For more information on Debbie Ford’s book, Why Good People do Bad Things, click
“I was looking for love in all the wrong places…”
Most of us have related, at one time or another, to the lyrics from this famous country song. They remind us that we all have a longing to find true love; a longing which we sometimes feel powerless to fulfill. These words also perpetuate the myth so prevalent in our culture that love exists somewhere outside of ourselves, and that we’ll never be happy until we find it. This misconception drives us to search everywhere for that special someone who will make us feel important, cared for and adored. But if we trick ourselves into believing that love only exists at our desired destination, we can become caught in an endless cycle of wanting and waiting –all the while denying ourselves the gift of our own love and attention. This is one of the great ironies in life: until we love ourselves, it’s very difficult to attract the love of another. This is because in the privacy of our deepest feelings about ourselves, we are actually sending out messages about whether we deserve love or not.
When we are deeply in love with ourselves, we feel worthy of accepting more love into our lives. By learning how to create an environment of love within our own lives, we begin to draw more love from outside sources. Self-love is the key that opens us up to receive the love we’ve been seeking.
Let’s be clear here: by self-love, I don’t just mean loving yourself on the days when you wake up looking and feeling fantastic. It’s easy to love yourself when everything is going your way – your bank account is full, people around you are treating you well, your career is soaring, your kids are happy, and the house is clean. Genuine self-love means loving yourself, even in the presence of your flaws. It’s having compassion for yourself even when you’re feeling angry, scared, or jealous. It means taking time to be quiet, to withdraw from the clamor and hectic energy of your everyday life, so you can hear the subtle desires and impulses that arise from your own soul.
To read an excerpt of Why Good People do Bad Things, click here.
Loving yourself means caring for yourself when you feel upset, hurt or disconnected. Ultimately, it means holding your opinion of yourself and your own happiness as a top priority.
Whether your deepest desire is to find your soulmate, or whether you’re just looking for a companion to have some fun with, know that the process of attracting great love begins with you. Instead of focusing primarily on finding love from outside sources, focus a bit more on developing a sincere appreciation for yourself. Rather than waiting for the man or woman of your dreams to lavish love upon you, make the choice to lavish love upon yourself. This might be cooking yourself an elegant meal instead of a quick microwave dinner, or treating yourself to a massage or a facial. It might mean forgiving someone from your past so you are no longer weighed down by old resentments, or taking the time to make a list of your positive attributes so you can remind yourself daily of how wonderful you are. These acts of self-love send a message to every cell in your body that you are loved and cared for.
As you look around your life and see evidence of your lovability, you’ll naturally start to notice people who see themselves – and you – in that same light. Begin treating yourself with the kindness and attention that you are craving from a romantic partner, and you will evoke a new quality of attention from those around you. Love is what attracts love; and armed with that knowledge your new song can begin with line, “looking for love in all the right places…”
Create an Environment of Love – Try this Experiment for the Next Seven Days:
1. Every night before you go to sleep, write down ten things that you love and appreciate about yourself.
2. In the morning, before you begin your day, review your list and then ask yourself, “What choices can I make today to love and cherish myself?” Notice if loving yourself evokes a higher quality of experience from the world around you.
To purchase a copy of Debbie Ford’s book, Why Good People do Bad Things, click here.