Why I Kept Using Others To Find Self-Love

As I have grown older I have noticed a very thankful shift in my sense of self. I now can say that I truly love, accept and appreciate who I am. It wasn’t always that way.

Do you ever struggle with loving and accepting yourself?

I grew up in a large family with parents who did their best but were too overwhelmed. I went from star of the show as the oldest to experiencing my status shrink with each new arrival of the 3 brothers and two sisters. I grew up longing for more nurturing.

These circumstances of my early years impacted the way I interacted with the world. I lacked a sense of self-love and it played out in number of ways.

I went looking for approval from others. I sought relationships to prove I could be loved. I experienced a deep sense of self-doubt. (I suspect these themes may be familiar to you)

Over those years, I went through a series of relationships always looking for love in the wrong places - from others not from myself. I discovered that seeking proof I was loveable through the eyes of another never worked. 

I loved more in hopes of proving I could be loved than for giving love to others. Guess what? I never got enough from the world around me to sooth what was missing inside.

I kept on trying and failing. Fortunately along the way I began a series of practices that encouraged me to become more aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my body and my higher nature.

From yoga to tai chi, from meditation to mindfulness I began to break through the barriers of unconscious programming. Each moment of awareness turned on a new light of insight.

Soon I was stepping back and observing my old patterns. With fresh awareness I had new choices to make. I could continue my old story of approval seeking or do things differently.

I chose to move from approval seeking and turned instead to self-approval. I stopped looking for love in others and opened my heart to who I was. 

The old ways dropped away. I was now free to love, to be approving of myself and to leave self-doubt behind. I consciously dropped the old baggage. Now I travel much lighter.

How about you? What ways have you gone through you life unconsciously stuck in old views of self and limiting ideas about how to meet your needs?  Have you ever use others to try and make you okay?

How have you moved on from these old ways? How do you remain stuck? If you were able to see yourself free of judging, what qualities might you discover?  How would self-love improve the quality of your life?

Are you ready to shake things up and leave the old under-functioning ways behind? You could do life with awareness, peace of mind, wisdom, love and joy.

Over this next year I am going to offer an opportunity to receive support, encouragement and inspiration to those who want to move into greater awareness and self-realization. If you are interest in a happier and better you in 2013 send me an email at joseph@josephbernardphd.com and we can set up an action plan.