Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the book, Dear God, How Can I Finally Love Myself?
How can you finally love yourself? I have asked myself this question throughout most of my life, because for most of my life I did not love myself.
class=”alignright”>I felt grief, because I felt less than, not good enough. Perhaps you feel these same feelings. Perhaps, just as I used to, you feel like a failure, or somehow incomplete. Far too many people around the world experience the self-loathing that I used to experience, which is why I wrote the book, Dear God, How Can I Finally Love Myself? That experience must be turned around, and it can be turned around by you.
You see, when you believe all of the things you perceive, all of those lies that tell you that you are not worthy in any area of your life, this breeds self-hate. I know this firsthand, because I used to look at many areas of my life and feel deep dissatisfaction – areas such as relationships, finances, career, social status. And yet, it was not a relationship or career or finances or status that caused me to feel self-love. I learned how to love myself from writing thousands of letters to God, and I received answers. The result, self-love, led to the writing of my book.
There is no way for me to describe the sadness, emotional pain, heartache, frustration and deep self-loathing that I used to feel. I used to think that outside circumstances would make me feel better and happier. Perhaps you also think the same thing.
Perhaps you believe that a love relationship or a certain bank account balance will cause you to feel self-love.
There are many examples of people who do not love themselves despite their relationships and financial wealth. I am sure you can think of many people, perhaps even people you know, who truly do not feel self-love. It’s one thing to say, "Love yourself." It’s quite another to know how to do this.
How can you feel self-love when you feel deep self-hate? Perhaps you feel deep depression. Perhaps you compare yourself to other people, just as I used to. As a result of those comparisons, we usually fall deeper into the not-good-enough category. At least I used to. So let us now take the view that your life and your feelings about yourself are pretty much in the sewer.
Okay, this is admitting how you feel, honestly. Many years ago, when I told someone that I felt as if I was sitting in mud, that person answered, "Many people pay a lot of money to sit in mud." I instantly realized that this was, in fact, true. Many people go to luxury spas to have mud-bath treatments for beautiful, glowing skin. Those treatments are expensive, and people do pay a lot of money to sit in mud.
What if I told you that all of the feelings you currently have are a fantastic starting point in your life. Would you believe me? It is true. Admitting all of your true feelings now, acknowledging those feelings that cause sadness, is a great first step toward self-love.
But it goes deeper than that, because our feelings are caused by our thoughts and what our minds are focusing on.
So rather than drag you through hot coals to feel even more emotional pain, sadness and despair, I am going to share a process that you can use for the rest of your life to transform how you feel about yourself or transform any area of your life.
Beginning the process
Pure, deep and permanent personal transformation, such as transforming low self-worth into self-love, starts with the deepest heartfelt desire to make the transformation. If you prefer to complain, or you prefer to stay stuck in the feelings you currently have – even though those feelings bring sadness, then this is solely within your choice.
Personal transformation requires a deep, heartfelt desire along with an earnest commitment to you.
You have to desire to feel self-love, high self-esteem, pure unconditional self-confidence more than you want to remain stuck with the self-degrading feelings you currently have. Moreover, you have to desire to move out of your comfort zone, which means no complaints and no self-insults from this moment forward.
This might surprise you, but the only way you can transform the way you feel about yourself is through your conscious choice. If you would rather put yourself down and continue to complain about how miserable you feel and how miserable your life is, this is your choice.
So here, right now, it’s decision time. What do you really and truly prefer? To feel self-loathing, insecurity, and less than worthy? Or to feel genuine self-love, inner confidence, and equal to the rest of the human race no matter who you are looking at?
By forgoing all complaints and self-insults, you will show yourself how committed you truly are deep inside your heart to choose to follow the guidance I am sharing with you step-by-step, guidance that will teach you how to feel self-love.
The process will work only when your heart is committed to it. To feel self-love does require your commitment from deep inside. This is a commitment to YOURSELF, not to me or to anyone else but you.
One ground rule for feeling self-love is to stop all hateful comments that you make about yourself and the conditions in your life. This is where it starts, and as you can now see, no one other than you can do this. This step will also show you how real self-love cannot come from anyone else. If you want to feel it inside, and if you want those feelings to be permanent, unconditional, then having personal ground rules is required. They are all pure and positive, and will only be helpful to you.
It is imperative that you know how important your conscious awareness is with respect to what goes through your mind about you. Following these steps requires the cooperation of your free will and choice, your thoughts, focus and gut instincts.
As I said earlier, from this moment forward you must cease all negative self-comments to yourself or to anyone else about you. So any of the complaining you have been doing or statements about how horrible you look or how bad your life is or how you don’t measure up must be stopped.
The only way to stop your complaints is to notice when they come up in your mind. Because you have probably been making these negative statements habitually for quite a long time, they will pop back up in your mind for a little while. But take heart, because with THIS process, they are not going to last. They won’t even come up again after a while. Won’t that be nice for you?
Noticing your thoughts
When an old, negative, conditioned thought comes into your mind, instead of focusing on it or dwelling in it or verbalizing it, simply notice it without judgment.
For example, if you had a thought such as "I’m such a failure" or "I’ll never be any good," simply become consciously aware of that thought. Notice that you had that thought, and simply recognize it for what it truly is: an old, negative, conditioned thought – and that’s all. It certainly is not the truth about you, that is for sure!
Now, immediately after you notice the negative thought in your mind, tell yourself something positive about yourself, such as that you are a caring person. Or you are an intelligent person. Or you are a kind person. Any positive quality that you truly know you have deep inside will do perfectly fine.
The whole key here is to stop the old, negative cycle because it is vicious, mean, harsh, degrading and filled with lies about you. Those thoughts came from the level of ego, not from the level of your deepest heart and soul. Once you consciously replace the old, negative, habitual thoughts with statements of truth about yourself, all you will soon be thinking will be truth, and you are going to begin to feel a lot better about yourself as a result.