How often have you been given a compliment by someone, only to shrug it off in your mind? Perhaps it is a close friend praising your exceptional cooking skills after you have prepared an elaborate meal, or, maybe it is a complete stranger that oversees you drawing in your sketchbook at a coffee shop one Saturday afternoon and is in awe of your natural talent.
You have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the admirer, so why do you not take the compliment to heart?
Imagine how it would feel to believe others when they praise you.
Now, go one step further and think about how — if you fully accepted these positive and empowering messages about yourself — you would interact with the world. The sky would be the limit on what you could accomplish!
Positive affirmations for self-acceptance
One of the most important challenges in life is being able to say, “I love myself” — and believe it.
I know that in my own life, learning the lesson of self-love was the key to actualizing my life purpose.
Years ago, my husband, Eric, and I were in a mountain climbing accident; he almost died from his head injury and couldn’t work for many years. I blamed myself for the accident and, already a poster child for addiction and other self-destructive behavior, my own health started to deteriorate. It wasn’t until I hit a wall that I made an important realization: not only did I have to forgive myself, but I also needed to start liking myself.
I started the practice of saying positive self-love affirmations, which helped me more fully love, accept, and forgive myself.
Positive affirmations are a powerful form of prayer and they work because it is your beliefs and ideas about who you are that manifest into your real life. Carrying around guilt and shame is exhausting and self-destructive: negative beliefs are dense energy that drag you down and are likely the culprit at the root of your physical and emotional problems. When you stop thinking about yourself negatively, you release all that heavy energy and are able to transform your life into one of happiness. And being happy and healthy is your birthright.
As I learned to love and forgive myself, an entirely new world of healing bloomed before me. Not only did I learn to heal myself, but I also discovered how to help others through energy medicine. Suddenly, the message of self-love became a beacon on my road to fulfillment, joy, and service to the world.
Here are the five best lessons I learned about self-love affirmations and learning to love me for me — and how I use those lessons in my energy medicine practice:
1. Forgiveness comes first
To put it bluntly, my childhood was difficult: my father sexually abused me and my mother was completely devoid of the ability, at that time, to make me feel loved.
The grief of my difficult childhood resulted in self-destructive patterns as a young adult, and it was only when I began to forgive myself — and later, others — that I began to heal.
Forgiveness is the cornerstone of any effort to rebuild, recover, and renew your journey to the light. When I work with students today, the first thing we address is dispelling any buried feelings of guilt, grief, self-blame, or self-doubt that is preventing positive healing energy from entering their lives.
It’s important to note that repressed memories are very common among trauma victims and remembering the exact details of what caused the shame isn’t necessary for healing. Rather, it’s only necessary to want to be cleared of the shame and to move onto the next phase of the journey.
Start with the self-love affirmation, “I have been forgiven.”
2. Retrain your brain
You may not realize it, but if you constantly have negative thoughts about yourself it’s because you trained your brain to think this way. Now, that being said, you probably didn’t purposely train your brain to think negatively — most people struggling with self-love are in their current predicament because of a specific situation.
In order to go from negative to positive, you need to become more aware of your thoughts. Spend a few minutes each day observing and identifying patterns in your thoughts. When you begin to understand where your negative thoughts originate (or how thoughts decay from neutral to negative), you can now interrupt your thought process and interject a positive self-love affirmation. Repeating this process over time will rewire your brain and you’ll start to have more confidence in yourself. self-love affirmations will start to materialize.
Start daily self-love affirmation practice where you tell yourself that you have the “right stuff;” be specific about what that stuff is and it will start to materialize.
3. Being grateful –> more blessings
Having an attitude of gratitude in every area of life brings more to be grateful for. All the positive thoughts and emotions that enable you to serve others with love stem from a sense of reverence and thankfulness.
Seeing each day as filled with opportunity and promise helps you grow closer to the open-hearted, open-minded, and loving spirit you were born to be.
Feeling gratitude even for those experiences that are difficult and painful is an act of faith. I came to realize that my early life challenges prepared me for the depth of understanding and connection that guides my healing work today.
4. Love connects us all
The energy that holds the universe together is unconditional love.
Extend that love to yourself, with affirmations like, “I really like myself just the way I am!“
And pretty soon, you’ll be able to extend that love to others as well.
5. Let your laughter ring
I love to laugh and am always looking for opportunities to do so. Laughter is healing and reflects a confident belief that all is well. As a beloved child of the Divine, you are here to be a joyful explorer of life. When you laugh, you are reducing pain and stress, building immunity, and lighting up the world for yourself and others. Being a role model for joy is a powerful teaching tool. Your faith in the power of healing love shines forth when you send a ripple of joy out into the world.
Turn the light of love toward the precious life that is in your keeping. Begin or revitalize your own affirmation practice of loving and forgiving yourself. Do the healing inner work that will set you free to love and serve others. You are wonderful and you are worthy—and the world is waiting for your healing joy to come forth!
Loving Yourself: The First Step to Healing
What is self-love? What is it not?
In this audio seminar, New York Times bestseller and spiritual teacher, Deborah King, will guide you through this important first step of your healing journey. The type of self-love that lights up your soul and illuminates your life isn’t found in a poem, a relationship, or silly a Hallmark holiday — it’s found in care and compassion and will make you stronger and healthier, so your life shines fire bright.