Something I frequently witness in women is a tendency to love others more than we love ourselves. We are often entrained to give all our love to the men and children in our lives, before we give it to ourselves.
It is a strong programming, and often when we find ourselves in a relationship, we mistakenly think we have to win a man’s heart by giving him all of our love. Life and love become problematic for us when we don’t give love to ourselves first and foremost. Over the past few decades the personal development industry has taught us, through countless teachers, that we must love ourselves first and foremost.
In my experience, if we don’t know what this actually means, or how to do it, it becomes a nice concept, rather than something that we are actually doing. When I carry out an assessment with clients, they almost always score low on the self-love rating, so if this is the case for you, you are definitely not alone
Much of our training as a child was probably around what we had done wrong and how we had to change. Your parents may have withdrawn their love when they perceived that you had made a mistake. In those moments, without their love present, you probably weren’t shown how to love yourself. You learned to fear the withdrawal of their love because it meant that you couldn’t feel love anymore. And so, you may have grown up searching for someone else to give you that when it was missing. Seeking the approval of others so that you could feel good again. If only someone had taken you to one side and shown you that you could give love to yourself, no matter what others said or thought.
For many people their search for love happens outside of themselves. They believe if they could just find the right person, then they would feel love. Some people actually believe that it is their partner’s job to make them feel loved, leading to broken dreams, promises and shattered expectations. The simple truth is, love is an inside job. In truth, making changes from a place of self-love is far easier than changing from a place of criticism. You may think you need the criticism to motivate you, particularly if you have been taught to believe in tough love, but you can motivate yourself far more easily from a loving place where you are changing because you know it is what you want, rather than changing because you feel you are not loveable as you are.
Take the Self Love Analysis and see how you are showing up in your life with love….remember how you treat yourself subconsciously gives others permission to treat you.
Exercise: TLC Self Love Analysis
On the survey below score yourself:
Never 4 points
Sometimes 3 points
Often 2 points
Always 1 point
|Now total up your scores and look at how you are doing in the area of self love.|
Self Love Analysis Results
SCORE 15 – 30
It is likely that you are not putting a lot of attention into your own needs or self-care. If this is the case, you may be experiencing unhappiness as you constantly try to please others, whilst denying yourself the true acceptance you crave. Perhaps you have found yourself not trusting what is best for you. Beliefs that others needs are more important than your own, may have been holding you back from finding and experiencing love. Practice increasing your self-love and self-care incrementally – a little each day – until it becomes more of a habit for you.
SCORE 31 – 45
You may find yourself dipping in and out of self-care. You probably already have an awareness that you look outside of yourself for happiness, but end up compromising. You may know that you are a unique being, but doubt it from time to time. You are aware that you have work to do on yourself, but may feel guilty for investing in you. Do you also find yourself procrastinating over your spiritual, physical or emotional well-being, struggling to put yourself first? Perhaps this book has shown you things that you already knew, but you haven’t put into practice yet. The next step is to consistently show yourself love in all situations, including when life is challenging for you.
SCORE 46 – 60
If you scored in this range, chances are, you are experiencing self-love a fair amount of the time. You probably show yourself kindness, considerate and compassion consistently across the board. You may have areas that you want to improve upon, but you aren’t necessarily beating yourself up about them. The next step is to put the exercises from chapter two into practice, and get really clear about who your soul is calling for as a mate. Showing yourself this amount of self-love, you are likely to be ready to attract a Soul Mate into your life.
Articles that TJ writes for The Love Coach cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations.
Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!