Discover the beauty contained in the essence of unconditional love. It is the most powerful source of energy and comes from within oneself. The essence of love dissolves expectations and generates positive perceptions. Love has many dimensions. There is the romantic love shared between partners, there is love shared between family members, there is the love shared between close friends and there is love of self. Self-love develops from the relationship we establish with our inner-self. There are any aspects of the inner-self, some of which have negatively associated images of who we are and what we do.

One such aspect is the inner-critic. The inner-critic can be identified by thoughts that berate, put down, reflect disappointment or demoralise. The inner-critic gathers evidence that supports a negative view of self. This can be crippling if allowed to go unchecked.

Aspects such as the inner-critic is one of the reasons why it is difficult to love ourselves. As it is always telling us that we are wrong, useless, hopeless and not good enough.

The inner-critic is an inner dialogue that informs you of the impressions you have formed about yourself based on input received from your external environment. Are these impressions true? No they are not, they are false constructs and they can be changed. If, instead of viewing what the inner critic says says as true and instead view it as a self-growth broadcast that is informing you that these beliefs you have about yourself are what are standing in your way you can be empowered by the inner-critic instead of crippled by it.

Something else to mention is that while the inner-critic can appear like your worst enemy, it does not say the things it does with malicious intent. In fact it believes it is helping and protecting you.

The inner-critic is to protecting you from disappointment and the devastation associated with failure and in a convoluted way tries to motivate you to do better. From this perspective we can understand that even those aspects that appear to loathe us are, from their perspective, doing what is in our best interest. This can be likened to the hyper-critical parent, who thinks that in some way their criticism will help us do better, makes us try harder and be the best we can be. Just like the hyper-critical parent the inner-critic needs to understand that there are more positive ways to inspire and motivate.

With growing awareness you can identify when unhelpful aspects are active and provide the appropriate techniques that will support and redirect perspectives in ways that encourage a positive view of self. The view you have of yourself is constructed through your self-talk. Being aware of how you talk to yourself requires you to become the observer of your thoughts.

A test to evoke a response from an aspect that opposes your good intentions. Begin by stating a positive affirmation about yourself and then listen to what comes back. Using the inner-critic as an example, if it hears, “I am free to love myself unconditionally” it cannot accept this as it has never known unconditional love and therefore does not believe it is possible. To defend its position and reinforce what it thinks to be true it will chime in with what it believes is evidence and will give reasons why it believes you are unlovable.

So now you know a little bit about what stands in the way of self-love let's look at how to hush the inner-critic or any aspects that gives you the feeling you are not good enough and tune up the volume of the inner voice of encouragement.

Turning up the volume of the inner voice that is kind, supportive and encouraging naturally turns down the volume of the inner-critic. To do this start by consciously saying one good thing about yourself every day, maybe you will find that you can say more than one thing. By speaking kindly and encouraging yourself you will increase your confidence and reduces feeling of insecurity. Also what will happen is that you begin to fulfil the need to feel love, not from external sources, which is often conditional love, but from yourself. When you can love yourself inner-critic and all that is unconditional love. Because you are accepting your perceived flaws and choosing to be compassionate towards yourself. This compassion and the gratitude that emerges ignites the heart with a positive vibration that flows within and radiates outwards. This will attract like radiance. And there is nothing more divine than meeting others be it human, animal or nature herself with love.

The way to embrace the essence of love is to think kind thoughts, speak kind words and show empathy and compassion towards yourself and others. This is to give graciously from you heart without expectation of return. Doing this will dissolve self criticism and critical assessment of others.

TRY THIS HEART CENTERING EXERCISE

Everyday breathe into your heart and imagine the colours of pink and green flowing into this area. These colour represent the giving and receiving of love. Continue to breathe as you imagine your heart expanding with these colour. Every breathe is drawing in love. When you feel relaxed and focused say these words:

I am free to love myself unconditionally!”
“I am free to love myself unconditionally!”
“I am free to love myself unconditionally!”

Notice thoughts and feeling that arise as say this and direct them towards that aspect that has surfaced.

What is LOVE

  • Love lives on even in the mists of turmoil.

  • Love sees through the eyes of compassion and empathy.

  • Love dissolves negativity and generates positive perceptions.

  • Grant yourself the gift of self-love. Accept and cherish all of you.

  • Love sees potential, even if it is hidden.

  • Purity of heart equates to pure intent.

  • Infuse your life with love so you can expand beyond emotional reactions and see with compassion and empathy.

  • Giving graciously attracts like generosity, kindness and graciousness.

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