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Is it important to love yourself? Sunday August 17, 2014

Loving yourself. This comes up again and again in these daily Moodscope reminder emails I get every morning.

And that's the bit that I really struggle with daily - loving myself. Always have done. Never picked for the sports team, 5th place when only 4 scholarships available. Eyesight too bad to do my first career choice. And now?

Well, now I only have one Moodscope buddy, I'm not the best at doing the Moodscope daily test, I'm fatter than I should be, depression seems to always be there, no 'significant other' to share daily life with, and I can't get motivated to get fit.

Then there's that middle aged bloke looking back at me in the mirror every morning asking where did it all go wrong? Or, maybe more to the point, when will it go right?

But lots of people say that it's important this loving myself thing, that happiness is there, that if I can learn to love and accept myself I'll be a better and fuller person. So, I need to ask that fat man in the mirror - how come others seem to see things in me that I can't (or won't) see? People at work, in church, my family, those few people I can call friends? They like and (I hope) love me. So I think I'll add a little something else to my 'three good things that happened today' journal entry that I do before going to bed; I'll add in a daily 'one good thing about me'. Oh yes, and get out on that bike!"

A Moodscope member.

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Di Murphey Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 12:42am

Dearest AJ,
Oh, my. Thank you for your authentic writing. It is simply too easy to not adore ourselves. I know of what you write ~ I did the same for most of my life. There are no easy simple answers as to why we do this. Perhaps it is a form of anger, hidden under layers of disgust and questioning.

I do know this. If you can rise to the moment of glory, and find something to love about yourself, it is quite a treasure-find. You will bask in the knowledge that you are not only lovable and worthy, yet intensely likable by many.

People like people who like themselves. People are drawn to people who are excited about living. Many connect with us because we admit we are deeply flawed, and laughably lovable. Perfectly imperfect, we forge onward.

It is not easy. If we don't love ourselves, who will? How can we hope to leave the planet in a better state? Perhaps a thought for you might be to imagine how the world might look if your lense was one of pure love and acceptance.

Think what you might add! You are worthy. You are love. Because you exist.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 7:56am

Thank you for sharing this. I too find loving myself immensely hard and have even been self harming :o(

I am reading a book called Loveability which is starting to help and that's all about loving myself. When we love ourselves and are comfortable in our skin things can start to change. I am trying to be nicer to myself - simple things like taking a bubble bath, getting my hair cut, having a nice coffee when I'm out or just taking a nap when I'm tired.

I know that people see a lot more in me than I do, we just have to try and believe it when they tell us. One day it will all come easier I'm sure.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:01am

Your blog is like looking in a mirror. Just add in a bit of self harm and it's me. Please let us know how you are doing. I would love to hear if it helps.

Sally Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:06am

Wow AJ, great blog. I too will be adopting your 'one good thing about me' technique. Wishing you lots of luck, with warmth - Sally

Jeanette Beardow Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:33am

Good morning,
Sometimes we slip in our lives , but the only way of loving ourselves is by taking that time out and thinking of how to improve our lives.
Like everything it won't happen unless we make it happen, it won't happen unless we want it that bad to make it happen.
In your reflection you see a middle aged over weight man, if Adam ant can do it so can we, he suffers from a psychological disorder also. When he didn't carry on with his career he became over weight and irritable. Yet he picked himself up , went to the gym, watched what he ate, and changed his life around.
I have been thinking that I should look after myself a little more, but having not only depression, I have osteoarthritis , fibromyalgia and anxiety. The osteoarthritis is holding me back , as what ever I do I'm fatigued, coming from someone who used to be so active and never stopped , had operations for many a things hasn't helped, but yet each time I look in my mirror ( I tend not to do too often) I see the duplicate off my mother and grandmother.
I don't want to be like this, but there is only me who can change it. Once I have taken care of the other events going on in my life , I will try and fix myself. As I know that as I get older it will be harder to shift the extra lard.
Please feel free to add me as a buddy on here.
Many will see your other qualities as the love you for you, regardless of how you see your self.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:40am

Hi my councillor once said to me when u feel good hold onto it because it is okay to feel happy! Not always easy like today but going to make myself to to gym as I know this will be a good feel factor Spent too many years sulking because joints wouldn't let me do what had previously done Tomorrow doesn't always come so we have to move forward today. Carol

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:52am

Counselling did it for me. The counsellor seemed to do that thing of look what you do have in your favour though, and it was a weekly revelation. Try it?

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:57am

Me too AJ. My friends tell me what a lovely, gentle woman I am. I'm also told I'm beautiful, how intelligent I am. What a cornucopia of blessings. And, without self-aggrandisement, part of me knows these compliments to be true. Another part of me despises and hates myself. When I was a little girl, my older sister frequently told me, sneeringly "Oh, don't you just love yourself" - you may guess that my family did not like me. I grew up believing that it's wrong to love yourself and that I was a horrible person anyway. If your family don't like you then that must be true - right? So now I struggle, like you, when I look in the mirror. Part of me thinks I'm a pretty great person (it was really hard to type that), part of me despises myself for liking myself and hates me.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 9:01am

I understand completely AJ. Loving oneself I believe, for me anyhow, is the hardest struggle to get to, but I've gotten there even though I "relapse" on occasion.

Perhaps it was due to having a father that chose to end his life; or a mother too who didn't know how to love herself and therefore was unable to love me in a healthy manner. Perhaps it's because of my BPD traits that seem to peep their ugly heads out every once in awhile....most likely its the sum of all above and more.

However after years of therapy, medication and hard work, instead of looking in the mirror and staring into the hateful face looking back at me with dead eyes, I look into the mirror smiling and, at 31, I can actually say I love myself.

Of course, there are still those days that creep in and those automatic negative thoughts take over, however it is possible to get to the stage of loving oneself.

It is TRUE that as one starts in that direction, life seems to get better. For example, no longer am I around people with toxic thinking confirming everything I believed of myself and that includes my mother. I'm in a healthier relationship than I've ever been and the suicide attempts of previous years have ceased.

All I can say AJ is that seeking the help that a person needs is the first step to loving oneself and I maintain my self love with constant visits to my therapist who I shall say always deframents my ideas, thoughts toward a more positive light....a light that leads me away from the negativity.

Good luck on your journey to self love!

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 10:26am

What you wrote today seemed like something I might write - (although I am a girl so I'd have to change it a bit...). It reminded me of a story I once heard long ago which sometimes helps me:

When asking how to cope with depression one answer came back ‘I look at this way. It is as though there are two dogs inside me, one good, one bad and they are always fighting each other.’ ‘Which dog wins’ was the next question and the reply was ‘it depends which one I feed the most’.

Wishing you a better day today AJ :)

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 10:37am

When my Counsellor had tried almost everything she could think of she said one session 'how would you feel if you had someone like you for a friend'. A bell went off in my head ---------- and I replied 'I would think all my dreams had come true' !!!! Even so, I forget - what you wrote for AJ reminded me. I really must try to remember that wonderful session! Best Wishes, KT

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 10:41am

I'm a good looking female, well educated, with a wonderful job. I have a lovely, big flat in one of the most exciting cities in Europe, a lot of very good friends. I pass my time with interesting things and I'd perfecty match into the "you-have-to-love-yourself".party.
But still I'd never state these words. Do you want to know why?
Because the sentence is utterly nonsense.
You can care for yourself, yes, but you can't love yourself.
The feeling of love comes when you love and are loved by others. Sometimes not even then, because you had a horrible childhood which makes you feel bad until today so you can't see the love others feel for you even if it's there.
I think there is a way out of it: it's caring for and loving others, forgetting about yourself for some moments. Escpecially kids can remind us of what love is and how easy it is. When you then be loved back - then maybe love for yourself comes.
But apart from the various methods of finding and giving love, I think it's your right to state, that the sentence "you-have-to-love-yourself" is nonsense and only an extra torture to the ones who can't love themselves.
People who were loved when they were children, love themselves. People who are loved, love themselves.
You can take care of yourself - you can't love (this really happy making feeling) yourself.

swimmer Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 11:13am

I know l am not good company, so l isolate myself and imagine what it must be like to be able to get on with people. I feel worse when l have been out because l have spread a bit more misery. If l stay at home, l keep the misery to myself. I seriously believe the world would be better off without me. I definitely hate my company, and would love a way out. But that leaves people feeling hurt because they couldn't help. I don't want anyone to feel hurt. So it looks like the best thing to do is to wallow in my own misery and keep out of the way of people. I don't even have a moodscope buddy. My consistent low scores must have got a bit boring.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 11:30am

Double like.

Helen Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 12:36pm

Hello Swimmer, Even in your darkest hour a speck of light will come. It will come to join your inner light (your sole) and the light will become bigger. Try to imagine that light growing inside of YOU. How do you know you are not good company? Ask yourself why do you think you don't get on with people. Is this a confidence thing, a self esteem issue, or do you have a condition that causes this (ie Aspergers - believe me there are a lot of people undiagnosed). You say when you go out you spread misery, one thing I try is to smile at as many people as I can, this way I know I am sharing my light and doing good which gives me a buzz. I also know that what I send out comes back to me 3 fold, and a smile is just one way of helping me with this. Don't keep the misery to yourself, and you have taken a huge positive step in posting your reply on here, so a huge well done, pat on the back and a celebration cup of coffee or a cake for you. The world would be duller without your light, and you are hiding yours from the world. Our light is a beautiful thing, it needs to shine. Without you your family and friends light would also loose some of its brightness. Find people who can support you and start with a counsellor if you haven't got one already. Ask about CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) too, this is also a positive way to take control of your feelings and emotions, and gives a way of seeing your progress. It's worth a try, what have you to lose? No the constant low score is because nothing is changing, it will if you want it to. Add me as a Buddy if you would like to, and any other's that reply to you, this would be a very good start. Say yes to support, read positive books, and start to turn this around. Get a journal, and each night write 3 positive things in it. You can do this, and Good luck.

Julia Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 2:00pm

I think it's very important to love your body (one's body) otherwise one can end up abusing it by constantly wanting to change it's shape etc. I always told my daughter to love hers from an early age to avoid anorexia (which my sister suffered from when we were children) and fortunately she is a normal body weight and has a very heathly attitude to food etc. Good idea to get on your bike A J. I find just 20 minutes a day, same route, does it for me! No need to go mad and cycle long distances to keep the pounds off. Good luck AJ. You'll get there. Now you have written a blog for Moodscope, the world is your oyster.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 3:11pm

The hardest and most important thing is to also love the parts of yourself that don't love, that fail and are negative.

heather Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 7:57pm

Wow, anon 10.37 am - that question and your answer are a revelation to me as amazingly, I would have the same reply. Thank you so much, that has given me a really wonderful boost.

heather Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:08pm

Helen, I am very moved by your very sensitive, caring and full reply to Swimmer. She/he will be very lucky indeed to have you as a Buddy.

heather Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:22pm

I tend to agree that all this trying to love yourself is pretty futile as when you are depressed and completely negative it is impossible to love anything. When we manage to feel love in other ways, be it by creating something, or appreciating something, or love for a pet or for other people, then we can, in my opinion, begin to relax and forget our inhibitions. However, smiling into the mirror is imperative ! Smiling, even falsely generates some sort of feelgood hormone.

AJ Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:50pm

Thanks to all who left comments, they have boosted me. and I hope that they have boosted you all too.

AJ Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:54pm

Swimmer, If you want I'll be your Moodscope buddy. My scores flat lined months ago! just ask!

Anonymous Mon, Aug 18th 2014 @ 4:09am

I woke up in the middle of the night and have been suffering for already a couple of hours. It's due to my stomachache. I gorge myself with food because I want to fill that empty void inside.
I sympathize with you AJ. I hate myself. I hate my life. I hate my stupid self. I went to the therapy for almost 2 years and it was pointless, it didn't work. Now I started with a new therapist- I hope this time will work. I want to change and truly love myself. I believe it's possible.
I advise you to do the same thing- search for the good therapist.
God bless,
Mary Ann

heather Mon, Aug 18th 2014 @ 7:33am

Good on you AJ - this must improve your impression of yourself. You sound like a really nice guy.

Julia Mon, Aug 18th 2014 @ 8:31am

Hi Heather!!

Julia Mon, Aug 18th 2014 @ 8:35am

I have now read all your comments Heather plus the other "late" ones. I think many will have read them as well. A J did too, I see, which is most important as he says all our comments have boosted him. Great response.

Elizabeth Mon, Aug 18th 2014 @ 6:41pm

Hello AJ,
I am not sure if what I have to say helps you or otherwise, and I am sorry if it is "otherwise", it is not ment that way. I found myself in a few of your sentences and realised my view became different over time, so I offer it in case it inspires.

I completely recognise myself in all this: "Well, now I only have one Moodscope buddy, I'm not the best at doing the Moodscope daily test, I'm fatter than I should be, depression seems to always be there, no 'significant other' to share daily life with, and I can't get motivated to get fit."
That is me. However:
- I feel like one moodscope buddy is enough
- I don't blame myself (too often) for not doing the test, because maybe I had more important things to do or think about
- My figure doesn't matter that much. I found someone who likes me and doesn't think being fat is ugly. Helped me a lot. And, I like my own smile ;)
- Depression always there? Oh well. Shit. Makes my life difficult. But it is not "my fault". I like, that I learned more empathy through experiencing my own difficult states of mind.
- I know I am capable of a relationship. I can be on the watch out not to miss my chance. The rest doesn't depend on me.
- "Can't get motivated to get fit" is the only one for me that really leads to selfblame. Looks like something I can do something about, but the more I tell this myself, the less I can get motivated. I also realise that the more I am depressed, the more impossible is exercise. At the moment it helps me a little either to find the kind of movement I like and just sometimes (like swimming for me) or to think about things I would really enjoy if I were more fit, which I don't dare to do now.

Of course I too have problems with accepting myself and my own list of things that bug me about myself.
I also have a list of things I am doing right.

Most important: We always do the best we can do at the moment. Even if we think we "could have done better" or if we fail. There is a reason to everything and no one does "wrong" on pourpose.

I feel with you, that is why I write this comment. Good luck :)

Cathy F Tue, Aug 19th 2014 @ 9:51am

AJ, that's such a lovely idea to add "one good thing about me" to the gratitude list. I'm going to do it too, thank you for this fantastic idea.
I find cycling really great both mentally and physically and even if I don't feel like going I find that if I'm dressed and ready to go with my runners on, it's a lot easier to just head out the door than change my clothes! So even if you don't want to go, put on your gear and see what happens ;-) Another saying that swirls around in my head when I'm looking for that much needed motivation is -
""I really regret that cycle".........said no one ever!!"

Thank you so much for writing that blog post, it really struck a chord with me and made my day.

Keep focusing on the positives you're a wonderful person :-)

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