Today is Day 26 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.

Today I have Teri Johnson, author of Overcoming the Nevers by Gardening Your life and Nurturing Seeds of Truth as my guest. Teri was in a place of hopelessness, where she NEVER thought she’d be—stuck, and longing for freedom, restoration, and life. Through her journey, Teri discovered that it takes intentional action to restore and recover from this place, and a willingness to overcome. Her book reflects what she learned. Here’s what she has to say:

My relationship with Me
by Teri Johnson

“I love you and I like you.” Can you look in the mirror and speak these words boldly and honestly to yourself? I know this sounds like a silly question.  It might even seem uncomfortable, talking to yourself out loud.

The reality is, we speak to ourselves hundreds of times throughout the day; this is called self-talk.  Most often it’s not verbal, it’s in our thoughts.  What goes on in our heads between our ears can tear us down or build us up.  Unfortunately, most often it’s the latter. Thoughts such as…

“I’m not good enough.”
“Shoot, why did I do that, I’m so stupid.”
“I’m fat.”
“I’m a loser, why in the world did I say that.”
“I’m a failure, I’m never going to be successful.”
“I can’t do this, I don’t have what it takes.”

…are not kind, are not loving, and are not encouraging

Our negative self-talk, adverse thoughts, keep us stuck.  They are lies we tell ourselves which prevent us from becoming who we were created to be.  More importantly, they keep us from loving ourselves. The most important relationship we have is the relationship with ourselves. When we love and accept who we are we can embrace love from our Creator and allow others to love us as well.

When we love and like ourselves we grow and flourish in our own special gifts and talents.  We understand that we don’t need the approval of others to feel okay or acceptable.  We are lovable, likable, and good — just because we are.

Our life experiences and environment play a huge role in our relationship with ourselves.  Sadly, many aren’t equipped with the tools to change negative thinking patterns or their sabotaging self-talk.  The result? Discontent, unhealthily relationships with others, depression, unfulfilled dreams, toxic behaviors, etc.

The good news is, there is a solution which results are opposite.  They are peace, joy, contentment, life-purpose, self-acceptance, and self-love. How do we overcome the negative to produce positive fruit?  There are 3 foundational pieces we must build upon:

1.    You are on a journey:  Just like any relationship you are establishing it will take time.  You are not on a race to “fix” – you are on an adventure to get to know yourself, your truth.  Understand what your gifts are, embrace your talents as well as understand your weaknesses and the areas that need improvement.

2.    Maintain an attitude of willingness: A willingness to see, hear, and understand things clearer or from a different perspective, as you journey is crucial.  A willingness to change when prompted and a willingness to be authentic as you discover new truths.  Willingness to be stretched and uncomfortable at times.

3.    Be intentional: We cannot take our emotional or spiritual growth lightly, everyday should be lived deliberately.  Pursuing a healthy relationship with ourselves, understanding our own needs, and holding tightly our current place looking for opportunity to learn and grow.

This is where we start – we decide we want a healthy relationship with ourselves, we remember it will take time to establish this relationship, we are willing and open to change, and we are intentionally pursing it.

This new awareness alone will cultivate change; getting us one step closer to loving who we are – establishing “my relationship with me” will transform my relationships with others. Powerful happens when we fall in love with who we are – when we can boldly and honestly tell ourselves, I love you and I like you.

Check out Teri Johnson’s book, Overcoming the Nevers by Gardening Your life and Nurturing Seeds of Truth for more tips.

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2011 HERE.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.

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