We don’t have to learn how to love ourselves. We already love ourselves. All we have to do is to stop withholding it. It’s not some new skill we need to learn – it is an innate condition of how we arrived here, lovable and loving.
To recognise this involves identifying the conditioning that led us to believe we are not worthy of our own love and then to drop those filters of conditioning and beliefs that obscure our natural authentic state.
Many of us were taught early on in life that we first have to please people or to contort ourselves in some ways to get that love and approval that we needed to survive as children. Or that we must strive hard to gain greater recognition for our achievements to demonstrate that we are ‘good enough’ and deserving of that love and approval from others. What is implied is that if we don’t use self criticism to please others or achieve more we will fail at being acceptable to others and achieving our potential.
Those were simply untruths that have been passed down unconsciously from generation to generation. We are perfectly lovable exactly as we are and we always have been. And once we realise that, we automatically become less afraid of being more honest with ourselves and others, and we allow our love to come out as it is naturally inclined to. We automatically become more of a joy to be around for others by being our authentic and unique selves.
We may even achieve more, pursuing avenues of learning and skills that we enjoy and we increase our usefulness to others and to society by sharing those skills.
In other words, we still achieve and strive to realise our potential, but for different reasons. Not to gain approval or love from others but because it comes naturally, we know we deserve to do what we love doing, and we no longer hold back due to self doubt or fear. We no longer do what we feel we ‘should’ be doing to gain success and approval, making ourselves and those around us often miserable as a result.
This is a restoration job. Nothing needs to be added to us or learned to make us better or more complete. Just a few layers of dust and dirt in the way of our realising our natural confidence and to allow ourselves and our potential to shine and to be a benefit to ourselves and the world.
It is the identifying of these layers that we can get help with if necessary, along with the processing of the emotions and feelings of identifying those beliefs and releasing them as they are replaced more accurate beliefs. It can be helpful, as we move into remembering who we are which can feel like new territory, to have someone to accompany us for part of the way till we get used to it.