It’s kind of a funny concept to preach self-love when so many of us are totally comfortable berating ourselves at any given moment.
…I know I did well on that test, but I should have done better.
…Look at how ________ she is, why can’t I be more like her?
It’s amazing how easy it can be to revere others and detest ourselves.
Have you ever asked what’s the point in doing that?
Have you ever stepped back and brought a little curiosity to this scenario?
What is the part of me that drives me to so dislike myself?
When you think about that dislike, can you feel it somewhere in your body?
Self-love isn’t just about loving all the other parts of ourselves that do good. It can start right there, learning to love the part of you that that is doing the self-hating.
Yeah, I said that and I mean it.
I truly believe that there is always a logical explanation behind why we do the things that we do.
It’s not that we should ever love the experience of being beaten up – by ourselves or anyone else. And you’ll have to trust me on this one: you never deserve to be beaten up.
But we can love the part of ourselves that has good intention, even if that intention may be a little misguided.
Just as a test, try it out. Meditate and go inward for a moment and try offering some gratitude for the part that always tells you that you’re falling short in some way. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you do this. What do you notice? Softening perhaps? This part of you wants you to listen for sure and it likes when you do.
Loving the intention of the self-critic is important, and it’s a first step; you may also be happy to know that you don’t have to forever be subject to its criticism. There is another way.
I found God in myself
and I loved her
I loved her fiercely
~ Ntozake Shange
Copyright 2018 © Rachel Braun, All rights reserved.
Rachel Braun, ATR-BC Art Therapist Philadelphia, PA
Specializing in anxiety, depression and eating disorders.