The Beautiful Task of Repairing Broken Self-Love

· December 20, 2017

You’ve probably heard people say that self-love is the foundation for getting anything done in life. And it is true. Self-love is like a magic key that opens all the doors.

It helps you stay away from or overcome depression, dependencies, relationship problems, family conflicts, work issues, and many others.

Self-love is king in the realm of human emotions. There’s no doubt. The problem is that if you have gone through tough things, such as an unloving childhood, abuse, harassment, and situations like that, it’s harder for you to understand how self-love can be more than just a nice idea.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”.

-Mark Twain-

Strictly speaking, you have a strong self-love if you came into the world as a result of a desire for you to exist. You should also have had an emotionally healthy mother, united by the love of a father who is also mentally healthy. This should have remained stable, at least during your early childhood. Is this the case in your life?

Surely many of you have answered no. Maybe you don’t even know why you were conceived. Maybe your parents could be called a lot of things, but not emotionally healthy. That your childhood had happy times, but also problems, abuse, and maybe even enormous traumas. Maybe that’s why self-love seems like a faraway fantasy: pretty, yes, but unattainable.

No one can give or take away our self-love

It is very tempting to blame others for what happens to us. And the list of possible culprits usually begins with our parents. Oh, if they had done … or if they had stopped doing … We would be so different if they had been better!

But have you asked yourself, what was your parent’s story? How were their parents with them? Is it really valid to reject all generations that precede us?

a woman being punched with her self-love

It’s normal that parents with low self-esteem transmit low self-esteem to their children. They don’t intend to, but they could not give what they did not have.

The same thing probably happened with their parents. The chain goes on forever until someone, in some generation, decides to stop the cycle and close the wound. Therapy can be enormously helpful here, but there are also other ways as well.

Whatever road you take is valid if it leads to healed self-love. But the best way to start doing it is to stop blaming others. It takes courage. And it will be uncomfortable. But it is also how you’ll break the strongest link in the chain, the one keeping you from moving forward.

See the value in the little things, the details

Perhaps you’ve imagined winning an important award, like a Nobel Prize, and pictured it feeding your self-love and making you stronger. Or if someone discovers you as a misunderstood genius.

Or if they love you, through thick or thin. Or if everyone appreciates you and drops everything to listen to you.

Fantasies that include great self-praise are common in those who have little self-love. In a way, they they think that small achievements mean nothing.

What they’re missing is that every great victory is the result of huge effort and many small achievements. It is those small steps that give a person enough strength to keep going.

a woman with flowers coming out of a wound on her face

Great human achievements are based on perseverance. In turn, perseverance is a trait that only takes root in a heart where self-love lives.

Great effort demands a firm will. And when there is low self-esteem, the first victim is the will. Do you see? It is a vicious cycle.

Therein lies the importance of learning to see value in small achievements. Please do not overlook the little things you did well today. Don’t look down on your efforts, big and small.

Sometimes just getting through the day is a victory. If you succeed, acknowledge it. Fight against that little voice that insists on criticizing everything. You are the first one who must value yourself.