Last week on the blog I started talking about self love in an article called, “Loving Yourself Means More than Just Manicures.” Today I come to you to deepen into the topic of loving ourselves. My message last week was loving ourselves is an ever evolving process that begins when we decide we deserve our own love and attention.
From there we can start to talk about what that means and what that even looks like.
Last week I suggested loving ourselves is a process of learning how to unconditionally love ALL of us, even those deep dark parts that we would rather avoid or keep hidden or keep secret from the rest of the world. When we do this, we are telling others, as well as ourselves, we are not worthy of being seen, heard, and held.
So today, we will start talking about the importance of listening to the thoughts we tell ourselves, as a way to get to know ourselves better.
As a result of our own life experiences, we have a tendency to inherit the voices of what we heard from others growing up, and then they become our internal thoughts. What I often see in my clients are voices of perfection, “I have to do this perfectly!”, voices of overachievement, “Arg, I only got 95% on that test, why didn’t I study harder?” and straight up, voices of not good enough, “You can never do anything right. You suck.”
The interesting thing is, when we start to track these thoughts and get curious about whose they are and where they came from, our clients discover these voices were never theirs to begin with!
That voice of perfection? “Oh, my mom used to always want things just a certain way and so I felt like in order to gain her love and approval, I had to do things exactly perfectly the way she wanted it.”
That voice of overachievement? “Oh, my dad was a real stickler about grades. Whenever I got an A, his answer was always, ‘You only got an A? Why not an A+?’”
That voice of straight up not good enough: “Wow, my parents always said things that made me feel like whatever I did, was never good enough.”
When we dive a little deeper, we can start to see how these voices are ones that my clients began to carry with them and started to believe they were their own. These thoughts weren’t even theirs! Yet, due to the things they heard, they made up stories about who they were and what they were worth (more on this in a few weeks).
People who are driven by the voices in their head, the ones that tell them they aren’t worthy of love and affection unless they work harder, hustle harder, and prove something to the world, are the people we love to help here at the Center for Soulful Relationships.
Why? Because when your relationship with yourself is driven by thoughts and voices that aren’t even yours to begin with, you do a whole lot of things that keep you out of love with yourself. And our whole thing around here is helping people to fall in love with themselves, all of themselves.