Most of us long for relationships in which we are loved and accepted just the way we are. Our hearts' desire is to give and receive love in relationships that make us feel that even if others disagree with what we do or say, they still love us. They accept us. They appreciate our contributions to the world. While it would be wonderful to have these types of relationships with all people, we know that that's hard to do. We can, however, have them with some others, but only when we first have them with ourselves-and, ironically, this is often the hardest relationship of all.
One of the reasons many of us find it hard to love ourselves is because we do not realize that we are already loved in the most divine way. God loves us, totally and unconditionally. It's hard for many of us to believe this fact because we know how imperfect we are, and we believe we have to be perfect before God will love us. The truth is that God's love makes us perfect, even with our imperfections. By knowing this truth intellectually and believing it spiritually, we not only love ourselves more; we love others more as well.
Do you love yourself? You may think you do, but do you really? There's only one way to find out-by taking a closer look at what you think, say, and do. You may not like some of what you find, but if you're serious about really loving yourself, you can use this insight to do some positive inner work.
Here are three ways I've found for gaining greater personal insight for deeper love.
Listen to your words and listen even more closely to your thoughts. Why? Because your words and your thoughts will determine your actions. One of the things that has helped me to listen to my thoughts has been to keep a journal. It is not necessary for you to write in it everyday, but it helps to record various insights you gain as you go about living your life. Instead of using a big notebook, you might use a small note pad that you can keep in your purse or pocket for easy access to record your thoughts as they occur to you. (I've found that if I don't immediately write down ideas and insights as they come, it's hard to remember them later, at least with the same degree of clarity.) Whichever method you choose, what's most important is that you write your thoughts down. It will help you know what's in your heart.
Be honest with yourself by paying attention to your actions. Actions speak louder than words, and they always tell the truth. What do your actions say about you? If you say you love your job, but your actions say otherwise, which do you think is more true - your words or your actions? On the other hand, if you say you're not good at a certain job, but your actions say otherwise, that's also important. What do you do with this insight? You can use it to make more beneficial choices in your life. By being honest with yourself based on your previous actions, your actions moving forward will be based on truth instead of just what you tell yourself.
Take time out during the day for quiet time to listen to your inner voice. I call this inner voice the voice of God. This is similar to point number one, but it takes it a step further - beyond the natural mind to the supernatural heart. You may want to use your quiet time to meditate or pray. However you use this time, the key is to shut out all of the noise around you by focusing deep within yourself. Breathing deeply during quiet time will also help you focus. I know it's hard to find quiet time during a particularly busy day, but it's so important - even if it's just 10 minutes a day and you have to sneak away to get it. Quiet time can really make a difference in your life. It enables you to hear God speaking to your heart reminding you of His perfect love for you.
Despite what your subconscious may be telling you, you can have love with no limits. The key is to unconditionally love yourself first.
I Know How You Feel: Hope and Encouragement Even in your Darkest Moments
by Cynthia Legette Davis.
If you've ever felt afraid, angry, ashamed, anxious, depressed, lost or unloved, this book will speak to your heart in ways so intimate it may give you chills.Written in first-person dialogue with the reader, the passages of this book illustrate many of the negative feelings that are so easily triggered inside us by life's challenges. Each passage also offers hope and encouragement and reminds us that, even throughout the darkest moments of our lives, God loves us, and his love will see us through.
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