It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.
Several women have written in with ideas and suggestions for loving our Selves. Here is another one in three parts.
Learning to Love Yourself – Part 3
By C. Rainfield, Ontario
* Recognize Self-Critical Messages — and Talk to Them
It’s easy to let old, critical voices and messages that we heard as a child play over and over in our minds, without stopping them. Often we may barely recognize that they are there, or we don’t really listen to them, we’ve heard them so often — but they continue to impact how we feel and think about ourselves.
Try noticing next time you hear a small (or very loud) voice inside your head criticize you. Be aware of what it is saying to you, and try to talk to it. Ask it why it feels it needs to say those things. Is that part of you trying to protect you, in some child-like logic? Or perhaps that part of you felt it had to take on the messages you heard as a kid. Remind that part of you that you no longer need to do that to survive. You are free to make up your own mind about yourself.
* Counteract Negative or Critical Thoughts About Yourself
Write down all the negative or critical thoughts and messages you hear inside your head. See if you can figure out who first said them to you (or said something of that nature). Then write out a response that counteracts each of those messages, one by one. Make the counter messages as strong and loving as you can.
If you’re having trouble writing out counter messages, see if you can connect to a deep, wise part inside of you. Or write out what you would say to a friend if a friend said those things about her/himself.
* Do Comforting and Nurturing Things For Yourself
Allow yourself to do comforting and nurturing things for yourself. Let yourself feel how good you feel when you do those things — and tell yourself that you deserve to feel that way, to feel good. Gradually you’ll find that the more nurturing and comforting times you have, the more you’ll seek them out — and they will help build a good feeling inside you.
* Ask Yourself What You Need to Do
Some of these things will work really well for you, while others may not quite fit you. So try taking a moment to get quiet, and ask yourself, “What can I do to help myself feel more compassion and love toward myself?” Don’t force an answer — just let the answer bubble up from inside you. If you find it hard to hear the answer that way, try writing out your question, and then your answer. See what you come up with. You know best what works for you — and you have great wisdom inside you.
Above all — have compassion for yourself and for where you’re at. Remember that you are a truly loveable person — and that you deserve only kind treatment, especially from yourself.
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to email@example.com.