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Loving and Accepting Yourself

Acceptance from others and learning to love myself with all of my inner people was hard but I'd like to share how I overcame intense self hatred and really bad self esteem issues along with intense shame which goes along with being a survivor of abuse. I felt bad, and different somehow from others. Everyone needs to be acknowledged, feel significant, to be known to be accepted, and have our experience and ourselves be validated. Accepting love or acceptance from others can be difficult. Accepting the inner parts of me was hard since they had been so dissociated from my awareness. It was helpful to get acceptance from others but my parts inside needed my love and acceptance the most. When I met my current husband Frank of 29 years he was the first man that showed me love and respect. It was because of him that I was able to start remembering my abuse but also to start believing that I was loveable which was very hard because deep down I hated myself. Accepting that a Higher Power or God loved me was even harder. The concept of anything good about me or that God could ever accept me much less love me had been tainted. I especially had trouble with the bible verse love your neighbor as yourself. For me it was more like love others instead of myself. I have discovered that once I loved myself I could love others more effectively. A couple years ago I listened to Shauna Shapiro’s Ted Talk “The Power of Mindfulness. What You Practice Grows Stronger”. She talked about having self judgment and shame that said “I’m not good enough and ”I’m not ok.” Her mindfulness instructor challenged her to look in the mirror every day, put her hand on her heart since it releases oxytocin, our feel good hormone and say I love you Shauna. At first she was only able to say good morning Shauna, then months later add I love you Shauna. I started doing this daily first thing upon waking before getting out of bed in the morning. I would hug myself and say I love you Sharri. Then I’d include the names of parts that would be surfacing to connect with them and have them hear love and acceptance from me. In a couple months the self hatred I had became acceptance of myself. Then after several more months I could honestly say that I loved myself, and felt more self esteem. I still feel shame and negative feelings from time to time but the judgment and self hatred I felt most of my life is gone.

Love and Acceptance Exercise: Ok, let’s practice doing this together. It’s ok if you can’t say the words aloud. Hug yourself and say I love you ______ (and fill in the blank with your name) This is a simple exercise that worked for me that you can try if you choose to that could work for you.

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Mar 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Loving ourself is hard. I hope doing this works. 5 stars for hopeful content.

Sharri Burggraaf
Sharri Burggraaf
Sep 14, 2023
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I wondered if you tried this self acceptance and self love and how it worked for you. Would love to hear your results and if you were able to have success in loving yourself! It's hard but so worth it. You're worth it.

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