by Ann Christine Johnson
http://AshtarCommandCrew.net In Partnership With OmTimes
Loving yourself unconditionally means loving yourself without limitations, conditions or reservations. It means accepting yourself completely no matter what flaws or imperfections you might have. It means recognize that you are unique; that there’s no one in the world exactly like you; that you are worthy of being loved. The foundation on which to build your life is unconditional love of self.
Begin to purposefully build to deep, permanent and strong love of self as the way you feel about yourself will color the way you relate to other people.
Start to believe in yourself, to believe that you’re worthy of having the kind of life you have always wanted. Start paying attention to the way you feel. This will allow you to know whether you’re placing your attention on your desires or whether you’re placing it on what you don’t want to be happening. Don’t hold yourself to perfectionist standards as this is a form of self-imposed emotional cruelty. Practice self-acceptance as this is the basis of good self-esteem. If you make a mistake, speak lovingly to yourself. Self-criticism will only diminish your self-esteem. Remember that it takes an entire lifetime to master the lesson of unconditional love.
It is never too late to change. The first step to self-change involves spending quality time with yourself then you can alter something about yourself if that’s what you want to do. Getting to know and understand the ‘real’ you may require courage and persistence however from this process you will gain great wisdom. Gaining knowledge will lead to deeper understanding, which in turn will lead to greater freedom of choice. It is important to make some time to come to terms with whatever’s happening in your life; to change the things you can change and to release absolutely everything else.
We all make mistakes and poor choices. It’s okay to make mistakes and poor choices while you’re learning. Before you can start to change you need to accept that you’ve made some mistakes and poor choices in your life. You need to take responsibility for those mistakes and choices. Although our instinct often is to cling to what’s familiar to us, the challenge here is to get the instinct to change to be much stronger than the instinct to stay in your comfort zone. The effort to change may be great; the process of changing may be very painful, especially at the first, but overcoming self-destructive patterns of behavior frees you to have a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.
Resistance to change can sometimes show up as laziness or lack of motivation. It can sometimes show up in us making excuses of why we need to stay stuck in our lives. Overcoming resistance to change and overcoming all forms of negativity is needed here. These are the blockages to personal and spiritual growth.
The conscious mind is incredibly powerful. It creates thoughts that lead to feelings and desires. Positive thoughts generate power and negative thoughts waste it. To save yourself from painful feelings, simply don’t think about painful things. When the mind goes into sorrow or remorse the heart feels pain, so redirect your thoughts elsewhere. By focusing your attention on uplifting, positive things you will experience less emotional pain and a lot more joy. Unless you let go of any sadness you are hanging onto, you will never know true happiness. If all you can see in your life at this point in time is darkness; if all you can see is negativity and pain, then the starting point to changing this situation is to look for one positive thing in your life – the speck of light in the darkness – and then through the process of meditation to increase the light in your life little by little each day.
With all the psychological insights we have human behavior, most of us still feel guilty and ashamed about the way we manage the roles assigned to us. We blame and criticize ourselves for not being the perfect child, the perfect parent or the perfect spouse. These self-imposed expectations make it impossible for us to succeed or feel good about ourselves. Also, in an effort to play these roles perfectly we often fail to meet our own emotional needs. The challenge here is to learn to do your best in the roles assigned to you, without the expectations you have previously placed on yourself, and at the same time to take good care of yourself and your own needs by making time for yourself each day.
Life is filled with unexpected events and dramas. In order to cope with these situations, you need to accumulate vast measures of inner strength and courage. You can do this by respecting yourself and treating yourself well; by valuing your time and energy and use them wisely; by choosing to be involved in those activities that will build your self-esteem. Self-esteem is internally defined. It comes from giving yourself love and acceptance rather than looking for love and acceptance from others; by recognizing that the person whose acceptance you need to most is your own. It is built by addressing the real issues that make you feel unworthy; by separating your essential value as a person from some attribute of your appearance, fact of your background or skill in your trade; by reminding yourself that you are essentially good and worthwhile.
Although validation from others makes life a lot easier and may increase your confidence; self-validation will make life better than you might think possible – it will increase your confidence and your self-esteem.
Learn to pace yourself each day; to get a balance between your desire to care for others and the need to care for yourself. Have the wisdom to know the extent of your personal resources and to give to others accordingly. Do what you are happy and willing to do for others without seeking or expecting anything in return. Most importantly, make time to take care of yourself and your own needs. Otherwise other people might end up taking care of you.
Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. It is how you respond to everything that’s happening around you that matters – therefore refuse to take life too seriously. Intense dramas and terrible events do happen in this world of ours. There is little you can do to change this except to have compassionate for those who are suffering; to pray for them if you wish to; to donate to fundraising appeals if you can; and to work on becoming a better ‘you’. When enough people do this, our world will become a better place.
You need the lightness of humor to balance some of the harsh realities of life and some of the heartache and sadness that all of us experience from time to time, so make sure you incorporate laughter into your life as this will help you to cope more easily with the challenges of daily life.
When you undertake a journey self-healing, self-love and self-change; when you begin to become more open to allowing others to get emotionally close to you; you will feel more vulnerable and sensitive than before. As you begin to be more open and less guarded, you will become more aware of your feelings and be less inclined to hide away in your thoughts. Things occurring around you will impact on you in a more personal way and you may be tempted to take personally things that have nothing to do with you. The lesson here is to be able to create enough space to slow down your reaction. Taking ‘time out’ works great. This will give you the space to work out whether it’s your sensitivity that’s causing you to misinterpret the situation or whether the other person’s behavior is about you.
If you are unable to ignore what has been an affront or an insult to you, you can always ask the other person, in a calm voice, whether their actions were deliberately directed at you or whether they had nothing to do with you.
Don’t forget to take your life one step at a time. This will allow you to make any adjustments in your life without becoming too anxious or stressed. Don’t be hard on yourself if you make the same mistakes over and over again. Sometimes it takes a great deal of awareness and diligence to change old patterns behavior especially if they have become entrenched habits.
Keep in mind that your past history of behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. By striving to consistently make changes in your current behavior; to consistently ask for what you want from others and from life; to consistently monitor your thoughts and self-talk; to consistently identify areas in your life that reinforce lack of self-love and low self-esteem, and to make changes where you can; to consistently take steps to restore balance in your life; to consistently love self and others unconditionally – you will gradually create a wonderful life for yourself. Anything is possible if you simply use your mind to creatively visualize the end result occurring in the ‘now’.
About the Author
Ann C. Johnson Assoc MAPS: General Psychologist has worked in the helping professions for the past 35 years. In the past 7 years she has published 3 books on personal and spiritual development. Inspired by post she reads on Facebook and events happening in her own life she continues to write articles on a regular basis.
Ann can also be found on https://www.facebook.com/annjohnson1948
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