You are lovable! Too many people doubt it.
To be lovable means:
to treasure yourself merely because you exist.”
Think existential. Bear with me. The basic premise is that all beings are lovable and valuable. Yes, even those who break the law. I’ve written about that in my book, Love Her As She Is: Lessons from a Daughter Stolen by Addictions. The underpinning concept is love as is. It separates the doer from the deed; the being from the act.
If cats and dogs are lovable, aren’t we? Our dog, Sissy, did not do household tasks, required regular walks, was well fed by us, and periodically pooped in the living room. Yet, she was loved for just being. Sure, she was reprimanded for her accidents, but her unique lovableness was never questioned. Regrettably, many people are not given the same message of irreplaceable value.
We see unconditional love demonstrated when:
- Parents wake night after night to attend to their baby’s needs.
- Shelter is offered to someone who is homeless.
- A victim of crime forgives the offender.
- A dog wags its tail and leaps for joy at the sight of its owner.
- When a parent tells her child, “Today, I felt disappointed by your behavior but tomorrow is a new day. Never forget I love you.”
You are NOT a Human-DOing
We live in a culture that values people’s accomplishments. We can easily end up focusing on work, identify our worth in money earned, check and double check our To Do list, and run into the infamous rat race.
Here’s a warning; Do not let your work define who you are. Ask someone what they do, and you will often hear a title like office administrator, teacher or engineer. You are not your roles, thoughts, feelings, beliefs or work.
These aspects of your life are all chosen by you. Identifying yourself only through your work can become problematic. It is too common for men to have heart attacks soon after retiring. Others become depressed, not knowing what to do with themselves. Employment or work represents a part of our life, not our whole. Careers allow us to show off our abilities.
In self-esteem terms, we want to believe, “I am capable and I am lovable.” A nurse at one of my presentations told me, “Work is not that important in the big scheme of things.” She’s got it!
The well-known feminist, Gloria Steinem, described in her book, Moving Beyond Words, losing herself to the 1970s women’s movement. It took her years to figure out what was missing from her life. Steinem wrote, “The need for supporting core self-esteem doesn’t end in childhood. Adults still need unconditional love from family, friends, life partners, animals, and perhaps even an all-forgiving deity. (We need to hear) ‘No matter how the world may judge you, I love you.’”
If you are not already embracing yourself for simply being human in woman form, below are some self-affirming statements. Be gentle with yourself and don’t force these beliefs. Dr. Al Siebert, author of The Survivor Personality, cautions against forced affirmations as they may trigger a reverse reaction.
Talk Lovingly to Yourself
Watch your self-talk. These gentle words can become demons if spoken from an internal and demanding gremlin. If you find it difficult to tell yourself, “I deserve love,” you might start by telling yourself, “I want to believe:
- I deserve love.
- I am a good and loving person.
- I am okay just the way I am.
- My needs and wants are important.
- I am lovable at every age.
Find a self-affirming statement that best works for you. It will be the one that settles comfortably in your mind and body. It feels true. Notice how you feel when you tell yourself this message. Repeat the message to yourself more than you imagine you need to hear it. And if that doesn’t work develop some self-compassion. Loving yourself “as is” is sometimes the best you can do. If you need a reminder to do this self-affirming work, you might consider reaching out to a friend or to a helping professional. At minimum, find a time and place to explore the idea that you are lovable.
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.