughts and feelings. Acceptance and love of your feelings, and even that you don't know how to love! Acceptance of your uncertainty and doubt. In this sense, it's pretty much something you DECIDE to do. Like when you are at a restaurant eating something you really like -- and you say it, "Wow, this is good." You feel it, too. Only in this case, that thought doesn't come naturally, of course, because you are used to fighting those things and rejecting those things about yourself.

It's really amazing what radical acceptance can do.

And it never, ever means that when you accept something it's going to stay in your life forever. On the contrary. It's going to work in the total opposite way. Acceptance FREES you -- and things -- to become what you want. Acceptance first means you can find peace first, and when you do, well, you just feel better. And you don't have to struggle and strain for the changes, because it's often the struggle and strain that keeps things from happening, anyway.

Just think about it as the total opposite of everything you've ever been taught to do.

It really is amazing. Try it.

Mary Jo
To weigh in on this subject, I also find that loving means exploring everything that makes you happy, and not questioning the reasons. What music, movies, books, tv shows, places, people, foods, etc., do you like? What kind of experiences do you enjoy? It's weird, but I've found that the best way to love myself is to identify these things and celebrate them, not be embarassed about any of my tastes, and just be the person I'd really like to be, who does what he wants to so long as it doesn't hurt others. Whenever I'm capable of doing that, I like myself. When I find myself criticizing any behavior, it's probably because I'm not truly being me.

Good luck!

-J C
I read a free ebook called The Magic Pill by Odille Rault. That has helped me ALOT. I'm not sure how I found out about it, maybe on this board? I'm not sure. But anyway google that and I am sure it will help you.
She's the member of PI, illusions... and she's also got a sequel called The Second Dose... got to her page on here and you can find out how to download her book
I agree, it's a pretty cool book, well worth checking out

Sarah
Here's the link to the book.
http://www.lulu.com/content/989260
I now has read her book. Amazing!! ;-))

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