On Self-Love And Self-Acceptance

Betty Wolverton-George Butterfly.002“Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.”

–Thomas Aquinas

“I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?”

–Shailen Woodley

While I am an expert on nothing but my own experience, I have a considerable amount of experience in dealing with issues related to self-love and self-acceptance.  I know how difficult it can be to learn what self-love and self-acceptance really mean.  I also know how very hard it can be to reach that point in our personal and spiritual development where we honestly and sincerely love ourselves  — our whole selves.

It is relatively easy to appreciate all the wonderful things we can see in ourselves.  But facing and embracing what appear to us to be those less desirable aspects of how we look, how we feel, what we think, and those secret desires we keep tucked away in our hearts is an entirely different ball game.  Not a single one of us is perfect.  And, when we refuse to accept that fact (to have compassion for ourselves), we become unhappy, discontent, and unable to enjoy all the good and beautiful aspects of Life & Living.

I have seen it very clearly in my own life.  All the distress I created and endured during those years of my life when I could not bring myself to love all of me is what ultimately led to a cornucopia of physical illnesses and a corresponding psychological melt down in 2010.

Before I came undone, what I felt most often was inner turmoil.  That inner turmoil was the result of the constant conflicts between the parts of myself I accepted and approved of and all those things about me that I wanted to deny.  For too many years, all that turmoil inside me had caused turmoil in my life.  The turmoil in my life created stress and drama.  Stress and drama created unhappiness.  Unhappiness created despair. Despair created emptiness.  Emptiness created loneliness.  And loneliness left unattended is a dangerous force to be reckoned with.

The problem I was dealing with was a bad case of self-rejection.  And rejection, of any kind, really hurts.  We can understand how much rejecting ourselves hurts us (how damaging it can be) when we ask ourselves how it feels to be rejected by others.

It is very painful and saddening when someone we love doesn’t love us in return.  It is difficult to understand when a potential employer doesn’t see our value or what we could bring to the company.  It is hard when we want to play on the team, but we don’t make the cut.

Betty Wolverton-George ButterflyThe implication in rejection is that there is something “wrong” with us.  Of course, there are many different reasons why romantic relationships do or don’t work out; there are many factors that go into hiring decisions; and team building is all about what the decision maker envisions is necessary for winning, nothing else.

We are adults.  We know these things.  But still, too often, we can’t help but ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with me?”  It seems to me that how we answer that question is where most of our problems with self-love and self-acceptance begin.

When we start trying to figure out why someone else has rejected us in a particular situation, we begin creating or adding to a list of what we think might be “wrong” with us.  The more we feel rejected by others, the longer the list gets.  We mull over the list in our heads, over and over again . . . thinking the same negative thoughts and self-imposed judgments repeatedly.  Eventually, it’s no longer about why those other people rejected us (what was going through their minds, at the time).  The real problem is that great big “what’s wrong with me list” that we have created in our own minds.  That list is where self-rejection begins; and it does not end until we learn to accept, approve of, and love everything about ourselves . . . even those things we would like to change.

It can be very frightening and very hard to sort through everything we need to feel to reach a place of self-love and self-acceptance.  But, let me tell you, it is worth every bit of the effort.  

Self-love and self-acceptance are what lead us to that place of refuge inside us, where all the uncertainties and harsh realities of the world fade away — the inner sanctuary where we feel safe, secure, and happy to be alive.

Today, what I would like to encourage you to do is to begin thinking about what self-love and self-acceptance mean to you.  Are there parts of you that you have been rejecting?  If so, why? And how does that make you feel?  Do you want to keep feeling that way?  If not, is it time to start looking at yourself with kinder and gentler eyes?  Are you willing to look for resources that help you better understand how to go about loving and accepting all of yourself?

I can assure you that just asking yourself these questions and taking some time to really think about it will help you understand where you are in your own healing and self-realization process, and it can point the way to the greatest gift you could ever give yourself — authentic happiness.

Louise Hay Loving Inner Child

Although there are many books and videos and tapes out there on self-love (and I encourage you to seek out the ones that resonate with you), I would like to recommend a particular audio tape to you.  I recently discovered it, and it helped me move to a deeper understanding of self-love.

It’s called “Forgiveness/Loving the Inner Child,” by Louise Hay.

I was only recently introduced to Louise Hay’s work; but I am so very glad I discovered her.  Her teachings on the power of mind, how to change destructive thought patterns, and, especially, on self-love are wonderful affirmations of what I know to be the keys to healing, happiness, and self-realization. She is a beautiful soul and a wise teacher.  I believe you will like her work too.

© 03/28/2013

Photos by Betty Wolverton-George

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18 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing these positive thoughts. My lastest post has a similar message!

    Reply
    • Thank You for reading and commenting. I just read your post, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I clicked over to Facebook earlier and saw several posts on self-love. Maybe, there is a change in the winds for us All. Many Blessings to you and all you do! 🙂 S

      Reply
  2. I have a couple of Louise Hay’s books on my shelf, but not this one you recommended. One of mine is a book solely of positive affirmations to say to ourselves, about ourselves. I’m not sure that I have an issue with self-love, but lately it’s been a lack of confidence. I should probably yank out that affirmation book. Thanks for this lovely post, Sloan, and for sharing a bit of your personal story. It’s usually a help for others to know that they aren’t the only ones to experience such despair, and that there is hope after hearing about you.

    Reply
    • Lori, thank you so very much for your kind comments. I’m not sure which Louise Hay book you currently own but her book, “You Can Heal Your Life,” is really a book about self-love. She walks the reader through a series of affirmations designed to replace negative, self-destructive thought patterns with positive, constructive thought patterns. Although I went about the process the long way, the same exact principles apply. We Are what we believe ourselves to Be.

      Have an Absolutely Amazing Day, Lori! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  3. Hi Sloan, Angelique here from SN.
    Great post! And much things that are recognizable very much ;-).
    Thanks for sharing!

    Love and Light, Namasté Angelique

    Reply
    • Thank you, Angelique, for reading and commenting. Hope to see you around the site again soon! 🙂 Many Blessings, Love & Light, S

      Reply
  4. Spirituition

     /  March 29, 2013

    Hi Sloan, Angelique here from SN.
    It’s a great post and much things are very recognizable ;-).
    Thanks for sharing!

    Love and Light!

    Namasté, Angelique

    Reply
  5. Asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-40. You need not be Christian to recognize and benefit from the wisdom of these words.

    Your timely and insightful post adds the element that is implicit but not expressed in Jesus’s quote–that you must love yourself, too. If we are to love others, we must love ourselves. Conversely, through our love of others, we may find love for ourselves. If we can see past the human frailties of others and still love them, then perhaps we can forgive ourselves for our own shortcomings and love ourselves, too.

    On this Good Friday, you have captured the essence of the Christian philosophy.

    Reply
    • Thank you, dear friend, for these insightful, beautiful, and wise comments. Have a Beautifully Blessed Weekend! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  6. What a beautiful article, Sloan. In order to love others, we must love ourselves first. You take this idea one step farther. How can we show the terribly needed kindness and gentleness to others if we are not first kind and gentle with ourselves? Thank you for the wonderful message.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Cat, for your beautiful and wise insights. Have a Beautifully Blessed Day! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  7. Your thoughts are very meaningful. I agree “self-love and self-acceptance” is what can change our lives. Yes Louise Hayes books are very inspiring.
    Thank you and regards.

    Reply
  8. Thank you for stopping by my blog HappinessHeals and liking my post Affirmation, Gratitude and Gluten, Dairy, Egg Free. Gratitude Dance. Thank you for sharing your truth too! :~)

    Reply
  9. Thank you for sharing positive thoughts ,with us .Have nice day my dear friend! with love stefan maxima

    Reply
  10. gecooper

     /  June 6, 2013

    Reblogged this on Drop by Drop We Fill the Pot.

    Reply

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