5 Steps to Cultivating Real Self-Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we tend to think about romantic love and how to attract or keep that special someone. Romantic love makes us shine like a Christmas tree, breathe a little easier and look at the world more positively.

In order to love another with authentic unconditional love, we must first love ourselves. We can’t give what we don’t have. One of my favorite advisors, Dr. Larry Crabb, used to say that most couples are like “two fleas and no dog”. Each partner enters the relationship not to give, but to suck the blood of life out of each other, in order to fill. We tend to approach relationships from a lack rather than approach the relationship in order to give and contribute from a position of abundance.

Real self-love

In order to give an abundance of love, we must first fill ourselves. I recently worked on this with a client and came up with a strategy that was very effective. I called it that
“Tabula Rasa Strategy.”

Tabula Rasa means “empty board” in Latin. Many mental health professionals claim that when we are born we are born with a blank blackboard. As we evolve as humans, those who have the greatest influence on us write on the slate of our souls. It can be a parent, family member, or a teacher.

In this exercise with my client, the person who had the greatest influence on her was her father. As we discussed what he was writing on the tablet of her soul, words like “unworthy, insignificant, unimportant and invisible” came to mind. While this greatly affects our belief system about who we are and what we are capable of, it is not uncommon.

So, here is the strategy or instruction I gave her for creating true self-love that you could use for yourself:

  1. On a piece of paper, write the words, feelings or impressions of what was written on your tabula rasa – your blank board.
  2. Review the list and see which are objectively true. Then take a red pen or marker and cross out the wrong thing.
  3. Take the piece of paper, crumble it and burn it. (Use a fireproof container such as a fireplace, hearth, or sink.)
  4. Take a new piece of paper and write down what is true about the real you. My client wrote things like “alive, conscious, worthy, wanted, loved, and fully expressed”.
  5. Check your list every day for 21 days to see what creates a habit and strengthens what you really believe about yourself. (This takes less than 30 seconds.)

As you implement this strategy, you will begin to eliminate old, limiting beliefs about yourself and to strengthen new, empowering beliefs about yourself that form a foundation of self-love that enables you to give authentic love to another. The kind of love that adds to a relationship instead of contaminating it. Are you and your partner or future partner not worth it?

Comments are closed.