Learning to Love Yourself: Harnessing Your Own Resources

Learning to Love Yourself: Harnessing Your Own Resources
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You may think that if you had more willpower you would be able to eliminate unhealthy, fattening, empty-calorie foods from your diet. However, the secret is not having more willpower, it is increasing your belief that you are worthy to be free from food addiction and old, unproductive habits, and that this goal is attainable.

You have willpower—think about the many other areas in your life where you display willpower. Often, at my seminars, when I ask the participants to think of their own personal obstacles to achieving their goals, someone will say that he or she is weak-willed.

When I question participants further about this, they smile when they realize that their loved ones often say the opposite about them: that they are in fact stubborn and strong-willed. When pressed, most people who initially say they have no willpower discover that they are displaying willpower in many other areas of their lives.

The Strength of Habit

What is even stronger in us than willpower is habit—specifically, unpro­ductive eating habits that have developed over time. These habits include over-eating, binge-eating, night eating, eating when we are not physically hungry and emotional eating.

Most of us learned the habit of emotional eating when we made the connection as small children that ice cream or a lollipop made us feel better when we got hurt and helped us to quickly forget about our boo-boos. And even though, as an adult, you know that if you eat as a way to cope with any challenge in your life—whether it be depression, frustration, or boredom—the initial problem is only going to get worse; the subconscious program that tells you to eat so you’ll feel better is controlling your life. The solution is to install a new, updated program.

If you feel that it is difficult to truly love and accept yourself, you may be overly identified with and judging your unproductive behaviors from the past. Who you are is not your thoughts or your behavior. How you feel about yourself is determined by what aspect of yourself you are focused on. The following exercise will help you to discover and focus on the strengths within you.

EXERCISE: TAKING AN INNER INVENTORY

Take out a sheet of paper and make a list of the quali­ties that you love about yourself—those attributes that you would consider your assets, and also write down the evidence that you have.


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Then make a second list of what you would consider your liabilities. Now go through your list of liabilities and find exceptions to every item on the list.

For example, perhaps your list may look like this:

   

ASSETS

Quality

 

Evidence

Caring

 

I listen to my children.

Generous

 

I help my sister financially.

Talented

 

I cook delicious meals for my
family.

Giving

 

I volunteer at the local
animal shelter.

Smart

 

I figured out how to stop the
leaky faucet.

 

LIABILITIES

Quality

 

Evidence

No control

 

I overeat constantly.

Impatient

 

I reacted so irritably when I
had to wait.

Judgmental

 

I was really put off by my
brother.

Ungrateful

 

I didn’t want the scarf my
mother gave me.

Now look at the evidence that you wrote down for your lia­bilities and find exceptions to the statements you made. So in the preceding example, under “no control,” find an example of a time when you exercised control, for example maybe you patiently helped your child to understand a dif­ficult math assignment.

The purpose of doing this exercise is to learn that we all have every quality. We tend to think in black or white. Either I am a patient person or an impatient person. But the truth is that each of us is a complex combination of all personality traits, even though we may exhibit and identify with some more than others.

Make a commitment to yourself to begin to take note of the areas in life where you do excel.

By recognizing and rewarding your successes you will begin to identify yourself as a person who can and does achieve the goals that you set for yourself.

EXERCISE: LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF

Go over to a mirror, look into your eyes, and tell your­self, “I love you, you deserve to be happy.” Say, “I deserve to live at my ideal weight.”

Now breathe in and feel the response in your body. Pay attention to the feel­ings in your torso—your chest area, your solar plexus, and your lower belly.

Continue to repeat this phrase to yourself slowly, each time breathing the sentences into the different parts of your body—your belly, your chest area (also known as your heart center), your pelvis, your throat, and your solar plexus. Notice how your body responds to your words, and allow yourself to have your experience without shutting it down. In other words, if you say those words into your throat, and you feel a lump rise up, allow the sadness to just be there without trying to censor or control it.

Awareness itself is healing, so send love and recognition to this part of your body. Just continue to speak the words softly and firmly into your being, including the places that are in pain. Often all those places need is some attention and acknowledgement.

The mirror exercise and affirming that you do love yourself—all parts of yourself—will help you to break old, unproductive beliefs.

Do not underestimate the power within your affirma­tions. The spoken word has the ability to heal or to wound. The things that you tell yourself consistently shape your beliefs about what’s true and what’s possible. These beliefs then influence the behavioral choices you make daily, which create the big picture of your current reality.

When you do the mirror exercise, have some paper and different color pens nearby. Write down your positive affirmations in one color ink, and then write down your response to those affirmations in a different color. This way, when you go back and refer to these written state­ments, you’ll easily be able to isolate the positive, con­structive self-talk. Equally important, you’ll see how, over time, your automatic responses to your internal dialogue shift.

Continue to state and write the affirma­tions down, while noticing the physical reactions in your body, along with any statements that question the truth in your affirmations. Through continuous repetition of the positive statements, you will begin to wash away the deep-seated objections or blocks to accepting and receiving the greater good that awaits you. The act of writing the positive statements down helps to implant them even more deeply in the subconscious mind.

How to Identify Emotional Eating

What are the needs that you have been trying to meet by overeating or consistently selecting the wrong foods? Usually our needs fall into three categories. Beyond our need for physical sustenance—food, water, and shelter—we need love and compassion, safety and protection, and strength or power. These needs are biological and natural, however, when unexamined and operating unconsciously, these needs may cause us to act out in a way that is counterproductive. Let’s take a look at each one.

The Need for Love

Our need for love and compassion stems from our desire to be connected with others, to feel good about ourselves, and to receive and give appreciation. We all want to feel valued, understood, and respected—to be heard, seen, and believed.

Because of past hurts in your life, which may be triggered by things that are happening now, you may sometimes assume that you are not loved, respected, understood, or cared for. This could lead you to feel misunderstood, ashamed, guilty, embarrassed, heavy, unloved, rejected, sad, abandoned, lonely, or desperate. By feeling your feelings in the moment, you can discover what need is not being met.

Shower yourself with compassion as you recognize your need for love. Remind yourself that you already are loved, loving and loveable.

The Need to Feel Safe

Another basic need that we all have is the need for safety and protection. Being fed and having enough to eat is a valid, innate need that we are all born with. Some of us may not have been fed enough as infants, and therefore, subcon­sciously, developed a feeling of being unsafe and are concerned whether we are going to have enough to eat, even though, rationally, we know that food is abundant and plen­tiful. If this subconscious feeling that there isn’t or that there may in the future not be enough to eat is allowed to drive our behavior, it can wreak havoc on our life.

You may want a feeling of security, but is it what you really need? Perhaps having cabinets stocked with various types of cookies, chips, and soda pop gives you a feeling of security. When you tap into your true need for safety and pro­tection, it becomes easier to discern that no amount of junk food could truly offer you that greater sense of being taken care of.

Going to extreme measures to insure your own safety simply implies that you don’t already have it. In reality, no amount of planning could assure your own safety. Ultimately, beyond the commonsense precautions we instinctively must take, each of us needs to cultivate a sense of trust regarding our physical safety and protection. When we realize that it’s out of our hands and that the more we want a guarantee of safety, the more often it eludes us, we can begin to let go of the demand that we feel secure and trust that we are as safe and protected now as we were in our mother’s womb.

While you are in the throes of the feeling, it’s best that you take a moment to care for yourself. So feel the feeling that is coursing through your body and notice the physicality of the feeling inside you. Go inside and notice what is behind the sensation. Perhaps you are feeling afraid. As you move into the sensation in your torso with your conscious aware­ness, you may become cognizant of a specific fear that you won’t have enough to eat.

Ask yourself, “What am I needing in this moment?” Breathe into the sensations that you are feeling, and put space around them. Imagine a field of space inside yourself and surrounding you. Write down or make a mental note of what you truly desire.

Perhaps you require safety, comfort, food, shelter, secu­rity, nourishment, peace, air, water, sleep, or touch. Affirm to yourself that you have everything you need. Say to yourself, “All my needs are being met. I have everything I need.” Look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself those statements in a peaceful, loving voice. If it is sleep that you are lacking, lie down, even if you only have ten minutes. The benefit of a short catnap can be incredible! If it’s nourishment that you need, imagine the various healthy foods that you could select right now and see which one “lights up” for you. Perhaps a delicious, crunchy carrot would satisfy you. Or maybe your body is yearning for a piece of iron-rich meat to nourish your blood. Go inside and pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you.

If you see pictures of rich, chocolate brownies coming to your mind, superimpose on them the fat on your body, or the painful experience of eating such food regularly. If you are tired a lot, imagine that those chocolate brownies are what has gotten into your bloodstream and cells and made you feel so exhausted, sapping the life force out of you. Use your imagination to turn yourself off to the substances that are poisoning you and sickening you.

Go back inside and see what your body really needs. If you really do want a carbo­hydrate, make it a complex carb—such as a baked potato or some whole-grain pasta, but make sure to eat it in combination with healthy fat and protein.

The Need to Feel Powerful

Finally, we all have the need, or at least the desire, for some personal power over our life. How often do you find your­self seeking and demanding control?

When we feel that our need to have control or power is being threatened, we may react by being pushy, demanding, or aggressive. Or we may respond by giving up, giving in, and feeling powerless. Either way, we are not acknowledging and filling our need for per­sonal power in the world. The remedy for needing control is acceptance, surrender, and letting go.

Each of us needs to know that there is a force of strength and power within us, otherwise we would feel weak and incapable of surviving in this world. Instead of seeking control, we can begin to get in touch with the great foundation of strength and power that already resides within, at the core of our being. When you feel this pillar of force inside and begin to identify with it, you no longer need to assert and validate your power in ineffective, ener­gy-draining ways.

Harnessing Your Own Resources

Through honoring and listening to your feelings, you can attain greater awareness and learn about yourself. When you feel the familiar bodily reactions—the tightening, bracing, and holding that goes along with any power struggle—give yourself space to breathe through what you are experienc­ing. Ask yourself, “What am I needing?” Aside from space, you may be longing for solitude, courage, freedom, clarity, expression, ease, autonomy, or choice.

Honor what you are discovering about your needs. Take time to be with yourself so that you can find ways to fill your needs without returning to harmful eating habits. Sometimes just looking in the mir­ror and acknowledging what you need is all it takes to free you from feeling out of control.

Affirm to yourself, “I am in control. I let go of this power struggle.” Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I love you. I respect you. I am lovable, lov­ing and loved,” “I am confident in myself,” “I have the right to feel confident and self-assured.”

Letting go does not mean that you are giving up. It simply means that you are turning the matter over to your higher wisdom and creativity, which you are entrusting to come up with a solution.

Wanting and demanding outside approval, security, and control implies that you are in some way deficient. Getting in touch with the deeper resources inside yourself—the strength, love, courage, and innate protection—will help you to associate with the deeper parts of yourself and give to your outer self what you are truly craving.

When you state your affirmations, practice declaring them in the first person: “I am loved,” “I am safe,” “I am powerful and in control,” “I feel confident,” “I am grateful.” Feel how proclaiming the affirmations in this way makes them real for you and helps you to get in touch with the strength and goodness that exist within your true essence.

The more you give to yourself from your deeper self, the easier it becomes to look behind the outer circumstances of your life situation and identify with the immense potential for love and possibility inside yourself.

©2019 by Rena Greenbert. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission. Publisher: Lisa Hagan Books.
www.lisahaganbooks.com

Article Source

Easy Sugar Break-Up: Break the Habits and Addictions That Control You
(Originally published as "The Craving Cure")

by Rena Greenberg.

Easy Sugar Break-Up: Break the Habits and Addictions That Control You by Rena GreenbergExcessive consumption of sugar in all its forms--including simple carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol--can lead to weight problems, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and other mental and physical disorders. Whatever your craving weakness, this book will give you the inner power, strategies and techniques you need to overcome it. (Also available as a Kindle edition and as an Audiobook.) 

click to order on amazon



About the Author

Rena GreenbergRena Greenberg works with people all over the world in private hypnotherapy and coaching sessions on Skype and face-to-face in Florida to help people get healthy and improve their lives. Rena holds a degree in bio-psychology from the City University of New York and a master’s degree from the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism. She is also a hypnosis and NLP trainer and is board certified in biofeedback therapy. Rena can be reached at http://EasyWillpower.com

Video/Presentation with Rena Greenberg: 5 Minute Inner Peace Technique

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