How Do I Love Myself?

  • Article By Advisor "Empathic Amanda"

    With self-help books and New Age thought entering the mainstream at a rapid pace, we often hear that we should love ourselves more. This sounds like a nice idea for most people, but if you are in the midst of angst and loss when you hear, "Love yourself more," you may want to laugh, scream, and cry all at the same time. Why would anyone choose to not love oneself if it were that easy? Or we may think, "I love myself a lot … I went on 2 vacations last year and re-did my entire living room, kitchen, and bathroom just this month." Or we may say, "Hey, I dumped the crappy boyfriend and got a new job … if that is not self-loving, then what is?"

    Treating yourself well is part of self-love, but the idea of loving yourself is just as complex as the idea of loving another. There is no one simple way of looking at it. Everyone has a varied understanding about what constitutes "love," be it love of self or love of someone else. Sometimes both kinds of love seem impossible and scary undertakings, yet we find ourselves seeking this emotional connection from time to time. And both kinds can appear like mirages – elusive forms of loving feelings and loving actions that look and feel great at first, but in the end leave us feeling thirsty, empty and sometimes even addicted.

    Healthy romantic love and self-love are possible when an honest and compassionate relationship between our thoughts and our feelings is translated into loving actions and choices.

    As a reader, I find that many of the people I speak to are going through the recent or current loss of a relationship. This seems to be the hardest time to love ourselves in a healthy way because we are feeling abandoned, rejected, scorned, and lost. Someone who was connecting us with the energy of love is suddenly gone, and that can create a great feeling of emptiness inside. Many of us lose touch with our independent connection to love when we are in a relationship with another; we merge so much that we lose sight of our unique love-light. Or maybe we never really had it in our sights to begin with and the relationship was the only source of love we felt. It is in moments like this that I encourage people to begin loving themselves more.

    So, you are now probably asking, "How? How do I love myself more … what does that even mean?"

    To love yourself, you must first know yourself, and then you must accept what you know about yourself in the spirit of love. Self-knowledge is a journey for life, so it is important to start with where you are.

    • Begin paying attention to all your thoughts and feelings.

    • Keep a journal. If you have any old journals, reread them. Write about where you were and where you are now.

    • Talk to a therapist, an advisor or a friend who will listen without judgment, but who is wise enough to give you compassionate feedback and insight into yourself.

    • Read self-help books that deal with the issues that trouble you and that deal with family and childhood dynamics.

    Self-acceptance can sometimes feel painful and uncomfortable. There is much in our upbringing that teaches us to deny our true thoughts and feelings. By the time we are ready to know and accept ourselves, it can sometimes feel foreign, conceited, or devious to do so. Or we may discover things about ourselves that we think we should never accept. This might indicate that we need to change our choices and behaviors and take responsibility for any harm we have done, but we still need to accept that this part of ourselves existed. If we don't, we will feel shame and guilt that will keep us from being able to love ourselves. These two feelings are the archenemies of self-love.

    Self-acceptance also comes with letting go. Forgiving ourselves dissolves feelings of shame and guilt and we can then be free to love others and ourselves. The spirit of love is very forgiving, so know that you always have that available to you when you feel bad about yourself.

    If we have been denying our good and our worth for a long time, then the process of actively loving ourselves might take some time to get used to, but that is okay. It is worth the wait and the work involved. Consistently relating to ourselves in an honest, accepting, and compassionate way is the key to opening up to lasting joy and authentic relationships in our lives.

  • thank you.

  • Hi Captain,

    I came here because you have helped me in the past. I'm not asking for a reading or to find out whether or not someone loves me, I know that I'm loved. I've come to you for something much bigger. Somehow I've gotten lost and I don't think I can find my way back. The problem with these situations is that loved ones don't know either so instead of staying close (which is what I really need) they stay away. When people react that way they are unknowingly making things worse. I don't recognize this place I'm in now but what I can tell you is that I am beginning to believe I've reached the end of my journey for this life. When I try to look ahead I see nothing. Has anyone ever asked you if there is a way to tell when you've done all you came to do in this cycle? It's not like me to have so many things unfinished. I normally have to be satisfied that I've done the best job I can do and have always been very competitive but not anymore. I can't find one thing that matters one way or another which is unfamiliar to me. I stay isolated and sad. All I really want is to be alone, and I am. I don't answer my phone, emails, or even go outside unless I must. Can you tell me what this means? I don't like this feeling but lack the strength to correct it.

    Thank you,


  • Dana you tug at my heart the last year has been one H*ell of a ride for me ,i have always been the kind of person who got knocked down i would jump right back up if you have followed any of the things i have wrote about you will see up and down up and down but the one thing i can not deny is what has happen to me in the last year and finding that reason to just keep trying has been hard i was a very competitive Pearson to and was good at most things and like you i lost that desire and the only thing that drives me now is a yearning of wholeness and the closest i have come is when i met my higher self and i didn't even know what a higher self was till i met her . Never seeing her or my guides before and now i have got to see them and meet them and her and she said she was me i have seen and felt things i would of never dreamed of and if anybody told me they had this happen to them i would of thought they were nuts.

    I am sure some own here think i am but that's OK it don't matter and you might even think that but i know this journey i have been own is real, i did it my way for years and i stayed sick or drunk a lot of people tried to help me and even my self not until a power greater than myself restored me to sanity did i start getting better now its been over 27 years i have been own this journey but the last 2 years have flat threw me for a loop and nothing was making any seance until i found this meditation that introduced me to my higher self and my guides and Angels Michael an d Gabriel who are with me full time i guess Father knew i needed a lot of help but even now i still have a hard time excepting all of this , but i do except my Father and the light has the power to do more than i could ever comprehend .

    Here is the sight were i found that meditation and from there i have been own a constant search of understanding and knowledge of every thing that is going own . Is it worth it yes it is ,something keeps driving me so maybe i see and find my wholeness of purpose and the main est thing is Love and its in searching for this is the only thing that seems to matter anymore i got a little taste and i want more i want the whole thing ,and it is not like the kinda of love that we know here it is beyond anything you can imagine ,seek and you will find ,find and you will experience things you never dreamed of ,i fight every day with myself and self doubt is the biggest enemy so good luck own your journey . Tooter

  • Dana,

    This is a poetry-song for you (written by Makarevich)

    You are in the state of soul which need to be alone undisturb... but what is nod good for your soul is at this state a negative thoughts... Fight them !

    Until The Candle Burns

    (by Makarevich)

    Sometimes my life seems needless and abusive

    I felt like I was parted from myself

    No state of joy, no rhymes and no more music

    ......Yet I was in no mood for seeking help.

    I was about to yield to any rival

    To shut the door and quit without return

    But I believed there could be a revival

    Until there is a light

    Until the candle burns.

    No one on Earth could help me and incite me

    No one could make me sing and ease my pain

    But once the tune was rambling deep inside me

    It’ll be so hard to try and silence me again.

    And I couldn’t give the words another meaning

    My blood is cold and the wind is stern

    I will again begin from the beginning

    Until there is a light

    Until the candle burns.

  • The Captain, I love the post that you put about loving yourself... and this is a most ever difficult task especially after break up and separation....

    .but I realize to be yourself without abusing yourself is the right that was given us from birth and this right should not taken for granted....

    I have a question (probably rhetorical one....) for you why we are dwelling for this sad and negative feelings... The partner with whom I had such a good time is gone few months ago... If you asked me if I want him back I do not want the same relationship again, I want the man but different relationship! So I know I do not want back and I know it is good for me but yet still the grip of sad state coming from this separation are so strong... I feel it as a hole in the place where my heart was...

    Why ? Why , on earth, it is so difficult to come back to joyful and happy state?

  • 🙂

  • know that you are worthy and lovable and you will be ready to love another and let them love you

  • IndependentGirl, you are in love with a dream, not a reality, when you say you want the man but a different relationship. You cannot change one without changing the other. And you cannot change anyone else but yourself. So change yourself into someone who atrracts partners who want to give you love and committment and support. Your mood is your choice - it's under your control how you feel. You choose to feel sad and negative because you don't want to let go of your dream of a relationship. You can change your mood to a positive one by accepting reality and admitting that you and this man were just not compatible enough. It is not really the man you are mourning the loss of but the dream.

  • "It is not really the man you are mourning the loss of but the dream.... "

    That is why so painful as it is the lost of my beautiful dream..

  • I heard of all of these things before. In fact, for two years now I've been trying every way I know to meet my higher self and guides but it hasn't happened. I don't know what I'm doing wrong? It's easy to say you accept and believe something but actually doing it is something I haven't learned how to do. Everything is so out of control now, I don't know where I will find the strength.

  • A Great Topic, With Plenty Insight As Always.


  • IStill Believe you will find strength in silence and meditation. Your mind needs a rest.

  • Agreed. Trying too hard is as bad as not trying at all. Don't force it. Desperation will only make you more uptight and you have to be relaxed to get insights.

  • Yes, I understand what you are telling me. I have been trying to quiet my mind before trying again but there was also something else that happened. During many of the meditations I was never able to see a face but felt a presence that was undeniable to me. I did see a hand reaching for me several times and then during another time I felt a darkness and could not breath or even move. I had to use my will to come out of that one which scared me because it took a while for me to break away from that. Since then I always ask for protection first but I haven't forgotten.

  • The darkness and reaching hands are just manifestations of your own fears, not some dark evil outside force. I think you fear letting go and relaxing into meditation. It's about how much you need to be in control.

  • IstillBelieve: One of the way to quiet your mind is moving eye's in different direction...close them and move in circles you noticed then that any thoughts would be impossible in... you also try to tell the story of your situation (or problem you have and want to be free from it the most ) at same time when you move eyes you will notice that it is extremely difficult to speak and move the eyes....after 15-30 min such excersises you will feel temporary relieve... that would be a good sign that you do it right...

  • IStillBelieve:

    You seem in a state of crisis. I have deep concern that you are contemplative of suicide. Please seek professional help and/or medication if necessary. You need a serious bolster to your serotonin levels if you are to find help/relief from the very very wise advise you are finding here.

    Also, make sure you are exercising, eating healthy, avoiding drugs and alcohol - and take a high dose of Vitamin D. Clearly, your intuition is blocked, so I wouldn't worry that you can't see your soul path past this point. That is your fear and depression.

    Sincere compassion and hopes for relief to you,

    Wild Places

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