Ingrid Roekke once said, “A child that is being abused doesn’t stop loving it’s parents, it stops loving itself.” A lack of self-love is the number one cause of toxic adult relationships. When something isn’t important to us we neglect it, we don’t treat it well and we don’t think much of it. But what happens when that thing is us?
Through words and deeds children absorb the feelings and beliefs of their toxic parents. They carry them into adulthood and then they go searching for it in their romantic relationships, They will discard and feel uncomfortable in relationships where they are treated as persons of value and instead seek out a mate whose beliefs about being unworthy, match their own.
These beliefs are usually subconscious, which is why bringing them to the surface is an important step in learning to let them go. It’s important to know where these beliefs came from and to have an understanding of why and how they came to reside inside of you.
Damaged people will often look for the easiest target and that’s usually their children. When people hate themselves, they tend to spread that hate to those closest to them. It may have been something they were taught as children. They might be repeating the pattern of their own abuse on their children. Regardless, the bottom line is that damaged people abuse others, so the realization that you have carried inside of you a belief by someone who was damaged and broken themselves, should start to make you truly consider the validity of that message.
You can’t give what you don’t have and so if you’re full of anger, rage and hate you’re not going to spread love, kindness and respect.
If the belief that I am not lovable came from an emotionally damaged person, then I have not only the right, but the responsibility to let go of that message and replace it with something else. Something true and something positive.
The Importance of Self-Love
Self-love is believing that you have value and backing up that belief by participating in the thoughts and behaviors that support that belief.
“When you feel love for yourself you belong in the universe and the universe recognizes that, and because of that the universe starts creating a comfortable life for you.” – Louise Hay
I think what the late Ms Hay was trying to say is that when a creature knows its value and that it has an important place in the universe, it’s in alignment. When you know you deserve to be here, that you are loved and an important piece of this world and worthy of love, respect and admiration – then the universe says, “Yeah you get it, you’re plugged in, tapped in and on par with the truth, so let me give to you more experiences that support that belief.”
When you don’t feel deserving, when you feel not good enough, you are not plugged in and you repel what is right and what you truly want for something that matches with your emotional vibration.
What Does Self-love Look Like?
Loving yourself is not just a belief its action. It’s having the belief and walking in it’s shoes. Here are some thoughts and actions that support self-love:
My first priority is my well-being.
I am focused on my development and growth.
I don’t engage with people or activities that don’t feel good or empowering to me.
I’m careful with what I put in my body. I watch my diet and exercise regularly.
I keep on top of my health.
I maintain a level of balance and peace.
I engage in events and activities that are fun and bring me joy.
I treat myself with respect and I don’t tolerate anyone that doesn’t.
In most situations, where I can, I consider my needs and wants first.
I know that just being myself is enough. I don’t have to overdo or over-give to impress anyone. My presence is enough.
If someone is trying to push me out of my inner peace, I don’t react. I walk away. Being right and engaging in confrontation isn’t worth my peace of mind.
Like Maya Angelou said, when people show me who they are…I believe them. I don’t give a lot of chances.
I let people fix themselves. I know it’s not my job to solve other people’s problems. I just worry about me and mine.
My focus is on me. I have goals, things I’d like to accomplish and that’s where my energy goes.
I am kind to myself and to others.
I live with integrity and always try to do my best.
My self-worth does not bend. I do not abandon myself. I walk proudly and confidently in my worth.
I am responsible with my finances and don’t feel the need to buy friends or lovers. I know my limits.
I trust my own mind. I don’t spend countless hours on doubting myself or my choices. I trust my feelings and my opinion and once I make a decision, I accept it and then I let it go.
When you wake every morning, you can choose who you’re going to be. If you want to be a person who loves themselves then you step into that skin like you would your pants and you engage in self-love behaviors. You wear the skin even if it doesn’t feel comfortable – you wear it until it does. Repetition of thought and behavior is how we effect change in our lives.
“Live the life you imagine and it will chase after you.” – Wayne Dyer
Understand that self-love is an essential element to inner peace. When you have inner peace you are aligned with the universe and able to create the life that you want. When you have self-love you know that you belong to a loving universe and that you are part of something bigger. You know that everything is unfolding exactly as it should. So you don’t stress, you don’t beg or plead, you don’t fight or cling, you let things go, and trust that the right person, the right job, the right friend will come along at just the right time.
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Great self love advice. Thank you.
So helpful and uplifting!
So so true and mind blowing!!!! Need to follow this advice. Thank you for your amazing insight and examples. So helpful!
Thank you Savannah! I knew all this but there is no such a thing that too many reminders for a recovering co-dependent like me.
This is one of my favorite pieces of your! Uplifting and empowering. Your words will stay with me today in everything I do.
Thank you for sharing your gift for clarity and insight!
This is perfect timing. I have been participating and partnering in such abusive and degrading behavior toward my heart, body, mind and soul. No more. I am a precious child of God. My earthly parents didn’t have self love and it was passed on to my generation. They did the best they could, but i am blessed to know and understand how they fell short and that I am not who they told me. A good and loving person, am I, and I choose to spread love, forgiveness and joy in this lifetime. I can’t do that, if I expose myself to, and accept, degrading behavior. I choose love.