Love is… Unconditional
It’s the month of love and all around us there are red roses and heart shaped balloons, and the birthday cards have been shoved to the back of the shops in favour of sometimes sweet, sometimes silly, Valentine’s paraphernalia.
So this month, I’ll be joining in the fun and talking about love. But not just the commercialised “Show your love by spending your money” variety. I’ll be talking about true love – unconditional love – for yourself, your life, and in your relationships.
Watch the video below or scroll down to read more.
Most of us place conditions on the love we have for ourselves or others. In one way or another we show love to others if they fulfil our needs in some way (and withdraw it if they don't. Or we decide only to show ourselves love when I’ve achieved a particular goal, or got to the bottom of a to-do list.
But true love is genuinely unconditional – and there whatever you do or don’t do – which is what makes it so satisfying and fulfilling. And it starts with the greatest love of all (I’ll try not to burst into song) – and that is loving yourself… yes UNCONDITIONALLY.
The thing is, we’re not taught to love like that. Most parents, of course have perfectly good intentions, but when we are young children, love (in the form of physical affection, approval etc) is often given when we’re smiley, happy and being “good”, then withdrawn if we’re stroppy, grumpy, or being “naughty.” So we learn that in order to receive love, we have to behave a certain way - to smile, to be quiet and make ourselves small, or to make other people happy (whether we’re happy or not).
This can then play out in later life as people pleasing and self-sabotage – often to our own detriment - and behaving in ways that may have got adult approval when we were children, but don’t help us now. For example, being quiet and a “good girl” for example, no longer works when you want to be a successful business woman standing out from the crowd.
The other problem with this is that it means we can end up hating on ourselves for those parts of us that we were encouraged to downplay (or saw our parents downplay) when we were children.
Maybe you’ve been told you are “too much” so you try to make yourself smaller, or maybe you are a natural introvert and were told you are “too shy” or even rude for not being sociable. Or maybe you were told you were too fat, thin, short or tall - or saw your mum on a string of endless diets - and so try to change your appearance to blend in - never quite feeling good enough. Maybe your independence was branded as selfish, or your laid-back nature was called lazy, or your confidence labelled as arrogant. And maybe you even can be a bit selfish, lazy or arrogant sometimes.
But as I said, true love is unconditional, and you need to love ALL parts of yourself regardless of whether you think those characteristics are “good” or “bad”. It’s not a matter of “deserving” love – you deserve love regardless.
Showing Yourself Some Love
If you need a bit of convincing or find it hard to even grasp how you can love yourself more, think about how those bits of you that you judge to be less lovable have actually served you. For example, maybe being a quiet introvert made you a great listener who people can open up to, maybe your independence meant you had amazing adventures and made friends around the world, maybe your “laziness” meant that you spent less time doing housework but more time really learning how to relax and be in the moment.
An example of this is loving your body. I’m in the process of learning to love my body just as it is, having beaten myself up for putting weight back on after previously losing a lot of weight and even becoming a personal trainer. So I practice loving each part of my body for what it’s done for me – my arms for being strong and giving great hugs, my legs and thighs for carrying me and allowing me to dance, my tummy for protecting my vital and reproductive organs, and so on.
The Benefits of Loving Yourself
The phrase self-love might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s worth practicing, because when you love all of you, it has a ripple effect on other areas of your life. When you feel loved and lovable, it’s easier to be loving towards others and have healthy relationships, because you’re not being hung up on what others think of you and trying to be something you’re not. It’s easier to show up fully in your life, work and business because you’re not so busy judging yourself that you hold yourself back from being visible and enjoying life.
Just think about yourself as a newborn baby – what could that baby have done not to deserve love… nothing! And when did that change? NEVER!
You deserve to be loved just as you are. But don’t wait for others to prove it. It all starts with loving yourself… right now!
And if you’re not feeling the love towards yourself. Or as you listen/read this you find your inner critic getting a it louder. Then I’d love to offer you a free Discovery Session.
Show Yourself some Love: Book a Free Discovery Session
As a Freemind Hypnotherapist and Facilitator I am dedicated to helping my clients to go from stuck, overwhelmed and self-sabotaging to loving loving life, and themselves, fully.
So if you went into this year thinking “I just can’t have another year like last year” and are now thinking “I can’t believe it’s February already – where is the year going!?” then get in touch to book a discovery call to explore where you’re at, how you got here, and what shifts you need to make to move forward and start loving life again.
I'd Love To Hear From You...
Do you love yourself unconditionally? What conditions to you find yourself placing on yourself, others, and even the world and life itself? I always love hearing from you, so please share your thoughts in the comments box below.