“It is choosing, in any particular situation, and over and over again whether you’ll treat yourself well, or beat yourself up, whether you’ll deny yourself, or treat yourself as lovingly as you’d treat your child or your most precious friend.
“Self-compassion means looking at yourself with kindness, with a conscious awareness of your sufferings, and in time, with a deep appreciation for the way you have transformed them.”
All the self-help books and advice, all the therapy and support groups, even the most fabulous, successful career in the world won’t really help at all–until we learn to love ourselves. In Loving Yourself, Daphne Kingma claims that until we practice loving ourselves–and it takes a lot of practice–we will never be able to love others fully and completely. She writes, “When we haven’t learned how to love ourselves well, we keep getting stuck on this simple first rung of the ladder–not knowing how or how well to treat others, having problems with what we call boundaries, stumbling in the swamps of low self-esteem and thickets of self-loathing that derail us in our efforts to ‘love others as we love ourselves’.” For so many of us, loving ourselves is our greatest emotional problem. Kingma points out that self-love is not narcissism, egotism, greed, self-righteousness, self-involvement, stubbornness, or conceit–all of which have given genuine self-love a bad name. “Rather, it is the singing spring from which we become who we were–each one of us–most truly meant to be.” Daphne Rose Kingma
Reading Loving Yourself, the reader takes a journey to their selves–a journey of how they lost their selves, and thereby their ability to love their selves. Kingma names six life themes–including abandonment, neglect, and abuse–that help readers identify themes in their lives and decide what to do with these themes as they discover them.
No matter what the reader’s wound or life story is, Kingma shows–with gentle patience and intelligent advice–how each of us can start to love ourselves through a simple four-step process:
1. Speaking out of our heart’s desires, 2. Acting out to meet them, 3. Clearing out old patterns, and 4. Setting out on a new path.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season preferably filled with more lovefests than foodfests. That being said, I hope your Thanksgiving feast/celebration was awesome and delicious.