There are soooo many lessons in life, some harder... than others. You'd think that learning to love yourself would be one of the simpler ones, right? I don't think so. The reason being, that learning to love oneself, requires SO much unlearning. Every time someone else called us stupid, or lazy, or fat, or ugly, or naive, or boring, or crazy, or whatever, we put that away somewhere in our brain, and in our heart. And the more times we heard these negative things, the more we didn't even need to hear it from anyone else anymore. Every time we made a mistake, we could now be our own worst critic, and call ourself all of those names, without even realizing we'd said it - the brain thinks on average 60,000 thoughts a day. We don't even notice when "I'm so stupid" goes through our brain.
Well, we can stop this, and I KNOW it can be done, because I've been working on it for a few years myself. What's required, is living a little more mindfully, and paying attention to our thoughts. At first, the critical voice might be rambling for a few days, before we notice it. But once we notice it, we can backtrack to see where the negativity started. We can source the original thought that started the slide into negative self thinking. We become conscious of what we are thinking. And the more we do this, slowly but surely, the more quickly we will catch the negative voice, and stop it in it's tracks. I'm usually no further than a few sentences in, at most, now. And when I catch myself doing it, I immediately take the the time, to replace those comments with the positive opposite. If I'm calling myself "lazy", I may not at first believe I'm "a go getter", but as I keep saying it, I become it. And if I take the time to look at all the things I get done in a day, or in a week, hell ya, I'm a go getter!
Perhaps the hardest time for me to shut the voice off, is when I look in the mirror. So, instead of not looking in the mirror to shut off the voice, I went and got a big full length mirror, so i could see my entire self in it. And then, before I looked at myself in it, I painted it purple, and attached butterflies and flowers, and sparkles to it, and I made the mirror itself a piece of my own artwork, and something I wanted to look at. And now, every time I stand in that mirror, I am surrounded by my own creation, something separate from myself, but still a part of me, that I consider beautiful. And in my nakedness, every day, I look into that beautiful mirror, as I am surrounded by flowers and butterflies, and tell myself how beautiful I am. And I name my parts, and say outloud how beautiful each is. And I smile at myself. I just stand there and smile at myself, and remind myself that I am a beautiful child of God, and I am EXACTLY as God created me, and God CANNOT create anything less than perfection, He/She doesn't know how. I didn't believe myself at first, the negative voice wanted to call me a liar. But I kept doing it. And slowly but surely, I began to believe parts of my affirmations. And with a bit more time, I began to believe all of affirmations. I still have a LONG way to go with self love, and there are so core issues that still block me, but that's ok, with the improvement I've seen by just sticking with it, I'll never stop, probably not even when I AM living the Goddess life, that I know is mine to receive.
*looking into my mirror*
I am beautiful
I am perfect in all of my imperfections
I am intelligent
I am creative and a co-creator with God/dess
My body is a temple of health and wholeness
I am a beloved child of God/dess
By birthright, I am divine
I love me
~ Tracey Rogers