Nurturing yourself takes practice; learning self-love

Written by Amie on January 17, 2014 – 3:22 am -

You won’t have to try so hard

Learning self-love and self nurture takes practice. Loving and nurturing yourself doesn’t mean you have to forget everyone else in your life. It just means that you begin being kind to yourself internally and you begin taking your own needs and feelings into account. This is not done by “thinking positive” or by avoiding “negative” things. Yes, it helps to think positive and it helps to avoid negative situations whenever possible. However, usually when someone says, “think positive”, this means ignore your truth and pretend as though everything is great! This creates resentment, self-hate, and more dysfunction. The first step to creating a life that feels positive is to learn self-love and self-nurture. Once you begin loving yourself, you will automatically think positive and avoid negativity. You won’t have to try so hard. I don’t want to make it sound like learning to love yourself is simple and it happens overnight. Mostly, that doesn’t happen. It is a process of “unlearning” conditioned thoughts and beliefs, and then discovering your true thoughts and beliefs.

The root of self love

Once you begin discovering your true beliefs, things will start to fall into place. You will not want to be around people who tell you to ,”just think positive! Stop dwelling on the negative and maybe you won’t feel depressed”, or “do something fun for yourself and that might help you feel happy”. None of these work long term. The root of self love is pure acceptance of who you really are at your core. Pure acceptance of who you really are means you voice your truth, you own your experiences, you inquire into what your conditioned beliefs are and your question everything! Self-love happens gradually as you begin discovering and revealing your truth. Self-love will gradually happen as you begin uncovering the conditioned beliefs that are at the root of self-hate.

Self-hate is an accumulation of traumas, conditioned beliefs, unhealthy messages received both verbally and non-verbally, dysfunctional environments, lack of feeling safe, lack of being nurtured, not feeling free to be who you really are, not feeling safe to voice your needs, and many others possibilities depending on your situation. We are not born hating ourselves, we learn to hate ourselves because of the situations mentioned above. Learning self-love means undoing all of these learned dysfunctions.

How to begin the process of self- love?

To begin the process of learning to love yourself, you must first own your experience. You most definitely were not responsible for the negative situations that happened to you. However, this is YOUR life, and in order to learn to love yourself, you must own it. All of it. Is this easy? No! Does this mean you shouldn’t feel angry? Absolutely not! Anger is usually a huge part of the process of healing. Once you allow yourself to feel what is underneath the anger, you start getting to those things I mentioned above. You start questioning your beliefs that were given to you. You truly are allowed to feel your feelings! Depression and self hate will stay with you as long as you keep denying your truth. Its okay to feel angry! It is what you do with your anger that is important. Learn to get underneath the anger. What is really under the anger? Disappointment? Sadness? Fear? Journaling can be helpful in this situation. Owning your experience may include allowing yourself to become angry with those who wronged you. (This does not mean you have to confront them, unless you feel it would help your process. But most of the time, there are other ways to get through this without having to confront them. If the people who wronged you are still in a dysfunctional state, you may end up more hurt by speaking to them, because they are not going to be able to really “hear you”. ) Most people have great intentions, sometimes they are just not capable of giving the love others need. I have compassion for them, I really do. But, this absolutely does not mean I don’t have a right to heal by going through the process of being angry. Going through it is the only way to heal, in my opinion. Once you get through the anger, it can be released and you can move on.

your nurturing guidance

Once you own your experience, you can begin practicing other ways to love yourself. This will feel “weird” for awhile, but that is only because it is different and you aren’t used to it. Let it be “your little secret”. You don’t have to tell anyone what you are doing unless you trust that they will accept you exactly as you are. One very ¬†important step in learning to love yourself is cultivating a loving, gentle voice inside you. This voice only speaks love and gentleness to you. It is your nurturing guidance. If you are upset, use this voice to comfort yourself. This takes practice! And it takes time and practice to even remember to do it! Other ways to practice self-love are to learn to meditate. This will connect you with the loving presence that is always available to you. Learn to sit in silence. Make a list of activities or things you have always loved but never allow yourself to make time to do. Do these things as often as possible, even when that conditioned voice inside is saying you don’t deserve to take time to do something you love. If the voice of self-hate pops in, tell it no thank you, I got this one! Journal every day. If you are afraid someone will find it, just promise yourself that after you write, you will burn it or throw it away, and then do that. This cultivates self-trust. Very important.

begin your journey to self-love

It is unfortunate that most people have to learn how to love themselves, but this is where we are, so there is less suffering if we accept it, and then own what we need to do in order to heal. It is possible to love yourself, I promise! It takes time, gentleness, patience, acceptance, and practice, practice, practice! The more you listen to what is going on in your thoughts and you question where they come from, the easier it will get for you to begin to change them. It helps me to sing (or scream sing!), dance, move, exercise…anything that will help me feel the sensation (emotions) in my body and release them. It helps to remind yourself that you are absolutely not a victim any longer! You are your own best friend, you are loved no matter what, always, and you are capable of undoing the conditioned junk that you learned. Nurturing yourself will become second nature once you become aware, and begin your journey to self-love.

 

I absolutely love this song right now! Let your truth be heard!!

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How to nurture yourself to heal depression

Written by Amie on August 15, 2011 – 1:12 am -

The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice

So many people are searching for ways to nurture themselves. So very sad that most people do not know how to do this. Most people are taught to think about everyone but themselves. Most people are taught to be concerned with what others think of them before being concerned about how they feel about themselves! People are conditioned to follow along with what “the authority” figures deem important. We have been conditioned to hide who we really are. The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice. Let yourself be honest. Express how you really feel. Will this be easy after years of repressing and hiding your voice, your beliefs, your thoughts, your opinions, your truth? No, it just takes a lot of practice. Can you heal yourself from depression? Absolutely! But you have to be willing to show yourself. You have to practice facing your fear of being your true self. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep practicing and you also practice compassion for yourself, you will transform your depression into self-love. You will soon be nurturing yourself because you listen to what your inner truth is telling you. Once you start listening to and acting on your truth, nurturing yourself is the result.

All of these things condition us to go against ourselves

Breaking free of the conditioning most people learn is the key to healing depression. Our world tells us we need to be perfect, be successful, be thin, be rich, be beautiful, be the same as everyone else, act happy, don’t feel emotion, hurry up, be nice, be who your parents want you to be, be who society wants you to be, don’t be angry, hide yourself, don’t trust yourself, listen to other people’s opinions of you, don’t listen to your inner voice, be afraid, listen to your fear, trust the authority even if it feels wrong to you….I could go on and on. None of these things are nurturing! All of these things condition us to go against ourselves. All of these things teach us to distrust our inner voice. These things are the reason why so many people are depressed! We have been conditioned to be afraid of showing the world our true inner beauty. Depression exists because our truth is locked in a box deep within. The harder we try to contain our truth, the angrier we feel. The more angry we feel, the harder we fight to try to contain our truth. The more we try to contain our truth, the more depressed we become. Depression gets deeper and deeper the longer the truth is hidden.

protect yourself by being “good”

It is not easy to say what you really want to say. This is especially true if you have been conditioned to believe you are somehow bad for stating your opinions or your needs. If, as a child, you were punished for needing anything, you learned to lock up your truth, and to hold in your thoughts and feelings. You learned that being “good” got you farther than expressing your truth did. It is fortunate that children have the built in ability to shut down parts of themselves in order to protect themselves. Emotions can be turned off, shut down. This happens for a reason. Humans are built to survive. This is a good thing. I learned to be thankful for my protective instincts. However, if you are an adult, you now have the ability to take care of yourself. You get to decide what is best for you, and who you will trust to be a part of your life. You no longer need these coping mechanisms that served you as a child. You are in charge of your life! This is great!

how to nurture yourself

So, I am back to the question of how to nurture yourself. I learned to nurture myself by listening to my inner voice, and then trying to follow it. I am still learning, but it is getting easier with practice. It takes so much practice! It is like learning a completely new skill. I am learning to have compassion for myself. I try to treat myself as I would treat a newborn baby or a very young child. I give myself a break when I revert back to my old habits. I allow myself time to sit and have a good cry. I honor the little girl in me who just wants to curl up and read a book. I listen to my body when it is telling me it needs to move. I get a massage to nurture my body. I feed my body foods that make it feel good. But, if I eat something that I know will make me feel bad afterward, I refrain from telling myself how bad I am. Instead, I say oops, maybe I won’t eat that next time. The key is to have compassion for yourself! Your inner judge has been abusive enough all of these years. Give yourself a break. Listen to what you tell yourself on a minute to minute basis. Write down what you say to yourself, and then apologize to your inner self. Become aware. The messages you are saying to yourself that are mean and judgmental are never true. It is all conditioning. Not of it is the truth. Remember that every single situation is neutral. It is the judgments and stories we tell ourselves that make them stressful.

You are love….you have the answers you need right inside you…..dig through the old lies and stories to re-discover the truth you were born with…..you are a beautiful soul…..you deserve to be here…..you deserve to feel joy every day……let go of the old stuff you have carried around for years…..question every single thing you tell yourself…..only keep it if you know it to be 100% true….that means you have to prove that it is true! Do something for yourself that feels good…right now….love…

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