This Week’s Word is…SELF-LOVE

Self-Love

There are words that are essential to the Mothering Conversation. Words that represent qualities and behaviors for us to try on if we are to evolve the conversation of mothering. Each week on our blog, we feature one of these Words.

Nurturing a loving relationship with oneself is an essential process. And inseparable from the process of becoming more intentional in our mothering.

My journey of learning to love myself has been profound, infinitely beneficial, and above all, liberating. As I became aware of, and slowly freed myself from, the internal judgment, chastisement, and unrealistic expectations I was subjecting myself to, I became more peaceful, joyful, and hopeful. Ripple effects of my peace, joy, and hope were (and are) felt in all areas of my life, most especially in my mothering.

One of the nicest “side-effects” of learning to love myself is self-acceptance. For the first time in my life, I felt fully and wholly accepted. I’m OK, exactly as I am. For years, others had been trying to tell me that I was ok enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. And it was not until I believed it myself that I was able to receive these truths from anyone else.

In my workshops and coaching circles, I am blessed to spend time with many amazing, generous, caring, beautiful women. Unfortunately, many of them struggle to see that they are amazing, generous, caring, or beautiful. There is always something they didn’t do quite right, or something more that they are supposed to be. We can bombard ourselves with inner messages of lack and not enough.

Self-defeating. Soul-crushing.

In nurturing a loving and supportive relationship with ourselves, we manage our thoughts of lack and learn to let them go. We weave in thoughts of sufficiency. Thoughts that are self-compassionate, self-supportive, and UPLIFTING.

This week, let’s experiment with different ways to bring more love into our relationship with ourselves.

The Love Challenge.
In this previous post, I wrote about the love challenge, based on what it means to love, as given to us by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7…

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love is never jealous or envious, never boastful, nor proud, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense.
Love does not demand its own way. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over another’s sins, but delights in truth.
There is nothing love cannot face. Love always protects, always trusts. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things.”

In the love challenge presented in that post, we replaced the word “love” with the pronoun “I” and elevated the way we give love to others.

This week, let’s take that a step further by considering the love challenge from a “Self-Love” perspective. To consider loving ourselves the way God calls us to love all people – including ourselves:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

You too are “another”; a person. Re-read this post for a reminder.

The love challenge towards ourselves is based on some of Paul’s lines from 1 Corinthians as well as my coaching experiences with clients (and with myself!).

I am patient with myself.
I am kind to myself.
I am not rude to myself.
I do not demand of myself.
I keep no score of my wrongs.
I do not replay my sins over and over in my mind, reinforcing the belief that I am not good enough.
I forgive myself daily.
I check-in with myself daily, asking about my own needs.
There is nothing I cannot face. I hope all things. I endure all things.
I pray for myself daily, asking God to open my eyes and my heart so I may see the TRUTH  of who I am; the Truth of who HE says I am.

Re-read the sentences above, saying each one aloud. How true or authentic does each feel for you? Which one or two feel most important for you?

In our exercise this week, we’ll practice with the one or two that we most want to bring into our self-relationship. And know that we have some powerful help with this:

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.“ – 1 John 4:16

The Lord wants us to choose LOVE! To choose HOPE, KINDNESS, and POSITIVITY over default patterns of relating with ourselves. Lean into Him in this crucial aspect of our mothering. For all that we think, say, and represent in our mothering, ultimately flow from our inner conversation and the deep beliefs we hold about ourselves.

EXERCISE: Practicing Self-Love Spend a few quiet minutes in prayer, and then follow the steps below:

  1. Choose one phrase or sentence from the list above that you want to experiment with today. Perhaps it will be “I am patient with myself” or “I do not demand of myself.”
  2. Write this phrase or sentence on an index card to carry with you all day. Read it aloud to yourself often throughout the day; reminding you of how you will relate with YOU today (i.e.: patiently and non-demanding). Allow this particular way of showing love guide your inner conversation today.
  3. As thoughts arise that are contrary to your phrase, simply acknowledge them and release them. Unhook yourself from that thought today. For me, that often sounds like this, “Yes, I hear you that there is a lot to do yet. We’ll get there. What we don’t finish will wait until tomorrow. You deserve a good night’s rest tonight.”
  4. At the end of the day, check-in with yourself:
    • What was it like to show love to yourself in this way today?
    • What impact did you notice, if any, on your external relationships?
    • How do you feel in this moment?

Click on the picture below to download a 2″x3″ Self-Love Card for your mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor, etc. Self-Love Card

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  1. Kay Kathleen says:

    Everything I’ve read of yours, I just absolutely love!! With that in mind, I’d like to nominate you for the Liebster Award. It’s basically just a shout out from one blogger to other bloggers that inspire. If you choose to participate, you can find the info on my page: http://wisdomgraceandchickens.blogspot.com/2014/04/whoda-thunk-it.html

    Reply

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