Have you ever had that empty feeling - as if there is a hole inside you that needs to be filled? Many people look outside of themselves in order to fill that hole. They may rely on others to make them feel whole, or perhaps on alcohol, drugs, shopping, exercise, continual acknowledgement of their performance at work, physical appearance, or the acquisition of material things. These things may assist them in feeling whole for a time, but that wholeness is short-lived.
You may ask how all these dependencies have come about? The answer lies mainly in the type of loving we received initially in our family, later on at school, and in other social systems. We need to take responsibility for our own wholeness, that is, we need to fill ourselves. Self-esteem is dependent on having a loving relationship with yourself.
The next tool is about living in the world believing that you deserve to live as an equal. It's about believing that you deserve as much sunshine, happiness and love, and as many opportunities, as the next person. No more and no less. Often we need to address the belief that loving yourself is selfish and tainted. The self-love that is referred to here is a love that acknowledges the potential in everyone including your own self. It is only when we love ourselves that we are able to love others. Just as food fills us physically - so love fills us emotionally. How do you define love? Let's explore your kind of love? Does it include qualities such as respect, trust, commitment, physical affection, communication, time, understanding and honesty? Are these the qualities that you share in a loving relationship with another?
The question now is: Do you exhibit these same qualities in your relationship with yourself?