Self-Esteem: Learning to Love Ourselves

  While poking around Twitter this weekend, I came across this question directed at @DeepakChopra: “How do you make yourself believe that you are worthy ? X” ~@WamserC First let me say, I do not know, personally or via twitter, @WamserC so I can’t speak to what she meant by this question.  And, I am in no way shape or form trying to assume what she meant by this question.  I am simply sharing my personal reaction to stumbling upon such a profound question.  The simplest answer to this HUGE question is this: You can’t.  You cannot make yourself believe that you are worthy. Self-Worth is not about willpower, disciple, or working harder.  Self-Worth is about love.  It’s about compassion.  It’s the relationship we have with ourselves.

Creating a Loving Relationship

What makes a loving relationship?  Ever considered this before? Does a loving relationship appear out of thin air?  Or is it something that we cultivate, nurture, put time and energy into?  For most of us, it’s the latter.  Now yes, there may be an initial *spark,* something that fuels the desire to get to know this person better; but it’s the getting to know the person that creates, and fortifies, the relationship, not the initial spark. It’s discovering all the things we have in common with someone, the things we admire about them, the way they comfort us, support us, make us feel valued.  It’s uncovering the ways, and reasons, that we respect them, getting to know their insecurities, understanding what their life has been like and how they’ve ended up here, at this moment in time, as this person that solidifies our relationship with them…. that reveals their value to us, and makes their worth so crystal clear to us.

So why do we think it would be any different for learning to recognize our own Self-Worth?

Learning to Love Ourselves

We’d never dream of judging, loathing, yelling at, or putting down someone we want to have a relationship with.  Yet, for most of us, this- judging, loathing, criticizing- is exactly how we try to make ourselves see our own Self-Worth. We try (desperately at times) to shame ourselves into seeing our beauty.  How many happy relationships do you have that are based on shame? Learning to treat ourselves with the same respect, curiosity, and compassion we treat other people with is how we begin to reconnect with our Self-Worth. We begin to feel worth-it when we treat ourselves as worth-it. In other words, we learn to believe that we are worthy when we stop trying to shame ourselves into believing we are worthy, or make ourselves believe we have worth, and start getting to know ourselves. The very act of getting curious about us, about our experience, and our unsureness of our Self-Worth is showing ourselves compassion.  Is creating a loving relationship with ourselves.  Is valuing ourselves.  Is how we begin to feel our Self-Worth.  And once we feel our Self-Worth, believing it is effortless.