How to Love Yourself

by Crystal Belle on December 4, 2011

 

Our first responsibility in life is to love ourselves. Once that foundation is laid, we are able to love others with intense clarity and perfection than we ever thought possible. I’ve found that if I’m in a calm, loving state inside, all my interactions with others are blissful, and I see them as the perfect beings they are. If I’m feeling annoyed, insecure, angry, frustrated, afraid or “off-center,” all my interactions with others are shadowed by my own fog, and I see them as “the cause of” my unhappiness, or at the very least, exacerbating it.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” —Aristotle

How to Love Yourself

1. Know that loving yourself is not selfish- it is the only way you can love others.  We’ve all felt annoyed and stressed about having to take care of someone else while our own needs went unmet. “Loving” someone else without first loving ourselves isn’t actually loving them – it’s saddling them with the burden of our annoyance, bad mood, resentment and anger. Only when we’re in a state of peace and love with ourselves can we truly see clearly to love someone else.

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” -Barbara De Angelis

 2. Not loving yourself is ego. You’re essentially saying. “Others are worthy of my love, but I’m DIFFERENT. I’m SPECIAL. My human experience means I’m so much worse than every other person on the planet,” or “I am so special that I have to hold myself to a higher standard. What is okay for you is not okay for me.” That’s not humility (which acknowledges we are all equal,) it’s ego.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -Buddha

3. When you withhold love from yourself, you withhold it from everyone.  There is no separation as far as the universe is concerned:

“There is a simple formula you can use for the law of attraction that will stand you in good stead with every person, situation, and circumstance. As far as the law of attraction is concerned, there is only one person in the world – you!“
-Rhonda Byrne, The Power

 

“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better.” -Kristin Chenoweth

When you have a hard time loving yourself, think of someone you love. Just as your children deserve love, your family members, your heroes and sheroes, you deserve that love from yourself, and you are truly withholding it from your most beloved if you are withholding it from yourself.

When you say, “This part of me is unlovable,” whether you admit it consciously or not, you are passing judgment on that part of everyone else. What you accept in yourself, you can accept in others. What you love in yourself, you can love in others.

4. Our memories are fallible. Our egos HATE to admit this, but study after study shows it’s true: what you remember is likely less than 40% true. So when you think, “I should’ve known better” you probably DIDN’T and COULD NOT HAVE. It is an act of self-love to accept that you were less wise than you are now. Stop thinking of what you could’ve done or what might’ve been. All you have is now.

5. What other people think of you is none of your business. Sometimes, it’s hard to love ourselves when we think someone else is looking down on us. But that is none of our business. We are all living our lives to the best of our abilities, and there is no reason to give thought to what another may think of our path.

 6. What you think of you IS your business. Our thoughts are under our control, but often we don’t exercise that control. When you allow your mind to run wild with thoughts of self-loathing, you’re creating a life of incredible pain and unhappiness. We must start with ourselves, our own thoughts. Only then can we begin to look outward.

“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine.” -Byron Katie

7. You are the only person who can truly love you. When we expect others to love us more deeply than we love ourselves, we set ourselves up to resent them when they don’t. Only you can have deep compassion for yourself, because you are the only being you have control over. What glorious freedom to realize I don’t have to worry about how much someone else loves me or feels compassion for me – it’s MY job!

I can’t control how much you love me. I can’t control how much my husband loves me, or how much my children will love me. It’s none of my business. But I can truly love me. Miraculously, when I am in that state, I feel no lack of love from anyone else around me.

 “Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.” -Byron Katie

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Norman December 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

OK, you KNOW I love this one Belle! Can I get an A-WOMEN for this post people…

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Belle December 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I love that! A-Woman!

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Kelly Montes December 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

We are conditioned from birth to react to discipline and compliments. We are programed by
everyone around us which includes early classes in manners. “That´s your teacher, elder, cousin, etc, show respect, affection, kindness, etc.” Never, has our culture given us permission to listen to
our own heart, our own way. Not until now. Thank you Belle for assisting us in the discovery that love starts with our own recognition of the importance of our own existence. I´m going to love myself with a walk in nature and a prayer of thanks for your words of wisdom.

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Belle December 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Kelly, thank you so much. It is so true we feel like we need to pay so much attention to what’s wrong & criticism, we don’t often truly celebrate what’s right and love what IS. ♥
I am so grateful you’re sharing your path with us. Thank you for your commitment to Love- it is helping raise the love level of everyone else!
Love,
Belle

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julia December 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Such important messages to get out, Belle–so much resonance here.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom, my friend.

With love,

Julia

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Belle December 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Thank you Julia! I am honored and grateful for the wisdom you’re sharing, and grateful we’re on this path together online. ♥
Love,
Belle

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Carol Bailey Floyd December 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

I know that if I yell out “Wow!” while reading, that I must be reading some very insightful wisdom. Hooray again! Keep on writing, girlfriend!

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Belle December 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

LOL! I love that! Anything that makes you yell Wow makes me happy=D
Love you!
Belle

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Sherry Cook February 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Glad I stumbled upon your blog….good work!

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Belle March 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you for being here, Sherry! Love&hugs!
Belle

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Raymond (Booey) Hogue February 29, 2012 at 3:58 am

I appreciate very much what you write :) I’m new to WordPress and couldn’t find where to “like” you. But I do <3

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Belle March 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you Raymond!! I am honored!
Love,
Belle

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Michelle Minero March 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I LOVE your site!!! What a great job you are doing. Thank you for adding to the Love in the world. It all starts with us. You are a wonderful role model. I christen you “Belle Love Warrior!”
Michelle Minero

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Belle March 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Michelle!! I love the new name! Hooray for love! Thank you for what YOU are doing- lovewarriorcommunity.com- how amazing!! I love it!
Love&hugs;)
Belle

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Maggie Murua October 3, 2012 at 2:08 am

Hi there Belle,
I am truly honored that I have discovered a wonderfully blessed website like yours and I am grateful for how much God given wisdom that you have instilled in you to share with the rest of the world. I cannot thank you enough for giving back my self confidence in having to love myself and I am so thankful to live in this moment,
With all my love,
Maggie Murua
Papua New Guinea

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Crystal Belle January 29, 2014 at 11:55 am

How did I miss this? Thank you Maggie! I’m so excited for you! ❤

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charles November 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

first time to your site. the spirit of this essay is something that everyone should live by. i do have one question. What is your definition of ego? it seems to me that is a part of ourselves, albeit a growing and perhaps ignorant part of us that needs love. and, that causes a conflict between bullets 2 and 3. thanks again.

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Crystal Belle January 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

Hi Charles! I’m so sorry I missed this when you posted!
We definitely need to love ourselves, including our ego, which I think means having a clear and objective idea of what the ego does for us (keeps us alive, makes us human) and what it doesn’t (make good decisions in 95% of life situations.) I think we’re on this earth specifically to learn something from the ego, it’s a beautiful lesson that’s still unfolding to me.

What is your definition?
Love,
CB

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Inspired Minute February 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I actually had to read this a couple of times. Self-love is an inspiring topic. When Valentine’s came around, I started to think about how we spend so much time taking care of everyone else, that we often forget about ourselves. With this realization, I came up with my own “10 Ways to Love Yourself First” at InspiredMinute.com. It’s got lots of great ideas for a bit of self-pampering! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Crystal!

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Crystal Belle January 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

LOVE this! Thank you for sharing! (And sorry I missed this originally! This post completely fell off my radar)
Love,
CB

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Tara December 20, 2013 at 3:06 am

This was such an encouraging read. Loving others has always been so important to me that I often forget to love myself. In fact I find me hating and loathing myself for things I wish I could change. I never realized until now that you can’t truly love someone or show Jesus’ love until you come to a place where you can love and accept yourself. Im learning that loving yourself isn’t selfish, its a necessity to live a life worthy of the calling to which we have all been called by Christ.

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Crystal Belle January 29, 2014 at 11:59 am

So beautiful and so true, Tara, it starts with us! Thank you for sharing your wisdom ❤

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ayda January 11, 2014 at 7:08 am

hi my friend, thanks alot for this.it was so useful. this was a really big problem for me that why no one loves me! and now I undrestood
i’m going to celebrate valentine this year with ME <3
love
ayda

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Crystal Belle January 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Welcome, Ayda! I am so glad to hear that. Happy Valentine’s to you and your beautiful Self!
Love&hugs,
Crystal

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Brad Dawson Landscape May 21, 2014 at 3:55 am

Excellent blog post. I definitely love this website. Thanks!

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aimee October 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

Wow, I just came across your site, specifically your gossiping article. Now I can’t stop reading them all! I feel like your words are really speaking to me on a personal level. I feel inspired to make the changes I have always wanted to make. Thank you!

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