What you are doing that is preventing you from self-love
Do you ever beat yourself up about things?
Think about it for a second.
Can you remember a situation where you gave yourself a hard time?
Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have said. Or maybe you did something you said you’d never do again.
Situations like these can bring up a lot of negative thoughts and emotions. You feel bad about yourself, and your self-talk beats you up inside.
I know all about it, because I used to blame myself constantly for everything.
Being a self-development junkie, I’m always looking for ways to improve and grow. But I also tend to blame myself when I’m not at the level I want to be.
When you blame yourself, you don’t fully love yourself. And I’ve recently discovered that loving yourself is the most important thing you can ever do.
Sounds weird, right?
Love is usually something we associate with other people. You can feel love for someone, or someone can feel love for you.
But why would you want to love yourself? Isn’t that something only narcissists do?
Well, I’d go so far as to say that self-love is the key to a life of fulfillment. It’s the one thing you can do to solve all your problems and live a happy life.
Yet we’ve been made to believe that loving yourself is somehow bad and selfish. If you love yourself, you must be a narcissist who only cares about himself.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Self-love can heal your mind, your body and your soul. It’s necessary if you want to truly care about others.
Is loving yourself easy?
Well, it can be. But you are preventing yourself from doing so.
Let’s find out..
Why we don’t love ourselves
To fully love yourself, you have to completely accept yourself.
But self-acceptance can be hard.
From our birth, you and I have been taught that we’re not good enough the way we are. This is largely due to the fact that our parents raised us with ‘conditional love’.
When we’d behave according their standards, we were rewarded with their love. And when we misbehaved, they would punish us by withdrawing their love.
Because love was always linked to certain conditions, we started to see love as something external that had to be earned.
When we didn’t receive the love we needed, we concluded that it must somehow be our fault.
This is how we’ve been conditioned to feel love only when others approve of us. We’re constantly seeking love outside of us, instead of looking inward.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s our parents fault. Our parents were raised the same way and went through the same school system we did.
At school, you’re rewarded when you repeat the things they teach you. And when you fail to repeat them, they punish you.
These are the principles on which we have all been raised. They have taught us that we’re imperfect and that we must spend our lives chasing the approval of others.
Marketing and advertising exploit this, and constantly fuel the message that we’re not enough. They want us thinking that happiness can be bought, and that buying their next product will make us whole again.
But not matter how much crap we buy, it won’t fix this hole inside of us.
Our lack of self-love imprisons us. We spend our lives living in a self-built cage, constantly worrying about what other people think of us.
You only have to look at the Facebook and Instagram selfie culture to see how much we crave validation. We hurry to pick up our phones to see if we got enough likes to finally feel good about ourselves.
Unfortunately, chasing the approval of others is a never-ending battle.
Because of this, we constantly punish ourselves for not living up to other people’s standards of “success”.
This self-punishing can occur on a mental, emotional or a physical level. You might recognize it as negative chatter in your head, but it goes much deeper than that..
How you create emotional blockages
When you blame yourself, you believe that something is your fault. This belief has a lot of implications for your mind and body.
Let me explain.
When something we don’t like happens, we feel negative emotions in our body.
In order for us to feel good again, we have to feel these emotions completely. By fully accepting how we feel in the moment, we allow the emotions to dissolve.
If we allow this natural process to happen, we stay healthy and happy. If we don’t, problems will occur.
Blaming yourself causes you to hold onto your negative emotions. Because you believe something is your fault, you don’t allow yourself to accept it and let it go.
By not giving your negative emotions room to escape, you keep them inside. You suppress the emotions and don’t allow yourself to accept them.
You may have heard the phrase: “Whatever you resist, persists.” This is exactly what happens here.
Suppressing your emotions leads to an emotional blockage.
Emotional blockages are like walls built around your emotions. They keep you from completely feeling your emotions and releasing them.
Because you keep these emotions locked up, they can have a lot of different negative effects.
- manifest as negative thoughts in your head,
- summon other negative emotions,
- lead to depression or spark aggression and violence,
- trigger self-destructive behaviors,
- and prevent you from doing things that are good for yourself.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Emotional blockages are not only stored in your brain, but also in your body. They can cause muscle problems, chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, ulcers, and many other forms of illness.
I think we can all agree that these are nasty things that we’d like to avoid.
So how do we end this madness?
How to stop blaming yourself
In order to accept and fully love yourself, you have to stop blaming yourself.
To do this, you have to realize on a deep level that it’s not your fault.
What does that mean?
It means that whatever action you take, decision you make, or feeling you have, it’s never your fault.
As a human being, you’re programmable. Everything you have experienced since you were born has had an impact on your mind.
The unconscious mind takes up everything like a sponge, and it’s responsible for a large portion of the thoughts you have.
Your conscious mind can command your unconscious mind to do things, but it’s also heavily influenced by it.
You could say that our unconscious programming dominates our lives.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re a robot that doesn’t have any control over itself. You can exercise your free will and decide to become more conscious.
By practicing conscious living (see previous article), you can start to reprogram your mind and gain more control over your life.
But the fact that you have free will doesn’t mean you can blame yourself for the ‘bad’ things you did.
Let’s say you had a job interview and you said something you thought was stupid. This ‘stupid’ thing you said cost you the job.
Now, you could start beating yourself up about this. You could blame and judge yourself for what you did. This is probably the most common reaction most people would have.
Blaming yourself stems from you thinking this behavior was in fact your fault.
I’m here to say that it’s not.
Nothing is ever your fault. Everything you do is based on your level of consciousness in that moment.
In that moment, you decided to do something because you thought it was the right thing to do.
Even if you didn’t really think about it and regretted it directly after you said it, something in you decided to do it in that moment – and that’s okay.
You might have done it because you didn’t sleep well enough and were grumpy that day. Or maybe you wanted to impress the interviewer, and it backfired.
Or it may just be because of the way you were raised or taught at school. Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t matter. What you did was not your fault.
Whatever you did in the past and whatever you’ll do in the future, your actions were and will always be based on your consciousness in the moment. That’s why blaming yourself is totally ridiculous.
An explosive effect
When an emotional blockage is removed by realizing that it’s not your fault, the effect can be explosive. A lot of repressed emotions can come to the surface.
A scene from the movie Good Will Hunting shows a nice example of this. In this scene, Matt Damon’s character, Will, is relieved of an emotional blockage from his childhood.
The effect can be seen in the clip below.
The hidden cause of a sick society
You could now ask the question:
If it’s not my fault, then what about other people?
The answer to this question is simple:
It’s not their fault, either.
This is why you can never judge or blame anyone. Like you, they’re acting in a way which, to them, seems to be the best way at that moment.
They’re acting according to their current state of consciousness.
This is a hard fact to accept. We want to point our fingers at people and judge them for everything they do.
But the sad fact is that this is often the cause of all the problems in the first place.
If our society wasn’t so heavily based on judgement, things would be very different.
The fact that we are so quick to judge people causes people to feel shame and blame themselves. This, in turn, causes emotional blockages that lead to fear, hate, aggression and violence.
I’m not saying that we should just accept it when people do bad things. But the judging and blaming might just be the exact cause of these acts.
It can take a while before people recognize that all this judging isn’t helping anyone. When you confront them with this, they feel threatened and start judging even more.
This is an inconvenient truth, and resistance against it may arise because we’re so used to constantly judging everyone.
Our whole society is drenched in judgement and blame. We constantly point our fingers at everybody else.
And why do we do this?
It’s very simple.
When we point our fingers at others, we can feel better about ourselves.
When we judge or blame someone, we experience our brief moment of superiority. That person did something wrong, and this gives us an opportunity to feel better than them.
The only reason we need this superior feeling is because we don’t believe that we’re good enough ourselves.
For if we truly loved ourselves, we would only ever feel compassion for others.
How to shift from fear to love
To change the world, we have to start with ourselves. Only when we love ourselves can we truly love others.
And as I’ve already explained, self-love starts with self-acceptance.
But does accepting yourself mean you should never improve yourself?
No, quite the opposite.
People who love themselves are always striving to improve themselves. They try to do what’s best for themselves, yet they never judge themselves or their actions.
When you love yourself, you take on responsibility for your life. Nobody else is going to change it for you. it’s up to you to change things for the better.
This means you should never have to put up with situations that don’t serve you.
If you’re stuck in a dead-end job or relationship, get your ass out of there.
If you’re overweight and unhealthy, change your diet and go to the gym.
The fact that you accept yourself just means that you don’t resist your current or past self. From that position, you can change course and take action to improve yourself and the situation.
Self-acceptance is about realizing that you’re enough as you are.
And instead of changing yourself out of fear for not being enough, you start taking action out of love for yourself.
This is the shift from fear to love.
When you’re motivated out of fear, you’ll never manifest what you truly want. When you’re motivated out of love, everything falls into place.
This is why self-love is the key to a life of fulfillment. Instead of being your own enemy, you become your own ally.
You start to live in love instead of fear.
Love cures cancer?
Making the shift from fear to love is extremely powerful. There are even people out there who used it to heal their terminal illness.
Anita Moorjani is one of them. She had cancer, and according to her doctors she had only three hours to live when she slipped into a coma.
While in her coma, she had a near-death experience in which she was given a choice to die or to go back and live her life differently.
She chose to live, and knew that she would be okay.
Within weeks, her tumors healed. She was released from hospital without a trace of cancer left in her body.
The message she brings back is one of self-love.
She believes that the cause of her cancer was the fact that she didn’t love herself. She was living a life of fear, which had attracted her illness.
Now she tells her story all around the world and asks people to start loving themselves.
I must say that I was skeptical when I first heard Anita’s story through her TEDx talk. But I did some research on her case, and it all seemed to check out.
I was even more amazed when I later met someone who had a similar story.
I was dating this Hungarian girl who told me her fascinating story. A couple of years ago she suffered from a severe cancer and was told she was going to die.
She had refused chemotherapy and was determined to heal her terminal cancer in a natural way. Because of her strong will to live, she never believed she was going to die.
After exploring many treatments on the alternative circuit, she discovered something called Theta Healing.
This is a series of meditative practices that use unconditional love to remove negative beliefs and emotional blockages from the subconscious mind.
After practicing these techniques religiously, she has been declared cancer-free. She feels like a new person, and has had the chance to share her incredible story on Hungarian television.
I believe that her story shows us how much power we as human beings actually possess.
Should you believe me?
I totally understand if you’re skeptical of these stories. I think science is only just starting to to understand the power of our minds and hearts.
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter whether you believe these stories or not.
To quote Anita Moorjani:
“I’m not asking you to believe in me, I’m asking you to believe in yourself.”
I hope this article has inspired you to stop blaming yourself (and others). As corny as it may sound, it’s just a choice. It’s all about making that shift from fear to love.
By fully accepting yourself, you can start to love yourself, and your life will change accordingly.
The reason I wrote this article was (of course) to share my recent insights with you. But it was also to deepen my own understanding of this powerful concept.
I’m on the same journey as you, and I’m definitely not fully loving myself yet. Deprogramming yourself from years of self-blame takes time.
Realizing that it’s not your fault can be a process of peeling away layers within yourself. Learning to love yourself requires dedication, but it’s definitely worth it.
The next time you do something ‘wrong’, just tell yourself it’s OK. It’s not your fault. Try to learn from what happened, and move on.
I’m certain this practice will change your life, since it has already changed mine.
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments below. I’ll answer you personally.
Also, if you got any value from this article, please do me a favor and help spread the self-love message by sharing it with your friends.
Julian is the co-founder of Amstermind. His mission is to raise consiousness globally by spreading life-enhancing ideas. Julian is a society critic, freedom lover, modern hippie and obsessed truth seeker. His ideas are often about deprogramming yourself and getting in touch with your inner core. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter if you are unafraid of challenging your world view.