As I sat down to pen this post, my head hurt and my heart felt heavy.
As children, many of us sought the attention and approval of people in authority, teachers and parents being primary. I found myself in a similar situation recently; like a little school girl not feeling good enough, because an authority figure refused to give me the validation I was unconsciously seeking!
How we viewed ourselves as children depended largely on how our elders viewed us. We felt good when they showed us their love and gave us their approval. We felt miserable when they withdrew their love and approval on account of something we did or didn’t do. If we had siblings, we may also have experienced bouts of jealousy when our sibling seemed to receive more attention or praise than us.
All of this is understandable because children are largely dependent on adults to meet their needs.
However, if we experience such emotions even as adults, they are like ‘wounds’ and need to be healed.
Such wounds can be healed completely or at least managed well when they show up. We do have the power to help ourselves.
Taking my own example, thanks to the intense inner work I have done and to my spiritual practices, I am able to manage my childhood wounds when they show up unexpectedly. I am aware enough to know when I am being sucked into a negative spiral. After some time spent moping, I make it a point to pull myself out of it with the support of tools such as Reiki, Meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique ( a healing modality that involves tapping on different points and areas of the body while making specific statements).
Self-esteem and self-love are two common areas that need attention in many of us.
While self-esteem points at how good we feel about ourselves, self-love is about our ability to love ourselves, exactly as we are – good and bad, amazing and flawed…
The easiest way to feel good about yourself is to go back in time and connect with the infant or young child you once were. You were born a blank slate. Your mind was empty and your heart pure. You were perfectly comfortable being who you were.
However, if you were repeatedly told you were a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ or ‘hopeless kid,’ there is a possibility you may have internalised those labels. As an adult, you may not feel good about yourself unless certain people tell you how wonderful you are.
It is important to catch yourself when you find yourself seeking excessive approval or validation from others. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that external validation is not a measure of your worth. You are worthy simply by virtue of being a human being. Your talents and achievements build up your personality. They add value to your life and to the lives of others. But they are in no way a measure of your innate worth.
Bring your attention to your positive attributes. Think of at least three strengths you possess simply because of who you are. Give yourself the validation you seek. This will shift the energy and help you feel good about yourself instantaneously.
Learning to love yourself is another important milestone. The easiest way to love yourself is to accept that you are human, which means, you have feelings and emotions, good moods and bad, good days and bad. No one on this planet is perfect and neither are you. This does not mean you must make excuses when you err or make the same mistakes over and over again. It simply means you love yourself through all your ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad times, empowered and weak moments.
I have personally found Emotional Freedom Technique to be very helpful when you need to address and release intense emotions and love yourself through it all. Explore this if you feel called to.
The reins to self-esteem and self-love must only be in your hands. Never hand them over to others.
Love can be shared more generously with others when you love yourself first.
You can help others feel good about themselves when you first feel good about yourself.
Loving yourself unlocks the magic of life!
It elevates your vibration and makes you a magnet to draw more goodness into your life.