“The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.” ~~Sahaj Kohli
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” Anna Taylor
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” ~~Brené Brown
#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.
In our WFS Program booklet it states “Learning to love ourselves and others can be very challenging. We may distrust others and fear being vulnerable. We may be unable to accept love because we doubt it is valid or deserved. As our self-image improves, we learn how to accept love and affirm we are worthy of love.” As we grow in our New Lives, love is at the center of everything and Statement #7 is the bridge that connects the world.
The self-image of myself before my New Life was one that was filled with shame. I did not know how to forgive myself or to even care for myself. With the practice of this life-changing Statement over the years, I have been able to learn how to love myself and practice self-care. This is an ever-evolving process. Being able to identify my needs, set boundaries and listen to my heart has come gradually, but it started with love.
In early sobriety, loving myself began with each day sober. Closing my eyes at night, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I did not know it then, but this was the beginning of self-care. From this one action, others soon began to follow. Being in online chats and then a face to face group offered new insights and I saw how other women were caring for themselves. We laughed together, we cried together, we were learning to live and apply Statement #7. Today, the process continues, with love changing the course of my world.
How do you practice Statement #7 in your daily life?
Hi 4C Women,
I love the first quote because I was always filling my love tank with the need to have others love me rather than learning to love myself. There could never be enough love from others to fill that empty space. It’s the same as happiness. People can add love and happy moments to our lives yet they cannot be the sole source of it. I’m sure I pushed people away due to my neediness for love and constant approval. What was so conflicting is that I knew others did love and care about me yet I slowly began to realize that unless I learned to love myself, I would never truly embrace their love. I had to actively practice living Statement #7 as I finally understood that I could not burden only others to fill my love tank. Self-love was holding me back from fully embracing what I was receiving from others. I couldn’t believe that anyone could honestly love me when I was filled with shame, disgust and unworthiness. If they knew the real me, I guaranteed myself that their love and caring would disappear enhancing my already deep fear of rejection. What would I be left with? It took sobriety, therapy and WFS to untangle the thoughts that kept me trapped from loving myself and accepting the love from others without judging those feelings. In the process, I learned to forgive myself, started nourishing my spiritual and emotional wellbeing to bring me to a place of self-love, self-worthiness and acceptance of who I am today and not who I was in my self-loathing. This is when I also began to appreciate Statement #9 in healing from the past and Statement #7 in knowing that love and caring can change the course of my world by changing how I think and feel about it.
Here are some questions I found online about learning to love yourself in order to receive and accept love from others:
What does self-love mean to you?
What do you already love about yourself? (Keep positive, not listing things you need to change or improve upon to love yourself.)
What does your self-care routine look like? (Does it make you feel worthy, valuable and important?)
What do you believe about loving yourself? Are there rules, conditions, limitations?
What rules or conditions can you release to awaken to powerful self-love?
What do you need to be more at peace with yourself, i.e., setting boundaries, honest look at self-care practices, sharing a truth with a trusted person?
What are you holding onto that isn’t serving you anymore?
What do you value you about yourself?
What fulfills you?
These are deep, thought-provoking questions. I encourage you to give as much time as you need to uncover the answers in order to move forward in self-love and accepting/receiving caring from others.
Bonded in understanding and accepting that self-love, loving and caring for others can change the course of our world in a powerful way., Dee
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