Aug 20 2010

Do You Love Yourself When You Look In The Mirror?

Published by at 4:00 pm under Love/Joy/Happiness

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Do You Love Yourself?

loveIt all started this morning while I was waiting for my shower to reach the perfect temperature. There I was, standing infront of the mirror, trying to say ‘I love you’ to my image. It just wasn’t happening!

Why is it so difficult to love our self? Why are we so self-critical?

The reasons are numerous. There are probably as many reasons why we don’t love our self as there are people in this world. However, there are a few that are common to all of us. One of the major reasons can be blamed on the environment we grew up in.

The big people we were surrounded with had certain expectations of us. If we didn’t meet those expectations then we were often punished. Our natural reaction to this punishment was to blame our self. Children blame themselves for everything. They automatically believe they aren’t lovable because they know nothing about conditional or unconditional love at this young age. As children, we ARE love. It is our natural state of being. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take us long to learn that we have to behave a certain way if we want to be loved.

We learn to speak to our parents (and other grown-ups) at the appropriate time; to eat our meals a certain way; to follow directions exactly; to never answer back (that was very important in my childhood); to meet various milestones dictated by child-rearing authorities; etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.

It may differ from family to family, but the message is the same, “Do as I expect you to and I will love you. Don’t do things the right way and I will withdraw my love.”

This may not have been spoken out loud, but our parent’s anger (and subsequent punishment) when we didn’t do something the right way was proof enough of the statement. Even a disapproving look was enough to stop me in my tracks! My sister and I were discussing this one day. We even utilized ‘the look’ on our own children because it was very effective. It definitely prevented situations from developing that may have been cause for harsher consequences.

To be fair, this was the only way our parents knew how to act. This is exactly the lesson they learned when they were children. It’s not much of a consolation, but they, too, don’t love themselves any more than we do.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Do You Love Yourself When You Look In The Mirror?”

  1. […] may remember the other morning I posted about looking in the mirror and not being able to love myself. As a self-empowered individual, I’m not content to simply accept that experience. It was […]

  2. […] had a realization (not the first one) that I lacked self-love. You may remember that I tried to say “I love you” to my image in the bathroom mirror and later in the day came across an email from Margaret Lynch […]

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