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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

Learn How to Love Yourself

Updated: Feb 9

Learn How to Love Yourself

♥️ How can you love someone else and enter into a relationship with them, if you don't love yourself?

Right now, as you read this, if you didn't get messages growing up and throughout life that you're good, liked, count and matter, are valid, deserving of care and respect – how will you likely view yourself?

Unlovable, no good.

You likely, also, dutifully continue to speak to yourself, in your mind, with the same words, style, and approach your parents, peers, and others used with you.

Harsh....critical...punishing...condemning...put-downs. Do you see and notice that happening?

If that's you, how do you react, for example, when others give you compliments? Is it uncomfortable? Do you find a way to dismiss or discredit it?

You're Good and Lovable

This is because of tension. You see yourself as bad. The person's compliment asserts that you're good and lovable. Which is it? That's deep tension. You have two ways to find relief: 1) accept the feedback and that you're good, which means rejecting your view of self as being bad; or 2) reject the feedback and protect the negative self-view you have.

#1 sounds better and it's the right way, but we rarely choose it. We've become deeply connected to seeing ourselves as no good and unlovable, over years of interactions, harsh words, and lack of kind compliments and messages that build us up. That inner change takes some heavy inner lifting and deep work.

#2 is easier: kick out the "aggressor" compliment and go back to the status quo. Painful, but familiar. Seems safe.

Why It's Hard to Love Yourself

The same goes for love. You were trained, and continue to tell yourself (consciously, subconsciously) that you're unlovable. Comes this person who wants to give you love.

Now you have tension, and tension has to be relieved. Accept their love and get to work rejecting the inner repeating thought cycle you're no good, unlovable, invalid, and not deserving of care and respect. Or, reject them. Perhaps, sabotage the relationship. And go back to unconsciousness.

How sad that all this rests on a false premise you never challenged: you are in fact lovable and good. But since no one told this to you, and instead you always got false negative messages, you don't know who you are. When in fact, you are lovable...right here and now. Can I prove it to you?

"I Love Myself"

Tell yourself right now in your mind: "I love myself...I love myself...I love myself...I love myself...I love myself."

How does that feel? Notice your feelings and thoughts as you're saying those 3 words repeatedly to yourself: at home, walking down the street, on the bus, in bed going to sleep.


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