So, some of you have a really hard time conforming to the idea of loving yourself. What does that even mean? What does that even look like? Does that mean scheduling a massage once a month? Getting my nails done or looking into the mirror and saying, ‘I love you’. Sure, all of the above fit the bill. But there is more…

What really saddens me the most as a therapist is hearing what my clients tell me about the voices in their head. These messages are often very unkind. Therapists dub this voice as ‘the inner critic’, or the voice that is very unkind and often won’t shut up. It is the first to tell you how ‘stupid’, ‘bad’, or ‘ugly’ you are inside and out.

This kind of self-talk was completely foreign to me before being a therapist. Why would people tell themselves these words I thought? It was so unnatural to me. However, once they tell me a bit more about some ‘tough times’ they had growing up, it made a lot more sense to me. After all, as a kid, you are left to whatever frontal lobe compacity you have at that moment of your life. What reasoning ability does a 5-, 8- or 15-year-old really have anyway? Your adult mind really only develops to its highest potential closer to 21 years of age for women and 22 for men.

I do my best to bring this to the attention of my clients. Whatever you once thought about yourself, it not applicable to you today. Today, February 13, 2021. Why would you let the past dictate your future? Are you really the same person you were 40 years ago? 20, or even 2 years ago? Hell no! You have learned, grown, experienced, and evolved over the years to become the person you are today. That special little snowflake.

Well, unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Why? Because our precious little minds have made life ‘easy’ for us by developing a habit of thought. Afterall, if you are saying these punitive words over and over to yourself then you must mean it right? When our lizard brain takes over the dialogue between you and that primal instinct might sound something like this, “So you seem to be saying this repeatedly to yourself. Why don’t I make life simple for you and just make it automatic. Let me set this up with your subconscious, but it shouldn’t be a problem to make this a habit of thought”.

And there you have it. Just as you would set up your bank account to ‘autopay the cellphone bill’, it just all magically happens behind the scenes even without your consultation.

So, now what? (you ask) How do I get rid of this inner critic? Well, it is rather simple. You do the same thing you did to create this habit of thought, but shift it in reverse. Yes, you tell yourself (repeatedly) I am enough, amazing, a rock, confident, and so on and so forth. You fake it till you make it. And you tie it back to experiences and events in your life where you WERE all of those things and more… you keep on linking those thoughts to the positive statements about yourself and soon you will realize you have changed. You have evolved into a different person. You don’t have the bully, the teacher, the parent, the ex-partner telling you these things anymore. You had to endure those words then – but you certainly do not need to do it now. You are not under their rule or roof any longer.

You are certain to go to bed with YOURSELF and wake up with YOURSELF every single day of your life, so whether you like it or not…you need to make this relationship, the relationship with yourself I mean, the best relationship ever!

You need to make this relationship, the relationship with yourself I mean, the best relationship ever!

via @luellajonk

One of my clients, who is 71, lives alone (widowed of 5 years this June), ordered herself a ‘dinner for two’ along with wine and treats, a bouquet of flowers, and some beautiful perfume to be delivered to her this weekend. Love it.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, treat yourself please. Don’t wait for your partner, your friend, or whoever to show love towards you. Do it for yourself because you are special – just the way you are – right now, today.

Happy Valentines!