3 Steps To Self Love

Loving yourself unconditionally is not about merely liking yourself on the surface. Instead, it means to love and accept yourself fully, despite whatever flaws you think you may have.

I Love Me THIS MUCH!”

But how do you get to a space of loving yourself unconditionally? Here are three steps you can take to help you get there.

Spend Quality Time With Yourself

We grow to love the people in our lives by spending quality time with them. We need to cultivate self-love in the same way – by spending some quality time with ourselves.

However, the thought of spending time alone with ourselves can make many of us feel uncomfortable.

By choosing to spend time to be alone, you create space to understand and accept yourself better. Journaling, meditating, going for walks, unplugging from your devices and taking time to relax and do nothing are all ways in which you can spend quality time with yourself.

self-reflection via journaling

Journaling is particularly useful. As uncomfortable as it may seem, just letting our minds flow, with pen to paper, we can create all the acknowledgment we thought we needed from another. Writing our thoughts down creates a flow that allows us to go deeper.

Challenge Your Internal Judgments Of Yourself

We may hate it when others judge us but ironically, many of us tend to judge ourselves all the time! It’s hard to cultivate self-love when our internal dialogue is a constant barrage of insults.

Try observing your internal dialogue a few times a day. It’s shocking! Try to imagine how you would talk to a child. Would you really call a child some of the names you call yourself? It may take a while, but eventually we may notice that we can offer all the compassion and love that we thought required someone else to give.

Practice Gratitude To Take Charge of Your Mind

When we let our minds run on autopilot, we tend to focus on the negatives and gravitate towards our shortcomings, losing perspective of all that is good in our lives. Try focusing your attention on what’s good in your life.

The simple act of writing Gratitude Lists is a great way to develop a positive perspective and let go of comparing yourself with others.

Keeping a gratitude journal is about consciously choosing to dwell your attention on the good that you may not otherwise notice or acknowledge.

In fact, an overwhelming amount of research indicates that practicing gratefulness can make us happier, strengthen relationships, have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and help in reducing stress.

It doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s okay, because the road to self-love is a journey, and it begins with our willingness to make a conscious effort to take the first step.

3 Steps to Mastering Self-Love

Self-love, or compassion, involves treating yourself kindly, especially in the face of setbacks and disappointments.

Learn to say to yourself: “This is really difficult right now. How can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”

Self-compassion involves recognizing that all human beings are imperfect and that means we will make mistakes. — Don’t scold yourself in a way that you would never do to another human being!

The following are three ways to help you begin to shift from self-criticism to the practice self-compassion.

1.  Pay attention to your inner-dialogue.

The first step in any behavioral change is to develop an awareness of the behavior itself. Begin paying attention to the things you frequently say to yourself. Write them down for greater clarity. (Don’t worry — this is for your eyes only!)

Choose  a time during the week when you experienced a strong emotion. Write down the specific thoughts you were having and your judgements about yourself.

2.  Practice  speaking kindly to yourself.

People will  say things to themselves that they would never say to someone they loved! Practice speaking kindly and gently to yourself, especially during times of stress or when you have made a mistake. If you are struggling to be kind, try looking at a photo of yourself  as a child. Try to think about how you would respond to a child or loved one who was struggling or having a difficult time.

3.   Create a list of ways for you to self-care.

Learn relaxation strategies. Schedule self-care into your calendar. “What would feel nourishing or calming to me in this moment?”.

self-reflection via journaling

Many people have told me that they have a hard time doing something for themselves, that it feels selfish or egocentric. But the fact is, we need to listen to ourselves before we can listen effectively to others.

 

Communication Skills With Someone who is Grieving

~ Worth Reading From Off The Web!

Active Listening: A Powerful Gift to Someone who is Grieving, by

Friend ListeningProbably the number one question I hear from people who want to care for a grieving friend, coworker or family member is,“What can I do?” We want to be a part of the solution by helping them on their grief journey. Yet, we have heard (and maybe even experienced ourselves) embarrassing stories of people who have inadvertently done or said the wrong thing – adding to the problem instead of helping.

Because we don’t know what to say or do, or because we’re afraid to say or do the wrong thing, we often do something that is even worse…NOTHING. We just don’t say anything. We don’t do anything. Which, in many cases, exacerbates the grief of the individual because they feel alone in their grief or become angry that “nobody cares.” So let me share with you a wonderful gift that you can give those who are grieving. It is called“Active Listening.”

Active listening is a simple yet powerful communication technique where the listener reflects their understanding of what they are hearing back to the speaker. It is not passive – where you sit there and never say anything; and it is not aggressive “talking” where you control the conversation. Rather, it is engaging the one grieving and letting them control the conversation, letting them take the lead, and letting them educate you about their own unique grief journey.

Active Listener’s  Do The Following:

  • Listen with your eyes – What is being communicated through body language? Watch  the brow, the clench of the fist, the pursing of the lips, the rapid tapping of the foot, the tightening of the jaw, and even the glimmer in the eyes. This can really clue you in to what emotions are stirring inside of the other.
  • Listen with Your mind – To do so, you must zero your attention in on the one who is speaking. This especially means that you focus on what is being said and not formulating in your mind what you are going to say next. What needs to be said by you will flow naturally enough. What is needed in the moment is for you to remove all mental distractions and grasp fully what is being said.
  • Listen with your heart – Listening with your heart is not imagining what you would be feeling if you were in their shoes. That would be making assumptions about how they feel. Rather, listening with your heart means looking deeper than just the words and discovering the emotions behind the words. For example, anger is not a primary emotion. Rather it flows from a host of other emotions. So with your heart, you look deeper than just the angry words and try to discover what emotions are feeding their anger. Maybe they are feeling threatened and unsafe. Maybe they are experiencing anxiety. Maybe their pride has been hurt. Maybe they feel misunderstood. There are a whole host of emotions that are beneath the anger feeding it with fire. To be a good active listener, we must discover the real emotions behind the words, not just the words themselves.
  • Listen with your intuition – This is closely akin to listening with your heart, but just enough different that I separated the two. Listening with your intuition will sometimes help you to recognize discrepancies between what is being said and what is being communicated. For example, I remember one griever who told me she was doing well after the death of her husband, but couldn’t sit still. Without notice, in the middle of the conversation, she would get up and go into the other room to do something and then would come back, fidget around in her chair and then be up again. My intuition told me that even though she said she was “Fine” that she wasn’t as fine as she said. So I kept checking in with her and lo and behold there was something that wasn’t fine within her. Regret was eating away at her, something I never would have found out if I had taken her words at face value.
  • Listen with your spirit – For those of you who consider yourselves spiritual, I would encourage you to engage your spiritual side as you listen. For me, I find it helpful before every conversation I have with someone who is grieving to say a prayer asking God to help me to accurately hear what is being said and to communicate what He wants me to communicate. In my opinion, the Spirit of God often brings things to mind that I would have never thought of without Him.
  • Listen with your mouth…closed – Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time to speak, but there is also a time to be quiet. It is not a time to interrupt even if you have heard it all before…even if they are the ones who have told you it all before. It is a time to be patient, even if you know what they are going to say next. Let them say it. They need to say it more than you need to hear it.
  • Listen with your voice box – It sounds contradictory because I just got done telling you to shut it and now I am telling you that you need to open it, but I think you will understand the distinction. What I mean by listening with your voice box is that you need to be verbally engaged in the conversation as if you were an investigative reporter. Throughout the conversation, you want to first encourage the conversation to continue and second clarify what is being said. So to encourage the conversation, you will use your voice box to say things like, “I see” or “I hear you” or even “Uh huh” so that they know that you are listening to what they have to say and not thinking through your grocery list. Likewise, you need to ask clarifying questions when you don’t “see” or understand what they are saying. For example, you might say, “When you said ______, did you mean ___________?” or even “Let me make sure I understood what you said.” Then rephrase what they just said in your own words.

Active listening is not just a wonderful tool to help grieving people say what they need to say out loud, it is a beautiful way to communicate day to day. 

Just remember, it’s not you and your experiences and your education and your expertise that matter the most in the conversation. It’s all about them and their need to verbalize the grief that is stirring inside of them. By sharing it on the outside, they are mourning their grief and therefore taking one more step toward putting together the pieces of their lives shattered by death.

by   @ Active Listening: A Powerful Gift to Someone who is Grieving  (edited for readability)

Our Story….

Source: InspirationalandGodly.Pinterest.com

Source: InspirationalandGodly.Pinterest.com

It is nearly impossible to continue “hate” once you understand a person’s story.

If what you think about yourself (or other’s) isn’t kind, then you haven’t found the whole story yet.

I can honestly say that I haven’t met a person whose actions were beyond my compassionate understanding. Because I listen to the story.