Learning to love myself

This letter writer is on a mission to make himself a better person but doesn’t know where to start.

Our elder has some strategies for boosting self-esteem and living in the present.


Dear EWC

Hello, I want to learn how to love myself and be a much better person to the people around me. I know that it’s going to be a hard journey and a long one, but I’m willing to take on this long journey if it means I’m going to feel much better about myself in the long run. I want to be able to do anything without thinking that I’m messing things up. I want to be able to enjoy life without putting myself down. I’m also in a relationship but we’re on a break. I wanted to find myself first and love myself because if I do that, I know that I’ll be a better partner for her because if I can’t love myself then how should I know how to love somebody else? I’m willing to do anything I can in order to love myself fully, I’ll be back with her once we get to know ourselves much better. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and note to myself every day that I am loved by me and will always be. I want to show myself that I am a great and wonderful person, but I don’t know where to start. Can you help me?


Grandpa-Matt replies

When you were born, you came onto this planet with certain gifts of the heart, developing them as you grew. You were precious, valuable, worthy, lovable, vulnerable, creative, loving, curious, adventuresome, trusting, etc. No matter what has happened to you over the years, you still have those gifts of the heart within you. I feel what you are experiencing is a struggle between your heart and your mind. Your Heart wants improvement, loving and being loved, new friends, and appreciating yourself and others.

What has happened to you where you ended up with negative beliefs about yourself? I guess that at some point in your life, you bought the idea that you were somehow not enough, not valuable enough, not good enough, not smart enough, loveable enough, attractive enough, etc.

It really doesn’t matter where you got that idea, from parents, teachers, friends or wherever. What matters is that you adopted that strong belief and have carried it forward to this day. Most likely, following that decision, you began to see evidence out in the world that would tend to prove you right about that choice or decision. Your mind is clinging to all the negative messages about you that you took on. Your mind has the little judge in charge who criticizes, evaluates, compares, and urges you to be perfect. It allows that part of you to overthink, condemn and punish you for any behavior that doesn’t match your ideal scenes. You have put yourself on trial for “messing things up” and have blamed yourself for “putting yourself down” (both in your words).

Where have you let yourself get off track to allow your mind to control your heart? I believe several things happened. One, you make comparisons for one of two reasons. Any unfavorable comparison with another person serves only one of two purposes. It makes us feel wrong or deficient somehow, or we believe that the other person is incorrect or inadequate in some way! It is only a human failing. A rose does not compare itself to an orchid. Comparisons never produce or enhance good feelings in the heart. What you compare yourself to is an ideal perfection of yourself and comes up lacking.

The idea of perfection in what you do or say or think is a formula for self-sabotage! We humans are not robots. We all make mistakes, and all fail to succeed 100 percent of the time. One of the best female tennis players in modern times, Serena Williams, won multiple championships. A most excellent performer. Does she lose any points or games? That is for sure. She is not perfect! Yet, we consider her the best. I suggest you give up the idea of perfection and trade it in for the standard of excellence. Being excellent, one can fail from time to time and still be acceptable. Your existence is not to be experienced in black and white, but it is in living color.

Raising your self-esteem is your next order of business. You are 100 percent responsible for how and what you think about yourself. You can build your self-confidence. You don’t need anybody to agree or vote about your worthiness. There is a website that can assist you in elevating your self-esteem.

Please remember that you were born with all the qualities you need to live in an open, loving heart, no matter what has transpired up to this moment. When you say loving yourself more fully, this is my most important bit of advice. Life is lived moment-to-moment. Your future results will be the accumulation of choices that you make in each moment. 

To live more in the present is the goal. Make your past a valuable asset, bringing awareness, wisdom, and experience to what works in your life and what doesn’t work for you. All mistakes teach us something. So, to begin moving forward, ask yourself over and over: What do I know right now? What can I control right now? Am I OK right now? And, Are there any decisions that I need to make right now? Your answers will assist you in staying in the present moment.

If you feel your heart speaks for you, then you are loving and lovable, valuable, and worthy. Once you decide this is who you really are, then you can open to the loving that awaits you in this world, starting with loving acceptance of yourself, warts, and all. You can settle this by accepting yourself and courageously loving yourself. The moment that you declare, I’m OK, then you are OK. The miracle is that as soon as you buy into this, evidence will start to show up to prove you are right. I guarantee it because we all like to be correct.

I hope this letter encourages you to realize that you are a valuable person deserving a bright future on your path to self-acceptance. 

Article #: 479450

Category: Self-Improvement

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