Many of us did not grow up knowing or having anyone in our lives to tell us that we were and always will be 100% worthy and lovable no matter what. On the contrary, many of us grow up thinking that we have to earn our worth by performance or appearing in a certain way. We thought that we could earn love and praise by getting good grades, excelling in a sport, or by being attractive, not just being ourselves fully and completely.
This gets reinforced by our teachers, coaches, and peers who often give us this adoration when we perform well on a certain task and incur some sort of consequence when we don’t in the form of a bad grade, sidelined on the bench, or not invited to a party/rejected by a friend group.
This leads to many of us thinking that we have to DO something to be loved and to be worthy. We naturally reject the parts of us that are lazier, unmotivated or procrastinate. We completely shun these shadow parts of us deeming them unworthy of love and appreciation. Making us think we deserve less. This then leads to us having conditional love for ourselves and continuing this vicious cycle of rejection and unworthiness within ourselves.
What I encourage all of you to consider and work towards is essentially having unconditional love for yourself by cultivating compassion for every shade of your being! We don’t have to shun and shame ourselves when we fall short, especially by the standard of other people, instead, we can use it as an opportunity to know and understand ourselves on a deeper level.
Dr. Carl Rogers (The Father of Humanistic Psychology) says that “Mankind has an intrinsic need to self-actualize”
This means that humans are trying to align with their higher selves, which I truly believe starts with developing a positive relationship with one’s self first and foremost. To have this positive relationship with yourself, you have to love and accept every aspect and ALL parts of yourself, including the tiniest, darker sides.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t create goals for ourselves and seek healing from a coach or a therapist to help us grow but rather means that we can and should accept that we have deep and dark sides that coexist with our light and easy sides within us. The things that make us whole.
Be aware of the times and tendencies where you feel the need to reject some parts of yourself and work towards finding that compassion and grace with yourself no matter what you did or didn’t do, or how you look and feel. This will reinforce unconditional love and hopefully counteract the conditional love you might have grown up with. All beings thrive when there is unconditional love present, so don’t hold back on loving all parts of you. Start making yourself the place where genuine things flow from.
If you would like me to hold the space for you to do this, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more about working with me 1:1 to cultivate unwavering inner strength that starts with self-love.
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.