To begin the journey of unconditional self-love, it takes inner-examination because by looking inward it will tell us where we need to start.
So we begin by asking ourselves personal questions and then listening for the answers. As we do this, we need to honor our emotions and listen to our pain. We need to understand our lives so far and realize we did the best that we could, under the circumstance we were under, with the knowledge that we had, and with the state of mind we were in.
But looking inward isn’t always easy. If we feel criticized or judged during the process, even by ourselves, it can shift us into a self-defensive mode. And then, if we feel self-defensive, it will shut us down and we won’t be able to be as honest with ourselves as we need to be. So it’s essential that we first create a safe-space of observation before looking inward.
This safe space of observation is created when we promise ourselves to look inward only as a neutral observer. We are not allowed to be critical or judgmental during the duration of this short exercise. We are to be a witness to what we find inside ourselves rather than a judge.
Once we create this safe space of observation, as best as we can, for the purpose of this exercise, it’s now time to ask ourselves personal questions and listen for the answers. Remember to do this in a gentle way and take your time. If you feel self-defensiveness getting triggered then take a deep cleansing belly breathe and come back to the agreement of looking inward with only non-judgement. Our only purpose in doing this exercise is to gather information in order to know ourselves better.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Take your time. Feel free to write these questions in a journal and work on one question a day.
Am I happy?
Am I healthy?
Am I in healthy relationships?
How do I feel about my life and about life in general?
Do I love myself?
Do I show up for myself?
Do I believe in myself?
Do I forgive and learn from my mistakes?
In what ways do I neglect myself?
Do I hurt myself in any way?
Do I hurt others?
What triggers me to feel upset?
Where do these triggers come from?
What are my talents and abilities? What am I good at?
What are my best qualities?
What areas of my live still need healing?
What are my flaws and limitations?
Do I allow myself time for creative expression?
Am I living life in survival mode with no time to process my thoughts and feelings?
Do I think for myself or do I allow opinionated people to influence my decisions?
What are my priorities?
Who do I love the most in life?
What is most important to me?
Do I ever give my power away? If so, how?
Do I have realistic expectations of others and myself?
What do I believe in and what do I stand up for?
Do I feel like something is missing from my life?
What are my dreams, goals and passions?
Who do I admire most? Does the answer to this question reflect the person I would like to become?
What did I want to become as a child?
What new direction would I like my life to go in?
If I could help out in a charity, movement, or cause, what would I like to do?
The reason why getting to know ourselves is so important is because it helps us to understand ourselves better. As we get to know ourselves and understand ourselves better, it makes it easier to forgive our past mistakes because we can now understand the reasoning of why those mistakes were made. But it’s not just our past mistakes that we need to forgive. It’s also important to be able to forgive our daily mistakes, flaws and limitations. And we can do that by acknowledging that no one is perfect. When we were born into this world, we were not born in a state of perfection but in a state of potential. Each day is a new road we have never traveled down before Each day has new challenges and different emotions to face. So it’s unrealistic to expect perfection from ourselves especially if we are being challenged by something in life we have never dealt with before.
As we practice daily self-forgiveness, it allows our hearts to open and we can then begin to receive healing. This healing process continues all through our lives. As we heal and make peace with ourselves, we can choose to believe in ourselves and in the talents and abilities that we possess. We then can develop and use those talents and abilities to transform our own lives and the world around us. This is what it means to be EMPOWERED. To know who we are, to believe in ourselves, and to use our voices and our talents to make a difference! We all have the power inside of us to make a difference. And it all begins by first looking inward and getting to know ourselves better.
Note: This blog post was inspired by my book, Unconditional Self-love:What it is, Why it’s important, and How to nurture it in your life.