When we think or talk about loving ourselves or needing to love ourselves more, most people are talking about a feeling.  We are referring to wanting to feel more compassionate about ourselves, who we are, our identity in the world and in ourselves, and to have better self-esteem.  All of which is great and I’m all for it.  However, we then get stymied in how we might achieve these things.  🙁

It’s interesting to watch someone talk about these things.  Usually the conversation starts with external issues which aren’t working in the person’s life.  Relationships, career, family, geographical area, you name it, there are external things that just aren’t working for very specific reasons.  The conversation will naturally turn to how this relates to the person’s self-worth or value (how they feel about themselves as a person) and how their life is “not good” because of them. But here’s where the wacky dramatic twist comes in. Instead of looking at the relationship or situation and attempting to find a way to support positive change so that it aligns with the person having a happy life or even supports them creating high-self esteem, the person will often turn inwards. They will seek out something they can judge themselves negatively with, make themselves morally and integrally wrong and the source of the entire issue, beat themselves up concerning having created and sustain it, and then end the conversation by saying that there is nothing that can be done other than to soldier on trying to correct the internal flaw. 8/

Such gymnastics of illogic happen millions of times per day.  For some reason our external, in the world actions have aided in creating the situation and continue to support its ongoing progress.  Yet the solution is to not solve the problem, blame ourselves for fundamental brokenness, and make no changes externally?  And somehow this is going to help our self-esteem and support us in making a positive life?  Hmmm….Instead, I suggest a radically different approach.  Instead of breaking out the barbed wire in preparation for chastising ourselves into wholeness, why don’t we choose to act? Loving ourselves is an active verb from which feelings can grow.  We rarely love our tormentors so perhaps we can stop being one. In each day we can choose to do one thing, one small thing that shows we love ourselves whether that’s stopping at the park on the way home, meditating in the morning before the commute instead of putting on our stress suit, taking ourselves somewhere fun on lunch, or playing only fun upbeat music as we do the necessary errands of the day.

Small acts of individuality, of joy or fun or play during the day tell us that we are loved and valued and deserving.  Small acts of love and pleasure each day prove that we are valuable and build our self-esteem where our will has failed time and again.  Take a moment each day not just to affirm or say that you are loved, but to act it out. Actions speak louder than words.