OK YES I KNOW I NEED TO LOVE MYSELF MORE..
BUT HOW DO I DO IT ?
When i was younger i did not have very high self- esteem, self-love and appreciation where foreign concepts to me... i was more of the specialist in self-loathing and self-judgment and i was stuck in a cycle of pain. People in all good faith would tell me " Katherine you have to learn to love yourself more" I agreed with them and at the same time those words would frustrate me deeply because i just did not know how to love myself, what did it mean anyway ? Should i write i love you Katherine a thousand times on a piece of paper and hope this would imprint self love in my heart ( i did do that and though it felt better than saying nasty things it just did not change much).
I felt lost and even more of a failure because i just was not able to grasp this Holy Grail of self-love. And worst i felt everyone around seemed to have this elusive thing and i didn't ( that was a great illusion too !)
It is only through my journey in the CNDA approach in therapy that i started to learn and understand in a deep and pragmatic way how i was cultivating my self- loathing and how to cultivate my self-love. I started elucidating this pattern in me, i had to learn also to accept it and not judge myself for having these patterns of inferiority and comparison, and i learned to accept my deep needs for love, acceptance, recognition and freedom... and then and only then was i truly able to start taking responsibility for these needs. Change happened , slowly but surely.... and though there are days i still feel down on myself, compare myself, am not certain of my worth i know the way back to my value and my empowered action.
So here are some ideas of what it means to cultivate our value:
It can mean putting a limit on that inner self talk which devalues us, judges without boundaries and hurts us...
it can mean saying no instead of saying yes, even if the fear of loss and judgment is there, we choose to not let ourselves down...
it can mean not letting go of that goal we set for ourselves that day and wish to reach even in the face of that inner resistance that wants to convince us to stay put and not reach out for more..
It can mean saying no to that second serving of ice cream because we want to sleep well and feel good in the morning...
it can mean phoning a friend to break our isolation and take care of being heard in a difficult moment.
It can mean taking time for ourselves and doing something which lights our fire...
It can mean asking ourselves on a regular basis, "how ya doing ? " "what do you need " and giving ourselves permission to answer those questions and take action...
It can mean honoring the tears that just need to flow sometimes and not choosing the voice which tries to control them and trivialize them.
It can mean honoring our anger as a healthy emotion worthy of being taking into consideration to help us find our healthy boundaries and stand up for our self-respect.
So what about you ???
What are the things you are doing now in your life which cultivate self value ?
What are the things you are doing that cultivate self-devaluation?
What little gesture can you do today to give yourself more value?
I wish you continued discoveries on this path of self - value !
Katherine Barr- TRA
Individual therapy and couples therapy
Workshops and Conferences.
#knowyourvalue #cultivatingvalue #relationshiptherapy